What NOT to do in Japan
Japan is an awesome place to visit, and no one should let “rules” get in the way of that! But Japanese culture can be very different to what we’re used to at times, and some things we do that may be acceptable for us can be surprising and rude in Japan. My husband, Jun, and I put together a list of the most common things we see that can cause trouble (I speak from the perspective of having done all of these!) Mainly, this is if you plan on establishing yourself in a Japanese community through work/family–if you’re visiting as a tourist then you don’t really have to worry so much about it. 🙂
As a foreigner you won’t be held to the same standards as Japanese people, but if you want to give a really good impression then these are some guidelines you can follow! None of these are things you HAVE to do. They are ideals and not always the followed practice. I just always think it’s better to know the ideal standards and then you can choose how closely you want to follow them!
Rule of thumb: Just think about how your words and actions will affect the people around you before you do something! It’s as simple as that. 🙂
Useful Japanese phrase: shouganai (しょうがない) – It can’t be helped.
It’s pretty similar to “shit happens.” You’re essentially letting a bad situation slide off your back instead of internalizing it.
“Can I still listen to music/text on the train/bus?”
“So you can’t be outgoing in Japan?”
“So I shouldn’t go to Japan? I’ll stand out anywhere.”
“What about customizing food if I have allergies?”
“Do I have to talk like a robot like you? 🙁 ”
For the opposite perspective: “What not to do in America” for Japanese people – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tYCQ661FII
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