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Can Japanese kiss in public?

Can Japanese Kiss in Public?

Japan is a country that values decorum and respect for others. As such, there are certain social norms that must be followed in public spaces. One of the things that may come to mind for people who are new to Japan is the question of whether or not Japanese people can kiss in public. Here’s what you should know:

The Importance of Public Displays of Affection

In Japan, public displays of affection (PDA) are generally frowned upon. This is because Japanese society values modesty and discretion. Holding hands and hugging are considered acceptable forms of PDA, but kissing is generally reserved for more private settings.

Japanese Snack Box

Cultural Differences

It’s important to remember that cultural norms around PDA can vary widely from country to country. While some cultures may see nothing wrong with kissing in public, others may find it offensive or inappropriate. In Japan, the cultural norms around PDA are different from those in many Western countries.

Exceptions to the Rule

While kissing in public is generally not done in Japan, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, it’s not uncommon to see couples kissing in theme parks or other areas that are specifically designed for romantic activities. Additionally, young people may be more likely to engage in PDA than older generations.

The Risks of Kissing in Public

Even though it’s not illegal to kiss in public in Japan, there are still risks associated with doing so. For example, if you’re caught engaging in PDA on a train or other public space, you may be asked to stop or even kicked off the train. Additionally, if you’re caught engaging in PDA with someone who is underage, you could face legal consequences.

The Role of Social Pressure

While there are no laws prohibiting kissing in public in Japan, there is still a strong social pressure to avoid doing so. This pressure comes from the belief that showing too much affection in public is rude and inappropriate. As a result, many Japanese people choose to refrain from PDA even if they would like to engage in it.

How to Navigate PDA in Japan

If you’re planning on visiting Japan and want to engage in PDA with your partner, it’s important to be respectful of local customs. While it’s not necessary to completely refrain from PDA, it’s a good idea to keep it to a minimum and save more intimate moments for private settings.

The Impact of Westernization

As Japan becomes more Westernized, some aspects of the culture are changing. This includes attitudes towards PDA. While kissing in public is still not widely accepted in Japan, there are more young people who are willing to engage in it than in the past.

The Importance of Mutual Respect

No matter where you are in the world, it’s important to respect local customs and norms. This includes refraining from activities that may be considered inappropriate or disrespectful. If you’re unsure about whether or not something is acceptable, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution.

The Role of Gender

It’s worth noting that there may be different expectations around PDA for men and women in Japan. For example, women may be more likely to refrain from PDA out of fear of being seen as too forward or unladylike. Men may be expected to initiate PDA more often than women, but it’s still important to be mindful of social norms.

The Future of PDA in Japan

As Japan continues to become more globalized, it’s possible that attitudes towards PDA will continue to shift. While it’s unlikely that Japan will become a country where kissing in public is widely accepted, there may be more room for individual expression in the future.

The Bottom Line

Can Japanese kiss in public? The answer is yes, but it’s not generally accepted. If you’re planning on visiting Japan, it’s important to be respectful of local customs and norms around PDA. While there are no legal consequences for kissing in public, there may be social consequences if you’re seen as disrespectful or inappropriate.


Japan is a country with a rich cultural heritage and unique social norms. While kissing in public is generally not accepted, there are exceptions to this rule. As Japan becomes more Westernized, attitudes towards PDA may continue to shift. However, it’s important to always be respectful of local customs and norms when traveling to a new country.

Is public affection ok in Japan?

Public displays of affection such as hand-holding are generally accepted, but in smaller towns, showing affection like having an arm around your partner may be viewed negatively. It’s best to avoid snuggling in public places such as benches, queues, or restaurants. Also, it’s considered inappropriate to gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes when others are around.

Do Japanese couples hug in public?

In Japan, it is not common for couples to display affection in public, so they typically act like friends when in public and save any physical displays of affection for private settings. This can lead to the misconception that Japanese couples are not affectionate or cuddly, when in reality they simply do so in a more private manner.

What are Japanese views on kissing?

Kissing customs vary across the globe, but historically, Japan has only had two types: romantic kissing between partners and kissing babies. Demonstrations of affection in public have traditionally been looked down upon and are still not widely accepted. In Japan, a kiss on the lips is considered significant.

Is it OK to hug in public in Japan?

In Japanese culture, it is generally considered impolite to touch another person’s body, even if they are friends or family. Hugging and kissing are typically reserved for romantic relationships.

What are Japanese laws for dating?

In Japan, the age of consent is 13 years old according to the Japanese Penal Code. This means that individuals who are 13 years old or older are legally considered capable of consenting to sexual activities as of 2022.

Which country allows kissing in public?

In many countries in Europe, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, and the United States, it is a customary sight to observe individuals displaying public affection in the form of holding hands, hugging, and kissing.

It’s worth noting that even within Japan, attitudes towards PDA can vary depending on the region. For example, Tokyo is known for being more reserved when it comes to public displays of affection, while other areas like Osaka may be more accepting of PDA. It’s always a good idea to do some research on the specific region you’ll be visiting to get a better sense of the local customs.

Another point to consider is that same-sex PDA may be even less accepted in Japan than opposite-sex PDA. While there is a growing LGBTQ+ community in Japan, discrimination and stigma still exist. As such, same-sex couples may face additional challenges when it comes to expressing affection in public.

In addition to cultural and social factors, the time of day can also impact the acceptability of PDA in Japan. For example, kissing or other forms of PDA may be more acceptable at night in areas like bars or clubs where people are drinking and socializing. However, during the day or in more public settings like parks or on public transportation, PDA is still generally frowned upon.

Ultimately, the decision to engage in PDA in Japan should be made with caution and respect for local customs. While it’s understandable that couples may want to express their affection for one another in public, it’s important to remember that doing so may be seen as inappropriate or disrespectful. By being mindful of social norms and cultural differences, visitors to Japan can ensure a positive and respectful experience.

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