Japanese Etiquette Tips You May Not Know About

Japanese Etiquette Tips You May Not Know About

Taxi Tricks

Japan is the epicenter of technology, so it's no surprise that even taxis are high-tech there. The rear door on the sidewalk side, where passengers get in, is automated. So while you may be used to letting yourself in and out, leave it to the driver and door in this case. This quirk often trips up first time visitors to Japan. (Etiquette Guide to Japan)

Trash Can Treasure Hunt

In Tokyo, as well as other parts of Japan, trash cans in public places are rare. Your best bet is usually a convenience store or train platform, where they're often located. However, if you purchase something from a shop or quick-serve eatery, you can give the vendor any trash from items you purchased from them, such as an ice cream cone wrapper. (Cool Tokyo Guide)

Chopstick Care

Whether you're a pro at maneuvering chopsticks or are new to the art form, there are a few simple rules you should stick to when picking up chopsticks in Japan.

1. Don't stand chopsticks upright in your dish (it has associations with death). Instead, when you need to use your hands for something else, set them down on the edge of your plate or on the provided rest.

2. Don't use your own chopsticks to serve yourself from a shared dish. (This one is pretty self explanatory.)

3. Don't pass something directly from chopstick to chopstick. Again, there are negative connotations surrounding this practice. (Kyoto and Nara Tuttle Travel Pack)

Fitting Room Rules

Japan is home to some of the best and most famous shopping in the world. If you're tempted by Japanese fashion and find yourself in a fitting room, there are some practices which separate Japanese fitting rooms from our American ones. 

First, it's customary to remove your shoes (as it is in many situations in Japan) before entering a fitting room. In women's fitting rooms there are often disposable paper face covers to protect makeup from getting all over the clothes. (Why don't we have those?) (Cool Tokyo Guide)

Stay in Your Lane

When you board the New York City Subway or the Tube in London, it's a free-for-all. While things can get crazy in Japan's biggest cities during rush hour (simply because of the number of people), Japan is generally much more civilized when it comes to public transportation. On many platforms, you'll see lanes painted on the floor. Passengers use these to board in an orderly fashion. (Etiquette Guide to Japan)