Voices
in
Japan

have your say

What habits have you picked up from living in Japan that you sometimes have to try and stop yourself doing when you go overseas because you don't think it will look right?

31 Comments

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments
Login to comment

Bowing, taking off my shoes in the house, and putting toilet paper around the toilet seat rim to make the seat warmer. Anyway, I tell people that Japan is great health and manners wise, and it’s a country that grows on you.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I almost forgot, bowing when people let me pass and bowing when talking on the phone.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Last time I went back to my home country, at dinner with my mother, I picked up my plate to push the food in my mouth, just as I would do with a bowl of rice.

I didn't even realize what I was doing until I saw the puzzled look on her face.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Slurping when you eat anything. Like, literally anything...even sandwiches

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Waiting for the green flashing man before crossing the road even when there are no cars in sight.  Yes, not only removing my shoes but surprised that others need to be asked.  Not everybody likes to either.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I've got into a weird habit of adding "ne" to the end of English sentences when I'm talking to my kids. Last time I was in the UK I became hyper-aware of it and irritated myself no end.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Going along with people even though I disagree with them.

I hardly ever go back to the States but when I do I always forget that I'm allowed to have an opinion there.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I've got into a weird habit of adding "ne" to the end of English sentences when I'm talking to my kids. Last time I was in the UK I became hyper-aware of it and irritated myself no end.

That's a huge pet peeve of mine, though I try to not be judgemental. To be fair though, I went through my own period of that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Having to eat a snack when you're out having a drink.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

.

I dropped a lot of tacky habits when living in Japan - and picked up some gentile ones ( which I try to maintain) . . . In spite of the some of the crass mannersiams id'd above, that can be pretty annoying ( like sneezing in public without covering ones mouth or j teen girls applying makeup on public transit) I find J are a gracious people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bowing in shops when I take my change or item over the counter (didn't know I was doing until a friend pointed it out), and taking my shoes off at the door.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I dropped a lot of tacky habits when living in Japan - and picked up some gentile ones

I think you meant genteel, unless they are particularly non-Jewish habits you picked up.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Keeping a seat in a busy cafe with your bag before you have even queued for your coffee. (It is such an annoying thing here)

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Even when I answer my smartphone in London or New York, I'm still "moshi! moshi!" and bowing too. Strange looks from people.

Falling a sleep on the underground train on the way home on a Friday night.

Picking my bogies and flicking them at the other passengers.

Constant use of "hai" when people are talking to me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Asking for a real menu in a bar, and not tipping.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Avoiding to watch people directly in the eyes. Standing all day at work (coworkers nearly beat me to force me to sit at a desk).

the States but when I do I always forget that I'm allowed to have an opinion there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In summer I stand outside my building in my underwear and stare at passersby. You can't really do that in the UK.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Chico3Sep. 25  07:33 am JST

Bowing, taking off my shoes in the house, and putting toilet paper around the toilet seat rim to make the seat warmer. Anyway, I tell people that Japan is great health and manners wise, and it’s a country that grows on you.

Why would you try and stop yourself from wearing shoes in the house? I know it's made a big deal of here but, as a general rule, people where I'm from don't wear shoes in the house either due to snow, mud and it just generally being kind of gross. The same goes for my spouse's home country. Neither of us are from Japan or Asia and are from very different places to each other. Even as a kid, it always confused me when I'd see movies or TV shows where the characters would put their shoe-clad feet on the furniture. Had my siblings or I done that it would have resulted in severe punishment from any nearby adult.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Kicking myself for forgetting to get money from the ATM and then realizing that outside technologically-advanced and convenient Japan, ATMs are free to use 24/7.

Why would you try and stop yourself from wearing shoes in the house?

Exactly. I don't wear shoes inside the home in my home country. And many Asians outside Japan don't either. It's not a uniquely Japanese thing.

And I've never added 'ne' to the end of sentences in English, bowed on the phone (never seen a Japanese person do that either), or use 'man' in English to mean 10,000. That last one is stupid. Either say or write 10,000 or just speak/write Japanese.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Casually calling garbage "gomi" and cockroaches "gokiburi." Asking my Canadian friends if they're "genki."

When a waitress asked if I wanted a coffee refilled, I waved my hand while saying no thanks. She laughed and mimicked the movement before I explained I had just been in Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sucking air through my front teeth, looking downward, and furrowing my brow before speaking.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I don'tdirectly look at women and instead look in my bag, pull out my smartphone behind me or stare at the ground until I realize I am back home and not seen

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oops, slippery fingers. ... not seen as a gaijin and can actually look at women and even smile at them or give a compliment without it being seen as a threat or some type of perversion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ne and yo. Mixing in convenient Japanese words into my English conversations. Finishing my food with my bowl against my mouth

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Staring at all the Gaijin on the train.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Telling my elderly mum I can’t get on the roof to do any repairs for her without high winds.

Roaring ‘beer!’ at staff without saying please.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yawning with your mouth wide open and uncovered.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sneezing and making it sound like a hand grenade just went off.

Actually waving and saying "bye bye" or "see you,~ even to male friends.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Too many to number. My daughter picks me up on the worst, so with a bit of self-correction I am sort of covered. It’s the sudden unexpected situations that catch you out, though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Standing in front of shop doors expecting them to open automatically.

Thinking the quite big copper coloured coin in the UK is a 10 like a 10 yen coin. It's 2 pence.

I'm also a Japanese drinker now and must have snacks. I end up eating more calories than I drink.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've got into a weird habit of adding "ne" to the end of English sentences when I'm talking to my kids. Last time I was in the UK I became hyper-aware of it and irritated myself no end.

Same, except with "deshou".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites