Things not to do when coming to Japan to avoid trouble

09:50 05/16/2024

Japan, with its perfect blend of ancient traditions and modern innovation, is considered a beacon of beauty in the heart of Asia.

Things not to do when coming to Japan to avoid trouble


Japan, with its perfect blend of ancient traditions and modern innovation, is considered a beacon of beauty in the heart of Asia. From the peaceful scenery of cherry blossoms in Kyoto to the brightly lit streets of Shibuya - Tokyo, this country offers a wonderful travel experience that leaves visitors spellbound.


However, amid the appeal of its picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture, Japan also holds fast to its customs and principles, which travelers must pay attention to make their journey seamless and avoid getting into unnecessary trouble. GoEMON is here to guide you through some things not to do when you travel to Japan.


Public behavior:

Japan values ​​politeness and respect for others. Loud conversations or noisy behavior in public places are often frowned upon by Japanese people, especially in public transportation. Therefore, visitors should avoid loud conversations, put their phones on silent mode, and use the time to relax or check trip plans while on public transportation.

Source image: Japan Guide

Rules for using chopsticks when eating:

When eating rice, do not stick chopsticks into the bowl of rice, because this image is similar to sticking incense into the incense bowl of the deceased. Besides, you should avoid rubbing chopsticks together, this is considered an insult to the restaurant because it shows that diners seem dissatisfied with the quality of the food. Also, do not cross your chopsticks when placing them in the bowl or on the table, always place them parallel.


When eating with many people, use the opposite end of the chopsticks to transfer food to your plate. When sharing food, ask permission to use your chopsticks to pick up the food, put it on your plate first, and then eat.

Source image: Edodyssey

Take off your shoes before entering:

In Japanese culture, taking off shoes before entering a home or sacred places such as temples or churches is a common custom and is considered polite and respectful. When entering homes or even other  places such as offices, schools, or restaurants, Japanese people will often take off their shoes and leave them outside the door. This helps keep the house clean and avoids bringing dirt into the house from outside. In temples and historical sites, removing shoes is mandatory to respect and maintain the sacredness of the site.

Source image: Just Japan Stuff


Cultural sensitivities: 

Pay attention to Japanese cultural sensitivities, such as bowing when greeting others, refraining from picking your nose or blowing your nose in public, and avoiding excessive physical contact.

In addition, English is not commonly used in Japan, and communication can in English  difficult in many cases. In addition, most traditional restaurants or vending machines do not provide English menus.


Therefore, if you have the opportunity to visit the Land of the Rising Sun shortly, please equip yourself with some common communication sentences in Japanese as well as notes when communicating.

Source image: JES

By being aware of these things to watch out for and following the unwritten rules of Japanese society, travelers can ensure the most enjoyable and wonderful experience exploring this fascinating country. Don't forget to follow GoEMON for more useful information!