Anti culture-shock tips for first time Japan travelers
Japan travelers: So are you planning to visit Japan anytime soon? That’s amazing!
Rich in cultural landmarks, traditional heritage and hospitable people in seasonal climates, there’s tons to behold and enjoy in Japan. And as always, before you head out to Japan, you need to have a level of learning through research, kind of what you’re doing right now. You also need personal input from family and friends who may have gone to and gathered practical tips on traveling to Japan.
To help, here are some tips to avoid getting culture-shocked the first time you visit Japan:
People Wearing Surgical Masks.
If you see people sporting some mask, don’t panic! It doesn’t mean there’s an ongoing disease in the country. The Japanese customarily wears costumes to avoid colds and other bacteria in the air. But they usually wear one if they are already ill and wants to shield others from coughs and sneezes. If you have a cold or catch one in Japan, be respectful by wearing a mask as you travel. Costumes can be purchased at any convenience store or grocery.
(Overly) Clean Streets.
Littering is a grave offense for the Japanese, and they love their cities clean. You can trust that restaurants and stores are also held to this standard. Many restaurants will even ask you to remove your shoes before entering the lobby. Shoes are seen as dirty since they touch the ground all day. As a guest in a Japanese household, your host will give you slippers. But socks at restaurants are enough. Toilets also have complementary bathroom slippers.
Quiet (To A Fault) People.
Everything has a time and a place in Japan -excluding blabbering loudly in public. You must use an ‘indoor voice.’ Westerners often have an issue with this since we are used to speaking loudly. Think you’re speaking quietly enough? Think again.
Why are services refusing my tip?
Tipping is not practiced in Japan. Seriously. It is seen as a rude gesture. Taxi drivers and waiters would hand your tip-money back. Why? In Japan, people don’t believe in receiving an extra incentive for doing a good job. Tipping can be seen as bribing them to ‘do better.’ However, they won’t find you at fault if you’re a foreigner though – how would you know anyway?
Why won’t people accept my credit card?
Japan is almost exclusively a cash-based society, meaning most places won’t accept credit cards. Even grocery stores are typically cash-only. This means that you’ll need to convert your money first if you need to buy something. It is recommended to exchange your cash to Yen before arriving in Japan.
What’s the deal with politeness?
If we can summarize Japan in one word, it would be MANNERS. They matter a lot to the Japanese people. Say thank you for everything in Japan. Try to smile and bow when saying it. An Arigatou is sufficient for friends while adding goazaimasu is for everyone else.
Still looking for more info before heading to Japan? Then search online for more tips on traveling to Japan. It’s nice to know practical tips from people who set their foot on the land of the rising sun. Because you are sure that it will be helpful in making your vacation unforgettable.