15 Things You Should Never Do in Japan Trip

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Should never do in Japan

In Japan, there are so many rules which are different from other countries. If you don’t know them, you may be embarrassed. In this article, we” ll introduce major rules to you. Please read this article before going to Japan and you don’t have to be embarrassed.

Basic Knowledge in Japan Trip

Getting a line

It’s natural to get a line if Japanese people are busy and have no time since cutting in a line is so rude. Whenever they have something to do, they get a line at the end of a line. For example, buying something at a supermarket, praying at a shrine, waiting a train, you have to line up.

Taking off your shoes indoors

Wearing shoes is unclean for Japanese, so Japanese take off their shoes in their house or traditional Japanese inn “Ryokan(旅館)”and put on slippers instead of wearing shoes when it’s a bit chilly. At first, I was very surprised to see people putting on their shoes in American drama.

There are spaces for keeping outdoor shoes called “Genkan(玄関)”; therefore you have to take off your shoes when you go to a Japanese friend’s house. In addition, you don’t have to take shoes at a restaurant, cafeteria, of course, supermarket.

Some old type toilets

Toilets made in Japan are high quality with washlet and warmer seat; however, there are some old toilets in somewhere. Many people think all of toilets in Japan are high quality.

Without a big supermarket, convenience store at urban area and shopping mall, there are some old type toilet with no warmer toilet and washlet. If you can’t use good toilet, please don’t’ be depressed.

No need for tips

It’s unnatural to pay tips to someone for Japanese since there is no culture of tips. You may usually pay tip to someone, restaurant clerks, hotel men and taxi driver; however, you don’t have to pay any tip. If Japanese are given tip, they are confused and feel sorry. I understand tip culture but all you have to do is just to say ”Arigato(Thank you)”

Be quiet in traditional Japanese inn, Ryokan

People who stay traditional Japanese inn, “Ryokan(旅館)” enjoy an atmosphere of ryokan. There are some young people and also old people; therefore, conversation in loud voice is not suitable in ryokan. I may be very mud if people next to my table are loud while I’m eating traditional Japanese dishes in Ryokan.

Of course, you can enjoy conversation as long as you talk in normal tone voice.

Keeping the time

Japanese definitely keep the time that was promised. Even if they are late, they come within 5 minutes. From childhood, Japanese were said “Keep the time!”, so they become very punctual.

And also about a transportation, bus and train come on time. Once public transportation is late with few minutes, Japanese become angry. That’s why, it’s better for you to come on time.

While on the way somewhere Not to eat and drink

People who are eating and drinking in public space are seen as unclean. Especially, you shouldn’t eat foods in a train and bus. You may like hamburgers, which is strong smell but it’s not allowed to eat these foods in public space.

However, lunch boxes are sold in a station; therefore, you can enjoy these foods called “Ekiben(駅弁)” in a train. And also about walking, you can enjoy light meals although it’s not allowed to litter.

No smoking while walking

Smoking while walking is not good in Japan since Japanese dislike passive smoking. If you are smoker, you can smoke in smoking area which is located in shopping mall, convenience store and most of smokers in Japan use these area. So you should smoke in a designated area.

And also about some bars and pubs, smoking is allowed. So please confirm you can smoke or not.

Please be quiet in public transportation

It’s unnatural for Japanese to speak loudly in public transportation such as a bus and a train and calling in transportation is not allowed. Many Japanese spend time in public transportation, using a smartphone or reading books.

Except for Japanese, using smartphone and no speaking scene is unnatural but you shouldn’t speak loudly only in Japan. Although you must care about volume of your voice, it’s ok to talk in small voice. Please enjoy your conversation.

Door rules of public transportation

The way of opening doors of public transportation is different from a way of other countries. When you get on a bus, you have to get on it from a behind door and you get off it from a front door. And also about a train, you may have to get on it from a front door in rural area.

In urban area such as Tokyo, you don’t have to care about the below train rules but you must follow the bus rules anywhere.

How to pay a bus fee

To get on a bus in Japan, you have to pay a fee when you get off a bus. First, please take a ticket when you get on a bus. Second, push-button after the bus arrived at the previous station of your station. Lastly, you can pay a fee to a machine next to the driver. In an urban area, IC card is useful but they can not be used in a rural area, so you have to pay in cash and it’s good to have change beforehand not to waiting passengers.

Taxi doors are automatically opened

Using Japanese taxi doors, it’s not necessary to open the door by yourself because the door is opened automatically. When you wanna get on taxes, you firstly raise your hand and just wait until the door is opened. It’s dangerous to open it by yourself, so please wait.

If you want to put luggage into the back door, you must wait till drives open it since it is not opened automatically.

Hot spring manner


No need of a swimsuit

It’s not allowed to wear a swimsuit when you take a hot spring. In Japan hot spring, taking off your clothes is necessary. You have to take your clothes in a locker room and of course, you may be embarrassed; therefore, you can take a small towel into hot spring to enhance your privacy when you are in hot spring although it’s not allowed to put a towel into bathtub.

Don’t put your towel into bathtub

Putting a towel into a bathtub in hot spring is a bad manner. A towel absorbed body soap so that most Japanese use a towel for washing their bodies. Such a towel is unclean and once a towel is put into a bathtub, ingredients of body soap spread into the water and, so it’s not allowed to put a towel into a bathtub.

When you take a bath, you can put a towel on the edge of a bathtub.

Take a shower before taking a bath

Taking a shower is necessary before taking a bathtub to wash your sweat. Some kinds of people can use hot spring from children to old people together. If they don’t wash their body and take a bath, it’s so unclear.

All you have to do is washing your head, body, and legs beforehand, using a shower.

15 Things You Should Never Do in Japan trip

Should never do in Japan

Japanese is people who obey rules. So if someone cut in a line, they are angry. If someone put a towel into a bathtub, we are confused. You may be surprised to see Japanese rules because Japan has so many own rules which are different from them from any other countries but you must enjoy the beautiful scenery of Japanese nature.

Please come to Japan and if you want to know about Japan, the below articles are recommended.


The characteristic points of Nagano prefecture are a fusion between affluent nature and Japanese traditional lifestyle. Nagano is constructed in many town and village, where have originality. These regions have a different history, different culture, different nature, we can feel a side of Nagano as a treasure box.

Northern Alps in Nagano


”NAGANO TRIP” is sightseeing contents site to offer tourist information about Nagano prefecture in Japan. People who are interested in Nagano can learn and know about sightseeing contents before visit Nagano. In addition, visitor can learn and enjoy while traveling and after the trip.

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Hi, I’m university student. My hometown is Hokkaido and I live in Nagano to go to university. Actually, I haven’t been to foreign countries but I practice speaking English through online lesson. So I’m now writing articles in English. My hobbies are training, reading books, playing board games. Since communication with foreign people is very enjoyable for me, I often drink with non - Japanese. I want to let you visit Japan especially in Nagano after reading “NAGANO TRIP”. This article makes you interested!