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Introducing 20 things you should know before visiting Japan

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  • Foreigners who come to Japan to travel or immigrate may be concerned about Japanese rules and etiquette. In this article, we will introduce 20 rules and manners you should know before visiting Japan, and things you should know to enjoy Japanese life even more.

    20 things you should know before visiting Japan

    Here are 20 things foreigners should know when coming to Japan. There are many other things you should know, but I have picked out the ones that I think are particularly important.

    1. Take off your shoes inside the house

    In Japan, people take off their shoes when entering the house. Please be careful as it is rude to enter with your shoes on. In restaurants, etc., you may or may not take your shoes off. If there is a high step between the entrance and the hallway, you are likely to take off your shoes.

    2. There is no need to tip.

    In Japan, there is no need to tip restaurant waiters. Tips are included in their pay so it's okay.

    3. You should always carry cash

    There are many places in Japan where you can use credit cards and electronic money, but compared to other countries, there are not as many. Also, there are not many ATMs where you can withdraw money from overseas banks, so you should always carry cash.

    4. Cars drive on the left.

    In Japan, cars drive on the left, so people who drive on the right in countries like America may be confused at first. However, after living here for a while, you will naturally get used to it.

    5. There are almost no trash cans outside.

    In order to reduce the cost of garbage collection and to prevent suspicious items from being thrown into the trash, there are very few outside trash cans in Japan. You will have to carry your trash in your bag while you are outside and throw it away when you return to your home or hotel.

    6. There are not many Wi-Fi spots

    There are many Wi-Fi spots in Japan, but not as many as in other countries. We recommend renting a mobile router when traveling to Japan.

    7. There is little foreign language support outside of cities and tourist areas.

    There is a lot of foreign language support in cities such as Tokyo and tourist destinations where many foreigners visit, but be aware that there is less in rural areas.

    8. You can understand English if you speak slowly and simply.

    Most Japanese people are not good at English, but since they take English classes at school, there is a good chance that you will be able to understand them if you speak slowly and simply.

    9.Japanese people eat noodles making noise

    Japanese people eat noodles making noise, which is the correct way to eat them in Japan. However, if you are unable or unwilling to make noise when eating, there is no need to force yourself to do so, and it is not a violation of manners.

    10. There are some dishes that don't require chopsticks.

    Many Japanese dishes are eaten with chopsticks, but there are also many dishes that are eaten with forks and spoons, such as pasta and gratin.


    All-you-can-drink/all-you-can-eat is a system where the price is the same no matter how much you drink or eat within a set time (1 hour, 2 hours, etc.). There are quite a lot of all-you-can-drink and all-you-can-eat restaurants in Japan.

    12. Observe train etiquette

    Japanese people ride the train quietly. Raising your voice on the train, talking on your cell phone, and listening to music without headphones are all bad manners.

    13. Unlimited train tickets are a great deal

    Train and bus fares in Japan are not very cheap, but you can save money by using an unlimited ticket (1 day pass). "JAPAN RAIL PASS" is a particularly popular ticket among foreigners.

    14. You cannot enter hot springs if you have a tattoo.

    Hot springs are a part of Japanese culture that foreigners enjoy, but unfortunately people with tattoos are not allowed to enter most hot springs.

    15. Ride the escalator with one side open.

    In Japan, there is a custom of separating escalators on one side for people who stand still while riding, and on the other side for people who ride while walking. Two people riding on one step can be a nuisance.

    16. Remember to operate the toilet panel

    Japanese toilets are very sophisticated and use buttons to control various functions. Remember the names of some of the buttons, such as "flush", "wash", "dry", and "water pressure".

    17. If the route map is difficult, ask the station staff.

    The train route maps in Tokyo and Osaka are very complicated, and fares vary from station to station, making it difficult for foreigners to understand. If you don't know, don't hesitate to ask the station staff and they will politely explain it to you.

    18. Garbage separation is very detailed.

    People living in Japan must be careful about separating their garbage. Garbage disposal in Japan is divided into ``burnable'', ``unburnable'', ``cans'', and ``glass bottles''.

    19.It is useful to memorize hiragana and katakana

    Japanese is very difficult, with over 2,000 kanji, but hiragana and katakana are easy to remember, with only about 50 types. If you memorize hiragana and katakana, you will be able to read quite a lot of Japanese.

    20. Let's memorize useful Japanese words

    When traveling to Japan, be sure to memorize some useful Japanese words. Words that have multiple meanings at the same time are especially useful, such as "I'm sorry" and "It's okay."

    Excuse meSuimasenSorry,Thanks,Excuse me
    it's okayDaijoubu desuIt's OK, no thank you


    Japan has rules and etiquette that you won't find in other countries, so knowing them before coming to Japan will help you enjoy your trip even more. However, Japanese people are usually kind and helpful, so don't worry if you don't follow all the rules perfectly you won't get in trouble.

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