"As an American or European,..." Etiquettes and Behaviors Tip by sjvessey

Etiquettes and Behaviors, Tokyo: 45 reviews and 25 photos

<font face='papyrus' color=#A00000 size=+1><b>A</b></font>s an American or European, you will never fit into Japanese society, no matter how long you stay. Look what other people do, and try to copy them, but at the end of the day, you are going to get it wrong. Fortunately, the Japanese are very forgiving of foreigners - essentially you are exempt from almost all the rules of social etiquette that would bind a Japanese native, and you can get away with blunders that no Japanese could ever make.

A few of the more obvious ones are:

a) try not to stare at people on the metro, as Japanese people seem to make less eye contact than Westerners

b) don't shake hands unless they offer their hand to you - they may feel uncomfortable

c) don't try to open or close taxi doors - the driver does it by remote control, and if you pull on the door you might break it

d) there is no need to tip - in fact you'll probably confuse people if you try to

e) don't stick your chopsticks in your bowl of rice and leave them there when you've finished

f) be more polite than you normally would be - that's just the way things are here

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 25, 2002
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