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| Published in Interesting Facts Travel and Love | Written by Patricia May

10 Things to Know before Your Travel to Japan

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So, you are travelling to Japan. This enigmatic country attracts tourists from all over the world, as it’s literarily built on contrasts. Only here you can find the blend of old traditions and new technology, gorgeous natural landscapes and ultramodern cities, unusual culture and language that are so distinct. So to avoid unpleasant surprises or disappointments, here are some things you should know about Japan before you set your foot within its borders.

  1. No tips.

In Japan, people who have a job in a sphere of services are paid a subsistent salary, and it is not customary to pay more. So, if you are used to leave tips at restaurants, taxis, bars and, salons – relax and save your yens for tasty sushi with tuna!

  1. Cash only.

Japan is a cash-based country. Therefore, you will be unable to use your credit card in most places. If you want to buy something or eat, you should convert your money first.

  1. Trash issue.

You will not find a trash can in the center of the city since they are dangerous in the clouded places. The cans are usually grouped together in some open area. So, you will have to carry your garbage with you until you see one.

  1. Neat freaks.

They really are! In Japan, you have to take off your shoes when you enter a room. Well, it concerns not only to someone’s flat, but also a restraint or any other carpeted room. So, take care of wearing nice socks without holes in them!

  1. An exclamation of welcome that may frighten you out of your senses.

You enter a restaurant, and the staff shouts at you: irasshaimaseeee! If you think that they are yelling at you, because they are angry – relax. It is a welcome, alerting the rest of the staff to the new visitor.

  1. Speak softly.

A stereotype about Western tourists in Japan is that they speak too loudly. If you are in a public place and you are the loudest there, then you will be considered as a rude person.

  1. Ninjas on the street.

If you enter a metro and see a lot of people wearing masks – do not be frightened. In Japan, people tend to get sick less, at least because catching a cold is not considered as a valid reason to miss work. Try not to sneeze in public, unless you want to become a reason of someone’s heart attack.

You drank a glass of beer at the bar and decided to go to the restroom. More likely, that all you will see there is a hole in the ground. And one more thing: suit yourself with toilet paper since the Japanese bathrooms do not stock it.

  1. They are so friendly.

Japanese people are extremely polite. They say ‘thank you’ million times a day, so you have to keep your good manners, too. Say ‘Argatou gozaimasu’ for everything.

  1. ‘Thanks for tasty food. And what was that?’

It is a great possibility that a menu will be written in Japanese. Some restaurants have a special menu for tourists, still Japanese often make use of the animal parts that considered to be trash in the rest of the world. You may order a chicken and get fried cartilage. Well, at least it will be tasty!