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Dos and Don’ts when travelling to Japan

You should bow your head when everyone bows to you, and you should not raise before they do. You should also bow lower than others if they are older and higher rank.

Do not burp or blow your nose in front of a crowded dining table, as this is considered rude in Japan. Secondly, you should avoid lifting big dishes from the table and eating them all. In addition, you should cover your mouth if using toothpicks.

When eating sushi or sashimi, you should not pour soy sauce on the dish. Pour into a small bowl, then use the chopsticks to dip each piece of sushi into the bowl. When you sit at the dining table, you should change the chopsticks if you want to pick up food to your own plate. Do not hold chopsticks and point at everything at the table, as this is a rude act. If you can’t use chopsticks to eat sushi (for Western guests), don’t hesitate to ask the restaurant to provide a fork.

You should remove shoes when entering the house, hotel room, temple … When removing shoes, remember to put them very neatly with the tip of the shoes turned out. And you should wear indoor slippers, which are located right next to the door.

When bathing in public areas, you should completely remove your clothes, not wear a bikini when you get into the water. In addition, you should clean yourself with soap in the first shower area. Onsen baths (hot springs) and sento (public baths) are unique Japanese culture that tourists should try.

If in the US, the tip is mandatory, Japan does not have this concept. Even giving tip at many restaurants and hotels is considered offensive by locals, because giving them tips means you are not satisfied with their service or it means asking them to try harder next time.

When taking a taxi, you should not actively open the door. The driver in the car will press the auto open button. Remember to close the taxi door when you get down. Sometimes, getting off the bus and forgetting to close will make the driver angry.

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