FOUR UNABLE, BUT IMPORTANT JAPANESE CUSTOMS
In this article we will tell you about four small customs that are very useful for tourists who know Japan to travel before starting a trip. The fact is that the number of foreign visitors in Japan is growing every year, and with it the likelihood of intercultural misunderstandings and misunderstandings in communication between tourists and the Japanese themselves increases.
Cultural differences have long become an integral part of global life; more and more often the thought comes to us that no one in this world has the same worldview as ourselves. The fact that in one country seems quite ordinary and reasonable behavior in another part of the world will cause only rejection and surprise. So, what are these cultural “yes” and “no” when it comes to Japan?
We asked one of our employees who have been living in Tokyo for several months: what would you like to know before you go to Japan? And he listed this short list into four important points. If you yourself are planning a trip to Japan in the near future, be sure to consider our tips on how to make your stay in the country more smoothly.
1. PREPARE THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE SIDGE
Generally speaking, “sticking to the right side of the pavement” is not a recommendation, but a full-fledged Japanese rule. No wonder many people from countries with a different organization of movement get confused and find themselves in the midst of a crowd if they turn in the wrong direction.
If you walk along the left side of the sidewalk (and we don’t even talk about places where traffic is set precisely), as a result you can get lost, get off the course or interfere with other participants in walking. As you understand, there is little enjoyment here, so try to remember this rule so that you can avoid unnecessary stress while walking around Japanese cities.
This rule is relevant not only for sidewalks, but also for roads. Therefore, if you ride a bike (especially in Tokyo!), You should be careful. Bicycles and cars must stick to the left side, and in most places cyclists are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk, although some may violate this road traffic rule. In general, try to avoid the right side of the road if you are riding a bicycle.
In addition, customs regarding escalators and stairs may differ from those in your country. In short, the left side is an upward movement, and the right side is a downward movement. Please do not stand in the center of the escalator. In short, just watch what others are doing, it will help you navigate even faster.
2. IN TRAINS, TRANSFER YOUR BACKPACK FORWARD
Tourists are always surprised at how crowded the Japanese trains are during rush hour. And you may even have noticed how people around were starting to stare at you, you just had to wade through the crowd and find a place in a crowded train. Have you ever wondered what caused such increased attention? Most likely, the reason for these oblique views lies in your backpack.
If you carry your backpack on your back, it takes up more space than necessary. And for the train, where there is barely enough space for all passengers who are just trying to get home or work, the extra space is almost a matter of life and death.
In densely clogged trains, you may even have a particularly cold and aggressive look. But to solve this problem is actually very easy. You just need to remove the backpack from the back and move it forward, or pick it up before landing. If for some reason you cannot wear a backpack on your chest, but its dimensions allow it, try to hang it over your shoulder.
And ideally, in the presence of particularly bulky baggage, you should try to put it on the shelf above the seats. Believe me, whatever you do, people around will really breathe easier.
3. RESTAURANT EMPLOYEES ACCEPT GUESTS TO THEIR PLACES
In most Japanese restaurants, even if there is no one in the hall and all places are free, you do not immediately go straight to the empty table. Instead, when you enter the institution, you ask an employee to accompany you.
The reasons why you need to do so are very different. Perhaps the waiters have not wiped the tables yet. Or between lunch and dinner, the restaurant closes for a break. Or, in the end, they are just not ready to serve you a glass of water or a cup of tea.
Directing customers to the table after all the preparations have been made is quite common for a Japanese service. Employees must make sure everything is in order before customers can take their seats. In this way, they guarantee visitors the best possible experience.
4. ACCOUNT IN JAPANESE BAN CAN EXIT MORE EXPECTED
Are you interested in idzakai, i.e. Japanese versions of pubs we are used to? “I would love to visit Japanese izakai,” foreign tourists often share with us. But what about the additions to the account called Otoshi and Sekiryo? Without knowing these features of the service in Japanese Izakayahs, you might even think that you were fooled.