Wherever you go there are always rules and etiquette you should follow. Japan is one of the countries which rules and etiquette is quite different with other countries so you should make sure to find out and understand them. It is because some etiquette looks simple for foreign travelers but important for Japanese people and if those rules were violated, well at least you will get disagreement look from people around you. Below is some highlights of rules and etiquette in Japan you should follow in non-negotiable way:
Meeting and Greeting
In most countries out there is very common to extend your hand for a handshake when meeting someone or greeting someone you meet in the street but not in Japan. Instead of a handshake, bowing is much more common in Japan. The lower you bow the more respect you give to the opposite party though right now some Japanese people also okay with a formal handshake but you should wait them to offer their hand before you offer yours.
Shoes and Slippers Off Rule
Though it looks simple for some foreigners but not for Japanese people. This rule is one of rules you should follow without negotiation. In Japan removing footwear when entering a private home is a must as well as in holy places like temple or shrine. Some restaurants are also applying this rule especially those which have tatami area.
Eating and Drinking
Well, you must be surprised to find Japanese people slurping their noodles because it is okay for them but don’t you dare to play with your chopsticks like using it as drum stick or just simply playing with it, it’s forbidden. While drinking, especially when you are not drinking alone, don’t pour drink for yourself, instead offer the bottle to someone else and pour it to them and he or she will do the same to you, that’s customary. One more thing you should known when you are eating in a restaurant, you don’t need to worry about tipping because it is not common in Japan.
Visiting Holy Places
Japan is one of the countries which has a lot of shrines and temples spreading throughout the country. That’s why visiting Japan is not complete without visiting one of those shrines or temples but there are some customs you should follow while you are entering those places. In those places you have to speak quietly since those are religious sites and making sure you are dress in decent outfit to respect them. When you are visiting a shrine there is one important ritual you should know that in every shrine you visit you will find a water source in front of the shrine, the water is used to rinse your hands and after that by using your hand also rinse your mouth, don’t drink the water but spit it out to the ground.
Rules in Public
Even in public places there are rules you should follow because Japanese people is nothing without high self-discipline. In Japan when you find a queue, don’t you ever dare to cut it because it is essential for Japanese people to respect others. It is one of the important thing they teach their children since the very young age as well as the manner to speak quietly in public places because they respect others so much.
Well, those are top five of rules and etiquette in Japan that you should know. Japan is one of the countries that are very welcoming to foreign travelers but they will respect those who only respect them back especially when it comes to to tradition and customary.