Do’s and Don’ts for Japan

Last night in my late-night Community College class, the students came up with a list of Do’s and Don’ts for visitors to Japan. The list was extensive and very good, so I thought I would include the points that they covered. If some of them are difficult to understand, it’s because of my shorthand for what the students said.

1. take a gift when visiting someone’s home
2. turn off your cell phone or use manner mode on trains and busses
3. bow alot
4. say that your gift, when you give one, isn’t very good
5. give your seat to a handicapped, elderly, or otherwise needy person on busses or trains
6. make a like while waiting for public transportation
7. stand to the left or right on escalators (There are differences between geographical areas and customs for standing on escalators. Watch the crowds and follow them.)
8. change your wardrobe in June and October

1. kiss in public or when meeting someone for the first time
2. wear a white dress to a wedding
3. smoke or talk loudly on a bus or train
4. give potted plants to someone who is staying in the hospital
5. stand on any threshold
6. go in a host’s kitchen unless invited
7. tip
8. eat in the locker room of a public bath


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