6 Things not to do in Japan if it’s your first time visiting

Japan is a country with a rich culture, developed economy, technical wizards, and beautiful gardens. It is a country that many tourists dream of and are happy to visit. However, Japan’s tourist rules are strict, and it can be very daunting trying to understand them all. Luckily, we are here to help!

Leaving Tips

Have you ever been to Japan? If so, have you ever been convicted of leaving a tip in a restaurant? Well, people probably saw it as disrespectful. After all, Japan is a nation where people learn to work hard from an early age. 


Dignity and respect are what they value much more than money. If you leave a tip, you will be considered rude. Japan is a country of development where business is of great importance. With hard work and diligence, their salary will increase. They, therefore, do not have to expect tips from customers.


If you want to have a good time on your next trip to Asia, don’t forget that not tipping is common etiquette in Japan. Whether you are in a restaurant, taxi, hotel, or wellness center, don’t do it. Nobody expects that, and you will violate the etiquette that prevails in the country.

Ignoring the Queuing System 

There are almost 130 million people in Japan. They are well-mannered, conservative people who respect the rules of their state and do everything to preserve its beauty. They also take care not to jeopardize a well-designed system.

Imagine if they didn’t keep order in the supermarket, at the doctor’s, and in cinemas. Then there would be confusion, and the well-designed system we mentioned would not function so perfectly. 


Japan is constantly crowded, and queuing helps maintain a clear mind and order. Whether waiting for food at the supermarket or buying a train ticket, the Japanese like to line up. 

Wearing Shoes Inside the Home 

Here are some other things not to do in Japan, as far as hygiene is concerned. They wash their hands several times a day. That doesn’t sound weird because you do it yourself, do you? 


However, there is one more thing: they sometimes take a shower several times a day. They wash and change clothes daily, and they do not shake hands. Also, when in Japan, never walk into a house or apartment wearing shoes! 


The Japanese used to eat meals on tatami mats and sleep on tatami floors. Therefore, it is inadmissible for all the dirt on the outside to be brought in on your shoes.  


So, as a good tourist or guest, you will take off your shoes and wear slippers. And when you go to the toilet, you will replace the slippers because the floor under the toilet is not considered clean enough for the rest of the house.

Breaking the Rules About Chopsticks 

Among Japan’s tourist rules is chopstick etiquette. Namely, every Japanese person has at least one pair of chopsticks. And since their use is a long-lasting tradition, tourists should respect the rules of use.


Do not rub them together and do not stand them vertically in food. And, of course, don’t stab food with your chopsticks! Do not leave them crossed on the table. As for the sharing plate, take food from there only with chopsticks that you have not used before.

Waving with them in the air while talking is strictly rude, just like pointing. When you bring food to your mouth, only it goes inside, not the sticks. Never wash them at the table or play with them.


Use them properly and do not use unmatched ones. When you use them in the wrong way, you may find yourself misunderstood by the very traditional people of Japan. 


For example, when you hold them like drumsticks and beat the rhythm with them, it is called “tataki-Bashi,” and it is very rude. People are bothered by sound, and it is considered childish. Also, some people think it is an invocation of evil spirits.

Being Loud in Public Transportation 

Japanese people use public transport very often. Train etiquette is common etiquette in Japan. They take it so seriously that they would roll their eyes if a tourist or a fellow citizen wouldn’t care about it. 


Japanese people consider it very impolite when a person speaks loudly on public transport. They think about everyone around them and don’t care much about the needs of the individual when it comes to the group. Hence the intolerance towards the noisemakers.


Well, if you are wondering how to behave while driving with a mountain of Japanese around you, here are some tips. Stay quiet, don’t take up too much space around you, and follow the rules of the seat. Some seats are designed for the elderly, pregnant women, and children and then painted in a different color.

Showing Public Display of Affection 

PDA, aka public displays of affection: kissing, cuddling, and even intimate touching. In Japan, the law doesn’t prohibit physical intimacy as it does in, for example, India. However, Japanese people consider it gross. 

While in Arab countries holding hands is ok, but only between friends, people in Japan don’t like it anyway. Of course, except when it comes to parent-child relationships. Still, you may be wondering if this is possible in a state that has sex shops on every corner.


Is it possible that in a country where more toys are produced annually than anywhere else in the world, a simple kiss on the cheek is considered disgusting? Keep your intimacy behind the curtains when in Japan. 

How Important Are These Things 

Manners and caring for others around us are extremely important to the Japanese. If you, as a tourist, refuse to respect that, you risk a lot. In addition to all the above rules, there are a few others to look out for.


For example, if you are in a business meeting, do not cross your legs. This could mean that you are not ready to cooperate or that you do not like the exhibitor or the idea. Just imagine how it could ruin your business!


And don’t yawn while you’re on a business conversation or a date with an acquaintance. You may not be bored, but culture does not allow the Japanese to think differently. Of course, if you do not respect some of the common labels and guides for tourists in Japan, it does not mean that prison awaits you. It only means that you will likely lose some respect and miss out on the important bits of culture you would otherwise get to experience.