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Planning to travel in Japan? 15 things to know about Japan

Planning to travel in Japan? 15 things to know about Japan.

Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean with high-rise-filled cities, imperial palaces, mountainous national parks and thousands of shrines and temples. Tokyo, the crowded capital, is known for its neon skyscrapers and pop culture. In contrast, Kyoto offers Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, gardens and cherry blossoms. Sushi, the national dish, is served everywhere from casual pubs to gourmet restaurants.

There are many places in Japan that will catch your attention. But here are some tips in going there!

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There is no tipping in japan. It is considered rude to tip and I have had many a restaurant employee chase me down the street just to return my tip.

photolibrary_rf_photo_of_man_eating_while_walking  No Walking and Eating

This also applies to metro trains (though it is encouraged on bullet trains). It is also considered rude.


Stand on the left/walk on the right – on escalators this is a common rule of thumb, except for Osaka and a few other cities, in which it is the reverse. This is to facilitate people who are in a rush, especially during business hours.

4NumberFourInCircle Number 4

The word for four in Japanese sounds very close to the word for death (there are two words for #4 just to avoid this). In fact some buildings do not have the #4 on their elevators(and use it as a storage) or avoid the whole 4th or even the 40th floor completely(though very rare).

 062012_NoodleSlurping-007Slurp Away

If eating any form of noodles, slurping is not only OK, but is regarded as a compliment to the chef. The louder the better.


CashIsKing_1 Cash is King

While using credit cards is slowly gaining the ground, cash is king in Japan. There are a lot of ATM’s around for this purpose. Many specialty stores do not accept credit cards, so beware.

desktop-1424711115 No blowing your nose in public

This is considered unhygienic and rude. Worse if you use the hand towels given in restaurants for hand cleaning.

train-stranger-sleep-reactions-it-felt-like-i-knew-you-george-ferrandi-2  Sleeping on and getting pushed into strangers

Your seat mate can sleep on your shoulder and that’s ok even if it’s a stranger. There are also designated subway pushers whose sole purpose is to push you into a crowded train during rush hour.

 tips-before-travelling-4Women only trains

These are pink and usually appear during rush hour on select lines. This is to prevent groping from the men that occasionally happens during rush hour.


toilet Bathroom Slippers

There are slippers for the toilet. They are meant for your feet not to touch the dirty floor. Please, do not wear them outside the toilet.

NoRegert_0Tattoos are a No-No

No tattoos are allowed in most onsens (Japanese bathhouses) – unless small enough to be covered up. However really small places may sometimes ignore them, this is definitely not the case with famous Onsens. This rule was originally made to prevent the Japanese yakuza (gang/mafia) from entering the premises.

tips-before-travelling-5 Onsen Towels

The small ones (that barely cover up anything) can NOT touch the water at any time. It is considered dirty and doing so would be inconsiderate. They are usually put to the side or on your head (thus a myriad of princess lea styles can be found).

tips-before-travelling-6Vending Machines

There are vending machines for literally everything. There have been ones just for bananas. More commonly they are found on every street corner for drinks and cigarettes. There are even ones that sell underwear!

tips-before-travelling-7 (1)Love Hotels/Capsule Hotels

The hotels are often used by weary salary men(office workers) or party goers who have missed the last train home. Sometimes a married couple can use them just to get some alone time from their small abode. The capsule hotel is not for the claustrophobes, however.

perfect_giftGift Giving

It is considered an honor to be invited to someone’s home and an omiyage or gift is expected. I have seen people bringing elaborately wrapped presents or even very expensive fruits. Literally, I once saw a 5000 yen watermelon given (roughly $40)!

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Source: Photos & Text excerpts from google.jpninfo

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