How is it that the Japanese are so polite
Japan Etiquette: Correct Behavior in Japanese Culture
Crazy fashion trends and extraordinary technology: Japan is an exciting and diverse country and it should definitely be on your list of places to visit. An important element of Japanese culture is the country's interpersonal habits. These are very different from the manners of the western hemisphere. So be well prepared for your next trip to Japan: We have compiled the most important rules of etiquette in our little Japan etiquette.
Avoid fooling around: this is what you should watch out for in Japan
In the restaurant
Oshibori: In the restaurant, guests are given a hot cloth (oshibori) to rub their hands - not their face - clean.
Smacking: The Japanese are an exception to the cliché that Asians always smack their lips loudly while eating. Moderate slurping of a soup, on the other hand, is allowed - it shows that the meal is tasty.
Chopsticks: When using Japanese cutlery, the following taboos must be observed: Avoid sticking your chopsticks vertically into the rice. This gesture is reserved for Buddhist death rituals. Pointing at someone with chopsticks is also considered bad manners. So, before your next vacation in Japan, it's time to practice, practice, practice.
Soy sauce: Be careful when seasoning with soy sauce: similar to our good wine, this is very important. Accordingly, it should be used sparingly.
Refill: At the dining table, you are responsible for the glass of the person sitting next to you, which in turn refills yours. Refilling yourself would be a faux pas
Tip: A peculiarity in Japanese restaurants: it is not customary to tip.
In private and as a guest
Favors: It is good form as a guest to bring a present for the host. However, this should only be opened in the absence of the giver. This saves the guest from losing face if the gift triggers an undesirable reaction from the host. Be careful when choosing the color of the gift and the number of flowers: the color white and the number four are associated with death in Japanese culture.
Punctuality: Being polite means being on time - the Japanese usually show up ten minutes before an agreed appointment.
Greeting: The Japanese will return your western handshake anyway, but the traditional way of greeting is to bow. The deeper the bow, the more honor you show your counterpart. As a stranger, a simple nod of the head is enough.
Salutation: In Japan, different groups of people are addressed differently, characterized by a large number of suffixes (word endings). For adults, for example, “san” is added to the first or last name. The suffix "kun" is used with old friends.
Shoes: Before entering a house, take off your shoes. Often there are already slippers ready for guests.
In everyday life
Clean the nose: If you catch a cold on your trip to Japan, you should always leave the room in good time, because blowing your nose and sneezing in public is considered gross. Incidentally, the Japanese put on a face mask the first time they scratch their throat - not because they want to protect themselves, but to protect others from their viruses.
Eating in public places: Muesli bars in the metro, a slice of pizza while walking, the pretzel quickly on the bench in the park: what is normal everyday life for us is considered gross in Japan. The Japanese therefore only eat either in restaurants or at home, but never on the go.
Quiet in the metro: Because of the long commutes, many Japanese take naps on the metro. So that you remain undisturbed, you should avoid cell phone noises and loud conversations.
Point to people: Use your entire hand to do this. Pointing at someone with your index finger or just waving a finger towards you is perceived as very rude.
Escalators: Decent behavior on escalators varies from city to city in Japan. When traveling to Tokyo, stand on the left and walk on the right. In Osaka, on the other hand, it's the other way around: stand on the right, walk on the left.
Courtesy and hospitality: respect Japanese values
The Japanese are incredibly friendly people who love to welcome guests. By respecting the values and customs of Japanese culture, you will give your hosts extra pleasure.
Now that you have the most important rules of etiquette, all you need for your next vacation in Japan is the basics of the language. Now read the article "Japanese for Beginners" and learn the first most important vocabulary.
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