Traveling To Japan? Top 5 Best Tips About Japanese Customs

“Living in a world such as this is like dancing on a live volcano.”

― Kentetsu Takamori

In recent times I’m hearing quite much the desire from a lot of people to visit the country of the rising sun, Japan, which is not an easy task for Western people.

The main issues related to that eventual trip are food and customs.

Japanese culture is greatly rich and traditional but is ruled by a very strict code.therefore I thought that place a post about some customs will be helpful to everybody.

(Unfortunately) I’ve never been yet in Japan, but I know that I will visit it for sure in the future, therefore I thought that place a post about some customs will be helpful to everybody, even for me looking ahead.

Here you have then the Top 5 Best Tips about customs in Japan:

1. Don’t Use The Number “4”

The word “four” in Japanese sounds really like the word “death” – as for Western cultures the number “13”, the number “4” in Japan is very unlucky.

One example is that oftenly the elevator labels will be missing the fourth floor – and in extreme cases, they will not have floors “40” to “49”. Number “49” is especially unlucky because it sounds very similar to the phrase that means ” pain until death”.


2. Don’t Tip or Pour Your Own Glass

In many countries, and/or cultures, is really common to pour a drink to your mates while drinking or eating before you pour to yourself a drink. But in Japan, the second action will be considered rude – you need then to pour a drink to others and then wait that the mates you are eating with do the same with you!

Furthermore, after finishing the meal, don’t tip the waiter or waitress, because can be seen as rude or even insulting – they could even chase you up to give you back your money!

3. Don’t Blow Your Nose Public

For us, it could be really “normal” to blow our nose while walking, talking, eating, etc. In Japan, instead, being an action to “hygienize yourself”, is considered rude or disgusting.

Usually, people sniffle until they find a more private room or place to proceed with the blowing.

4. Use The Slippers

Is very common to see in movies that people in Japan use the slippers any time they get into a house, a temple or even traditional restaurants. But the unexpected is that you could find slippers even at the door of the bathroom!

The trick: just use the slippers any time you come accross a couple of them and you won’t ever fail!


5. Give Gifts!

Gifts are really great considered in the Japan so anytime you’re hosted by a Japanese give him or her a gift! They way you present the gift is also important, therefore, don’t underestimate this.

You can use gifts instead of tips if you want to.

What you can’t do also in Japan is to refuse a gift, but obviously is better “giving” than “receiving”.

Only to go a bit further, people from any country like to hear from foreigners some words in their own language, so here you have a web page with a few Useful Japanese Phrases.


I hope you enjoyed this post and that you’ll keep it in mind once you will be traveling to Japan!


Did you have already experiences in Japan regarding strange customs? Feel free to leave a comment telling which kind of custom surprised to you and how was the situation!


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