The chances that you like Japan are high. But that's not to say that there aren't dangers, challenges, and culture clashes you'll face. And today we are going to see some cultural challenges, differences in culture and things that only exist in Japan.
Remembering that most of these points are unimportant or affect the minority, but should be mentioned. This article is more curiosity, we have others talking about cultural differences that visitors face.
We recommend reading:
- Difficulties that tourists face in Japan
- 10 Difficulties in Learning the Japanese Language
- Differences between Japanese Games, Movies and Media with Westerners
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Japan's cultural challenges
Label Rules – They are quite different from the west, but there are little things like leaving chopsticks (chopsticks) stuck in the food plate, which is considered disrespectful.
Seiza - It is a formal and common way of sitting in Japan, you sit on your knees, it can be painful for those who are not used to it.
Excess of Nerds and Otakus - Youth is full of nerds, addicted to anime, games, some too addicted to fashion, always wearing extravagant and different clothes, this can cause a great cultural impact, if you don't live with it.
Education - The politeness is so great and indescribable that you might be scared to see the Japanese talking every time you find yourself inside the store: Irasshai. Or apologizing for any reason.
tattoos – Japanese society does not like tattoos. Tattoos are strongly associated with criminality (Yakuza). You will not enter most public baths or gyms if you have a tattoo.
Read more: Tattoo and Yakuza
Nudity - Onsen are one of the best reasons to visit Japan. If you're shy, prepare yourself, because it's very common to be naked in public baths or even on other occasions, Japanese don't care in that sense. In the past, nudity between the opposite sex was common in public baths, but now it has become something uncommon.
Read too: Onsen - Natural Hot Springs of Japan
Stupid Foreigners / Baka Gaijin - You will find people who work to earn money but complain about life in Japan. Some do not adapt to the culture and complain about Japan in a prejudiced way. Associating too much with negative people will make you discouraged, keep some distance.
Japan's Cultural Differences
Leave belongings thrown - It is very common to find bicycles without any locks left on the street, people leave their belongings in restaurant chairs to go elsewhere, and no one steals, no need to be afraid. This can scare away visitors.
Take off the shoes - Even knowing that you should take your shoes off in most places you enter, be careful not to forget or embarrass yourself.
Making Noise Sucking Noodles – This in the west is considered impolite, but in Japan, not making noise and sucking noodles is disrespectful, a way of saying you don't like noodles, so make noise without hesitation.
No, you shouldn't blow your nose in public - I don't need to leave details, just don't, it's uncommon in Japan.
Sleep we trains - Many newcomers to Japan are not familiar with the custom of sleeping on trains, this is extremely common and funny, this practice is called Inemuri.
We recommend reading: Inemuri – Japanese people napping in public places
Masks - It is very common japanese wear masks to avoid allergies, pass diseases to others. You might be scared to see people wearing masks in a common way. I think that's a great thing, but unusual abroad.
Japanese TV - If you haven't watched it, you'll be scared by the programming, the bizarre commercials that appear on Japanese TV. It's a massive culture shock to Japanese programming, its 15-second trailers and crazy reality shows.
Notable differences from Japan
Everything is too cute and too cute - The term kawaii, is part of Japan, anywhere you will come across things that look childish, colorful and cute. Police posters looks more like a cartoon banner.
The nightlife is too good - The nightlife in Tokyo is so good that some people forget about themselves and take things a little too far. There are thousands of restaurants and bars everywhere.
Crowded Streets - Yes, the streets can be crowded in big cities, you will be scared, but you will feel calm with the organization and security that the country provides. Best of all, no one bothers you or disrespects you.
Lack of sidewalks - In many neighborhoods and places in Japan there are no sidewalks but small alleys. Some streets are so small that no more than one car passes, or sometimes no car at all, they are pedestrian only.
Different bathrooms - Public restrooms can have a different shape than the known, and in homes and other places they can be quite technological full of buttons that throw water. Some even lift the lid and flush themselves.
uniforms – Even though in many countries schools and companies wear uniforms, you will notice the huge difference and impact in Japan.
Many vending machines - You will be scared by the amount of machines, places where they are. Sometimes even at the door of supermarkets. There are machines that sell everything from rice to panties.
Of course I didn't quote even half of what I should, however, there are many points that don't fit culturally, or that need more detail, but know that Japan can have a huge cultural impact.
It may seem like you are on another planet, even with television programs, or reading articles, you will not even know 10% the things that differentiate Japan from the rest of the world. This can be a good or bad experience, it depends on which one.
I hope you enjoyed the article, if you liked it, share and leave your comments. Thank you and see you next time!