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Unique Japanese custom

When you travel around Japan, you must know some unique Japanese customs.
Please learn the below terms.

When you enter house or ryokan, you must take off your shoes.

Generally the entrance of Japnese house is the place that you take off or put on the shoes.
(See the page of Living place.)
You probably can find some pairs of shoes at the entrance. That is the evidence that someone lives in the house.

In some houses, you are invited to put on slippers. In that case, you can walk around in the house with slippers.
But you must take off the slippers when you enter Japanese room with "tatami" flooring.

When you enter a public bathroom, you must get naked.

Japanese people like to get into the bath. Especially we enjoy to soak in a bathtub.

When you enter the bathroom, you must get naked even if it is a public bath.
You must not wear a swimsuit.
Of course, the public bath has separete rooms for men and women.
Don't feel ashamed. No Japanese people is shy in the public bath.

Additionally, there are some unspoken rules when you have the public bath.

  • Before you enter a bathtub, wash your sweat off with shower or a tub of water.
  • Don't use your towel in the bathtub. (Putting it on top of your head is OK.)
  • If the bathtub looks like a pool, don't swim or dive in the bathtub.
  • The washing places with a shower, faucets and a small stool are shared. You shouldn't keep a place.

Japanese people don't have the custom of tipping.

While you are in Japan, you need not give a tip.
By contraries when we Japanese travel in your country, we are puzzled by the custom of tipping.
Generally the accommodation rate includes "service charge" and that substitutes for a tip.

Japanese greeting is to bow.

When we Japanese meet a person or leave, we bow our heads each other with message of greetings.

Probably you will find many bowing during you are in Japan.
To shake hand and to embrace are the limited actions. Japanese don't touch each other unless they are familiar.

The cars drive on the left side of the road.

Japanese drivers must keep to the left side of the road. This is opposite to many countries.
Watch out for traffic when you walk around.

In restaurant and cafe, a cup of tea or water served at first is free of charge.

Japan is water-rich country. Additionally drinkable and nice water is yielded.
So Japanese consider water as air.
In restaurant or cafe usually a waitress brings a cup of tea or water at first.
This is free of charge. You can have a refill of water in any restaurant.
But never leave the restaurant without order of dish.

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