It is no doubt that there are numerous interesting things to do and see in a country with a unique culture like Japan. Foreigners visiting Japan are not usually familiar with Japanese etiquette, so knowing a few basics will help you adapt to local customs and avoid making cultural gaffes. When you think of visiting Japan, you should learn certain manners as Japanese people do in their daily life.
Don’t wear shoes indoors
Always remember to take your shoes off before entering a house, ryokan, shrine, or temple. This is one of the most important “Must not do things” in Japan. Though, you will find a pair of slippers at the entrance of every bathroom, so don’t worry.
Shoes should also be taken off in the restaurants where diners sit on traditional tatami mats on the floor. In this case, slippers are not worn at all because they may damage the straw matting.
Don’t ignore the queuing system
The Japanese love lining up in single file when waiting at a bus stop, on a train platform, or for the elevator! On platforms at train stations, there are lines on the floor to stand and wait. When the train arrives, the doors will open exactly in-between the two parallel lines of waiting passengers. Needless to say, you must move to the sides of the door to let passengers off first before getting to enter.
Don’t drive on the right side
One of the most interesting things to do when traveling to Japan is walking. This country has so many gardens and parks with a number of designated walking trails which were made to give you a pleasant morning and evening stroll. Always remember to walk on the left side while viewing plum blossom, cherry blossoms, colorful autumn leaves, or other beautiful flowers.
It is the same when you want to drive a car, make sure you drive it on the left side. If you drive on the right side, you may cause an accident or will be arrested, fined and even put in jail. Make sure to follow all the traffic rules.
Don’t be late, NEVER!
When you are going to meet someone in Japan, especially with Japanese, don’t be late! Be sure to come on time for your scheduled meeting. Japanese are quite punctual and don’t make them think that you don’t know the value of time.