Like in any other country in the world, Japan observes certain standards that govern social behavior. These are standard Japanese etiquette which are expected to be observed by locals and visitors alike. Visitors could benefit from doing a little research before visiting since Japan has specific practices that are unique to their culture.
The Japanese consider good manners of primary importance. This is the reason why visitors to Japan should take time to learn the basic rules of etiquette observed in the country to avoid mistakes that may prove costly to social relationships. Mistakes when done can be very embarrassing to both the locals and the visitors.
It is considered impolite to refuse an invitation to a home in Japan. In fact, it is considered a rare honor which visitors can try to reciprocate by bringing a gift of food or drink while apologizing for it regardless of its monetary value. Shoes worn outside are always left on a designated area within the entrance of the home. As such guests should wear socks to be worn with the slippers for use inside the home. Bathroom slippers are only used in that particular area and nowhere else.
Locals and visitors alike are expected to present themselves in a neat manner. Hair is dried before going out in public places. Wearing excessive jewelry is not favored in Japan. It is considered polite to respect other people’s private spaces by avoiding physical and eye contact which is more than necessary in a given situation.
Greeting makes use of bows and handshakes not just as a sign of respect but also to put emphasis on thanking or apologizing. People are addressed by their last names followed by “san”. Shouting in public as well as using the cellphone in trains and buses are considered bad manners.
About the Author:
Teresa likes learning about different cultures.