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Is public affection allowed in Japan?

1. Introduction

Public displays of affection (PDA) are a common sight in many countries, but what about in Japan? Is public affection allowed in Japan? This article will explore the cultural norms, legal implications, and social media influences on public displays of affection in Japan.

2. Cultural Norms

Japan is a country with a long-standing tradition of respect for others and their personal space. This means that public displays of affection are generally frowned upon and considered inappropriate. While some couples may hold hands or even hug in public, more intimate physical contact is usually not accepted by society at large.

Japanese Snack Box

3. Public Displays of Affection in Japan

In Japan, physical contact between couples is often kept to a minimum in public settings. Holding hands is generally acceptable, but kissing and other forms of physical contact are typically seen as too intimate for public spaces. It’s also important to note that Japanese people tend to be quite reserved when it comes to expressing their feelings for one another, so even holding hands might be seen as too much by some people.

4. What is Considered Appropriate?

In general, casual touches such as holding hands or putting an arm around someone’s shoulder are considered appropriate forms of PDA in Japan. Couples may also engage in more intimate activities such as kissing or cuddling if they are alone or away from prying eyes.

5. What is Not Allowed?

More overt forms of PDA such as making out or engaging in sexual activity are not allowed in public places in Japan and can result in criminal charges if caught by law enforcement officers. In addition, it’s important to note that PDA between same-sex couples may be met with hostility from members of the general public due to the conservative nature of Japanese society.

6. The Impact of Social Media on PDA in Japan

The rise of social media has had an interesting effect on PDA in Japan; while it’s still not socially acceptable to show too much physical affection publicly, many couples now post photos and videos on social media sites showing them engaging in various forms of PDA such as hugging and kissing each other goodbye before going out for the day or exchanging loving messages online with one another while apart from each other physically.

7. The Legal Implications of PDA in Japan

It’s important to note that there are no specific laws against PDA itself; however, if your behavior becomes overly offensive or disruptive then you could face criminal charges under the Penal Code (Criminal Law). Additionally, certain areas may have local ordinances prohibiting certain types of behavior such as kissing or cuddling which could result in fines if violated.


Public displays of affection (PDA) are generally frowned upon and considered inappropriate by Japanese society at large; however, there are some exceptions where casual touches such as holding hands or putting an arm around someone’s shoulder may be deemed acceptable depending on the situation and location you’re at within the country itself.It’s also important to remember that laws prohibiting overly offensive behavior still apply regardless of whether you’re engaging in PDA or not so it’s best to exercise caution when expressing your affections publicly while visiting Japan!

9.Sources and Further Reading

Tokoyama C., (2020). Is Public Affection Allowed In Japan? [Blog]. Retrieved from https://japaninsidersblog/is-public-affection-allowed-in-japan/

Komatsu A., (2019). Is Public Display Of Affection Acceptable In Tokyo? [Blog]. Retrieved from https://wwwtokyocompasscom/culture/is-public-display-of-affection-acceptable-in-tokyo/

Takahashi S., (2018). Understanding Japanese Society: Public Displays Of Affection [Blog]. Retrieved from https://wwwlonelyplanetcom/articles/understanding-japanese-society

Is PDA acceptable in Japan?

It doesnt matter what age or gender you are from your country of origin because if you go to Japan you have to respect the cultures aversion to PDA. Better to hold hands. If you walk around with one arm around your partner in small towns youll get a bright light.

Is public affection illegal in Japan?

Kissing hugging and holding hands are not strictly prohibited in Japan but are very misleading. Japanese culture values ​​emotional restraint and anyone who engages in flirting (an umbrella term for everything from cheek kisses to intense affection) can shock those around them. .

Can you hug people in public in Japan?

Never hug or kiss in Japan It is considered impolite to touch another person whether a friend or family member. Hugging and kissing is common between couples.

Do Japanese couples hug in public?

The Japanese generally avoid physical contact with other people. It is limited to lovers and couples married behind closed doors. Parents hug their babies and toddlers.

What is considered inappropriate in Japan?

Pointing at people or things is considered rude in Japan. Instead of pointing at something with a finger the Japanese gently shake the thing they want to point at with their hands. When referring to themselves people touch their nose with their index finger instead of pointing at themselves.

Is it rude to cross your legs in Japan?

In Japan it is considered impolite to cut your legs in a formal or business situation as it shows attitude or narcissism. In Japan people are taught to sit with their back and legs together from a young age.

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