Customs in Japan


Before traveling to a country like Japan, you must take into account several customs rooted in the country so as not to screw up and offend someone. Here are a few:

No move the hands when spoken, it can be interpreted as an intention to attack.

Never be late for a appointment. In Japan they are very punctual (trains, buses ... are not like in Spain).


Do not chew bubble gum at work or in formal moments.

Avoid the physical and visual contact with the person we are talking to. You don't usually look the person who is speaking in the eye. Shaking hands or patting the back is not common, there is more normal a bow to greet.

There is no such thing as ..."Women first".


The facial expressions they are very important, sometimes more than words. Smile and you will be well seen.

Important do not speak in a very high tone of voice so as not to attract attention.

The shirt taken out of the pants is not the right thing there.


The workers they usually wait for the boss to leave to leave too. No one waits for the exit signal to sound to run away.

Always carry a business card for a formal meeting. You have to hand it in with both hands and always face up. Never store it in the back pants pocket.

Wearing many jewels, striking clothing and abundant cologne is related to being of the "Under world". So don't try to show off.

In the Mechanic stairs you have to go to the left side. The right side is usually for people in a hurry.

You never have to blow in front of people, you have to leave the room to get wet. If you cannot leave the room, be as discreet as possible, turning your back on whoever is with you and making little noise. Never use a cloth handkerchief, always a disposable one.

The house walls They are usually very thin and of little insulation. You have to avoid talking loudly and have the TV very high at what times.

If they offer you a YUKATA (light summer kimono or robe), you have to cross the left side over the right first (the other way around is for the dead at funerals).

It is customary to wear food or drink when you visit someone.

When women laugh they always cover their mouth.

The highest ranking person has to sit behind the driver in a bus. In the taxis, it is the person with the lowest rank who sits next to the driver.

5 Basic Japanese Customs & Etiquette (September 2020)


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