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What are good manners in Japan?


Japan is known for its unique culture that is deeply rooted in respect, honor, and good manners. In Japanese society, proper etiquette is highly valued and expected in all aspects of life. Understanding and following these customs can help visitors to Japan navigate the country with ease and respect for its people. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of good manners in Japan.


Bowing is an essential part of Japanese culture and is used to show respect, gratitude, and apology. Bowing is done by lowering the head and bending the body from the waist. The depth and length of a bow are determined by the situation and social status of the person being bowed to.

Japanese Snack Box


Greetings are an essential part of Japanese culture and are used to show respect and establish relationships. Common greetings in Japan include “ohayou gozaimasu” (good morning), “konnichiwa” (hello/good afternoon), and “arigatou gozaimasu” (thank you very much).

Gift Giving

Gift giving is an important part of Japanese culture and is often used to express gratitude or apologies. When giving a gift in Japan, it is important to wrap it carefully and present it with both hands. It is also considered impolite to open a gift in front of the giver.

Eating Etiquette

Eating etiquette in Japan emphasizes cleanliness, respect for food, and appreciation for the effort put into preparing it. Before eating, it is customary to say “itadakimasu” (I humbly receive) as a show of gratitude. Chopsticks should be used properly, and it is considered rude to play with or point chopsticks at someone.


The Japanese language has a complex honorific system that reflects social status and relationships between speakers. It is important to use proper titles when addressing someone of higher status or age, such as “san” or “sama”. Additionally, using polite language such as “desu” and “masu” can show respect.

Personal Space

In Japan, personal space is highly valued, and physical contact with strangers is generally avoided. It is important to respect people’s personal space when riding public transportation or standing in lines. Additionally, loud talking or disruptive behavior in public spaces is frowned upon.


Tattoos are traditionally associated with organized crime in Japan and are often viewed as a sign of disrespect or mistrust. While attitudes towards tattoos are changing among younger generations, it is still considered impolite to display tattoos in public places such as hot springs or swimming pools.


Shoes are considered dirty in Japanese culture, and it is customary to remove them before entering homes or certain public places such as temples or traditional restaurants. Slippers may be provided for indoor use.


Queuing (lining up) is an important part of Japanese culture and reflects a sense of order and respect for others. It is expected that people will wait their turn in lines for things such as transportation or purchasing items.

Respect for Elders

Respect for elders is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture, and it is important to show deference to older people. This can include using respectful language and offering seats on public transportation.


Punctuality is highly valued in Japan, and being late for appointments or meetings can be seen as disrespectful. It is important to plan ahead and allow enough time for travel to avoid being late.


Cleanliness is highly valued in Japan, and it is expected that people will keep themselves and their surroundings clean. This includes washing hands frequently, disposing of trash properly, and keeping public spaces clean.


In conclusion, good manners are an essential part of Japanese culture that reflect respect for others, orderliness, cleanliness, and appreciation for tradition. By understanding these customs and practicing them while visiting Japan, visitors can show respect for its people and navigate the country with ease.

What is considered bad manners in Japan?

In Japan, it is impolite to point directly at people or objects. Instead, Japanese people indicate with a gentle wave of the hand. To refer to oneself, people touch their nose with their forefinger rather than pointing at themselves.

Do Japanese have good manners?

The Japanese are renowned for their exceptional levels of politeness and courtesy, and place significant importance on social etiquette and manners in their daily lives.

What do Japanese respect more?

Japanese culture places great importance on privacy and hierarchy within the family. In day-to-day interactions, individuals show a high level of respect towards strangers, which may make it appear difficult to form friendships with new acquaintances.

What is do’s and don ts in Japan?

Avoid spending too much time at Western establishments offering free wifi. Make an effort to learn some common Japanese phrases. Enjoy your noodles by slurping them. Don’t tip or double-check your change. Show proper respect by bowing appropriately.

What is the 3 second rule in Japan?

First introduced in 1990, the three-second rule stated that offensive players, whether they had possession of the ball or not, were not allowed to stay in the key for more than three seconds.

What is a common Japanese attitude?

In Japanese culture, important principles include consideration for others, striving for excellence, persistence even in difficult situations, honoring older individuals, understanding one’s responsibilities, and collaborating effectively as a team.

Public Behavior

In Japan, public behavior is highly regulated, and people are expected to follow rules and guidelines to maintain social harmony. Behaviors such as talking loudly on phones, littering, or smoking in non-designated areas are frowned upon and can result in disapproving glances or even verbal warnings from others.


Apologizing is an important part of Japanese culture, and it is expected that people take responsibility for their actions and make amends when they have caused inconvenience or harm to others. When apologizing, it is important to use humble language and show genuine remorse.

Business Etiquette

Business etiquette in Japan emphasizes respect for hierarchy, formality, and attention to detail. It is important to dress appropriately, use proper titles when addressing colleagues or superiors, and exchange business cards with both hands. Meetings may begin with small talk and may involve a lot of bowing.

Public Displays of Affection

Public displays of affection (PDA) are generally not accepted in Japan, as they are seen as inappropriate and disrespectful. Kissing, hugging, or holding hands in public can make others uncomfortable and may attract unwanted attention.

Drinking Etiquette

Drinking alcohol is a common social activity in Japan, but there are specific etiquette rules to follow. It is customary to pour drinks for others rather than oneself, and to wait until everyone at the table has a full glass before drinking. It is also important to pace oneself and avoid becoming too drunk or rowdy.


Overall, good manners play a significant role in Japanese culture and society. Understanding these customs can help visitors navigate Japan with ease and respect for its people. By following these guidelines, visitors can demonstrate their appreciation for Japanese culture and create positive experiences during their stay.

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