Japanese are thought to be the best-mannered in the world. And I am really proud of that as a Japanese. Basically, we don’t cut into a line, interrupt someone else, and keep public place clean. So, even though I regard myself as a normal person, when I travel abroad, I see somethings that are thought as bad-manners in Japan but are not in that country. In the following paragraphs, I would like to introduce 5 rules you should keep in Japan.
#1. Don’t smoke on the road
Basically, it is dangerous to smoke on the road because you may put a light of your cigarette on the body of someone else. If you did accidentally, you will not be forgiven easily. Therefore, you can smoke just in smoking area which each big station has. Some cities or prefectures has a regulation for prohibiting smoking on the road. If you violate the law, you will be fined. And it is no use that you pretend not to be able to speak Japanese.
#2. Don’t dump your trash on the public place
When I travel in foreign countries, I can see a lot of trash on the road. I was surprised that people drop cans on the public place without hesitation. As you can see the picture of Japan, there is no trash on the road. It doesn’t mean that some janitors clean up every day. Basically, people bring their trash back to home to keep public place clean. Probably you have seen a news that Japanese audience clean up their seats after the games in the soccer World Cup or Olympics. I am really proud of that.
#3. Don’t pee in the public place
Some people may think their toilet is “the earth itself”. They pee anywhere in the world. In the worst case, I have seen a news that a parent let their children defecate on the aisle in the air plane. Fortunately, there are a lot of public toilets in Japan. Some parks have one, and most of convenience stores have. To keep your and your country’s dignity, please do not pee in the public place.
#4. Don’t open the refrigerator on others’ family
I have seen a lot of times that on the TV drama, people visit their friends and take sodas or beers from the refrigerator. I really believe is extremely rude. People don’t like to show the inside of their refrigerator because this is a kind of privacy. I don’t like to show my eating habit.
#5. Don’t put your legs on the table
Photo Credit: Per Gosche@flickr
In Starbucks or some cafe, there are some low leg tables, and people seated on the sofa put their leg comfortably. I am really annoyed when I watch the scene. Table is a thing where people put some dishes, not legs. Putting shoes on the table makes it dirty and I don’t like to use the table without cleaning up.
One of the good things you may be delighted at is that you don’t have to pay any tip in anywhere. We don’t have any custom of tip, so you don’t have to calculate your tip and prepare any change. One thing you may be disgusted in Japan is that people eat noodles (ramen, soba, pasta, or whatever) with noise. Basically it is thought to be annoying in the western countries, but it is not in Japan. Anyway, When in Rome do as the Romans do.