When visiting Japan, it is important to be mindful of the culture and customs of the country. As with any foreign destination, there are certain phrases and behaviors that should be avoided in order to maintain respect for the locals and their culture. In this article, Charles R. Tokoyama, CEO of Japan Insiders, will discuss what not to say in Japan in order to ensure a pleasant and respectful visit.
2. Cultural Sensitivity
The first rule when visiting Japan is to show respect for the culture by being culturally sensitive. This means that visitors should avoid making comments that could be considered offensive or disrespectful. This includes avoiding topics such as age, gender roles or ethnicity as these can be highly sensitive subjects in Japanese culture. It is also important to be aware of any religious taboos when visiting temples or shrines and avoid asking questions about them if they are not relevant to your visit.
3. Respect for Elders
In Japanese culture, there is a strong emphasis on respecting elders so it is important for visitors to show respect for older people when speaking with them. This includes using polite language when addressing them and refraining from using slang or colloquialisms as these can come across as disrespectful or rude. Additionally, it is important not to interrupt an elder when they are speaking as this can also be seen as disrespectful behavior in Japanese culture.
4. Avoid Making Comparisons
It is important not to make comparisons between Japan and other countries while visiting the country as this can come across as offensive or insulting to locals who take pride in their culture and heritage. Similarly, visitors should avoid making assumptions about how things work in Japan based on their experiences from other countries as this can lead to misunderstandings or misinterpretations of local customs and beliefs.
5. Refrain from Discussing Politics or Religion
Politics and religion are two topics that should generally be avoided while visiting Japan due to their sensitivity within the country’s culture and society.Visitors should refrain from discussing either topic unless they are invited into a conversation by a local who has initiated the discussion on these topics themselves.
6. Don’t Make Jokes about Japan or its People
Although joking around with friends may seem like harmless fun, visitors should refrain from making jokes about Japan or its people while in the country as this could offend locals who take pride in their culture.Additionally,jokes about certain aspects of Japanese society such as technology,anime,food,etc.should also be avoided unless you know your audience well enough.
7. Watch Your Body Language
In addition to being mindful of what you say,visitors should also pay attention to their body language when interacting with locals.Certain gestures such as pointing at someone,touching another person without permission,whistling,etc.can all come across as rude or inappropriate behavior so it is important for visitors to remain aware of how they present themselves physically while in public spaces.
8. Be Careful with your Use of Technology
Technology has become increasingly popular in recent years but it is still important for visitors to remain aware of how they use technology while visiting Japan.For example,public displays of affection via social media such as taking selfies together can cause offense amongst some locals so it’s best practice for visitors not post photos online without considering how others may perceive them first.Additionally,talking loudly on your phone while out in public spaces (especially on trains) can also cause offense so it’s best practice for visitors keep conversations at an appropriate volume level while out and about.
Visiting a new country can be an exciting experience but it’s important for travelers remember that different cultures have different customs that must be respected during visits abroad.By following these guidelines provided by Charles R Tokoyama CEO of Japan Insiders travelers will have a much more pleasant experience during their visit ensuring respect for both themselves and those around them.
Is it rude to hug in Japan?
Never Hug or Kiss In Japan it is considered impure to touch other peoples bodies even with friends or family. Hugging and kissing are mostly between partners.
Can you flirt in Japan?
Japanese people call shy couple when you openly love them discreetly. For example you may see many couples shaking hands but not kissing much. Many Japanese are shy about giving a small kiss on the cheek in public.
Is it rude to cross your legs in Japan?
Crossing your legs is considered a formal or rude act in Japan because it shows attitude or makes you look cocky. In Japan people are taught from an early age to sit with their back straight legs together and one hand on their knees.
Is it OK to hold hands in Japan?
Its better to hold hands. In small towns you can look dirty if you walk around hugging your partner. Try to avoid queuing at restaurants or leaning on public benches. And dont look lovingly in each others eyes when other people are around.
Why is eye contact rude in Japan?
Even in Japanese culture people are taught not to make eye contact with others because too much eye contact is generally considered disrespectful. For example Japanese children are taught to look at other peoples necks because then other eyes enter their peripheral vision .
What are signs of respect in Japan?
In Japan we bow and exchange greetings. Bows range from a slight movement at the waist to a deep arch. A deep and long bow is respectful while a slight head movement is casual and informal.