When traveling or moving to a completely new country, it is expected that you might commit a social faux pas or two. But with some experience and being reminded that "this simply isn’t done here” by the locals, you eventually learn what the acceptable behavior is.
In Japan, as with anywhere else, there are social rules of conduct that would benefit you to follow. The only thing is, the Japanese tend to be a little shy when confronting people about their behavior. In other words, you may never know that you are offending people, as it is possible that no one will tell you. So, here are the top five etiquette mistakes to avoid when in Japan.
Eating or drinking on trains
Generally speaking, people don’t eat while walking on the street or in crowded commuter trains. It’s not necessarily rude, but it does look a little shabby and might annoy other people.
However, on the shinkansen (bullet trains) and on planes where food is served, it’s fine to consume your own food and drinks.
Speaking in a loud voice on trains
Another thing that annoys people is speaking in a loud voice on trains and other public transportation. Using your phone on a train is a definite no-no. It’s common for people to get off at the next stop to take a call rather than face the collective ire of their fellow commuters.
Japanese people tend to be less vocal and expressive when in public compared with some of their western counterparts, so please keep it down. Yes, I’m talking to you, you loud foreigner.
Public displays of affection
Although this is changing with the younger generation, the Japanese tend to be a little conservative when it comes to physical contact or displaying affection in public.
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