14 Japan Etiquette Rules

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Do you know the rules of etiquette in Japan, responsible for developing an educated population? In this article, we are going to talk about exactly the rules of etiquette in Japan also known as Nihon no kihon reigi sahō [日本の基本礼儀作法].

Business Card in Japan

It is indispensable in formal presentations to teachers, businessmen and even journalists. The meishi [名詞], as he is known in Japanese, cannot fail to meet and establish contact with a new person who has relevance in his work.

It is interesting to have your card in English or English and the back in Japanese, to avoid any kind of communication problem. Visitors must hand over their card first and always to the most important person. Always deliver with the text in the direction of the person who will receive it and do it with both hands.

14 etiquette rules from japan


In public transport, the ideal is to hang up the phone or leave it in silence. However, it is possible to send messages if it is more urgent. Inside cinemas, theaters and hospitals, it is strictly forbidden to leave cell phones on. At the hospital, attention must be paid to avoid generating any kind of interference with the medical equipment.

We have already written an article talking in detail about curiosities about cell phones in Japan. When you read it you will see that many Japanese people still prefer flip-type phones, those that open and close.

14 etiquette rules from japan


The hierarchy within an office is highly respected. This is seen in the distribution of tables within an office and even inside the elevator. The superiors are always away from any type of door and the youngest or in less significant positions are closer to the entrance and exit of the places. Even when parking vehicles, the same rule is used.

The Japanese have certain superstitions in relation to numbers. Floors like 4 and 9 are deadly, because they resemble death and obscurity. In some places the elevators do not have numbers 4 and 9.

14 etiquette rules from japan

Board the train

Any type of public transport in Japan has well-defined and respected rules for boarding and disembarking passengers. Signs are followed to the letter, even at the most critical times.

As soon as the vehicle opens its doors, wait for all passengers to disembark in the reserved area at the entrance. Only then board with the other passengers. A curiosity: in Tokyo, when climbing a ladder, leave the right side free for the most hurried. In Osaka, the usual thing is to leave the left side free.

14 etiquette rules from japan

Making noise when eating

If in the West the important thing is to eat without making any noise, in Asia, to show your satisfaction in enjoying a meal, the ideal is to make a lot of noise. Especially when the dish comes with broths, like ramen and under the.

It does not mean that you should chew like a retard. It's not to chew with your mouth open or anything, just when it's time to suck the noodles, you don't have to worry about doing it silently.

14 etiquette rules from japan


The chopsticks, those 2 chopsticks which are Japanese cutlery, have their specific rules. It is not good to cross them when holding food. The general custom is to hold the rice bowl with your left hand and use your right hand to pick up the food with the chopsticks.

Never stick chopsticks on white rice in a chawan (bowl). This gesture has a bad omen for the Japanese, in addition to being inelegant. The ideal is to keep the chopsticks on the small base reserved for him (hashioki), when not in use.

14 etiquette rules from japan

Tea break

In many Japanese houses, green tea, coffee or black tea is offered, according to the preference of the guest. The Japanese do not drink green tea with sugar or milk. Many times green tea is accompanied by Japanese sweet.

14 etiquette rules from japan

Dining Out IN JAPAN

Some restaurants display reproductions made of wax in the windows of the dishes they serve. You can choose from these imitations or photos from the menu. It is not necessary to tip in Japan.

14 etiquette rules from japan


Shoes inside the house, no way. Even in the early years of school, children leave their shoes in personal lockers and put on sneakers or slippers, depending on the establishment.

So it is always good to have your shoes internally clean and, if you have socks on, check that they are in good condition. After all, keeping your feet off your shoes is almost inevitable in Japan.

14 etiquette rules from japan


Basic premise when drinking with Japanese: your glass will not be empty. Usually people serve each other, it is not customary to serve the glass itself. The members of the group watch the glasses of the others, and serve more as they empty.

So, if you don't want to drink so much, the ideal is to drink very slowly. The Japanese don't just drink withdraw, but they also enjoy beer, wine and whiskey.

14 etiquette rules from japan

Sitting at the table

Before the meal each person says itadakimasu, and after, gochisousama deshita. Both phrases express appreciation for the food. In private residences, several dishes are usually served for each one.

Individual portions are placed for guests on their own dishes in a defined position: cooked vegetables in the upper left corner, vegetables with Japanese seasoning in the upper right corner, grilled fish in the center, steamed rice in the lower left corner, Japanese pickles in the center below the fish, soy soup, and the chopsticks below everything, closer to those who eat.

14 etiquette rules from japan


Japanese temples and shrines are places to admire nature and also to pray. And, to pray, it is good to follow some rules when visiting Shinto shrines, for example: two bows, two claps and two bows. This is the correct way to begin your thanks and requests to heaven.

14 etiquette rules from japan

Visiting a friend

If you visit a friend in the morning, greet him with Ohayou gozaimasu. In the afternoon, with konnichiwa, and at night with konbanwa.

The host can respond with ohairi kudasai (please enter), to invite you in. When entering the front door, say "ojama shimasu", which means "Excuse me, I'm going to enter your house". Before entering, always remember to remove your shoes.

14 etiquette rules from japan


Basic: go to the booths or rooms to change your clothes and wrap yourself in the appropriate towel. Many people even put on bikinis and swimwear to feel even more comfortable taking a shower before entering the onsen.

Unlike the sat (public bath), where they are separated for men and women, some onsen, for being in the open and natural pools, accept people of both sexes. You must enter the onsen completely naked. Entry with towels or bathing suits is not allowed.

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3 thoughts on “14 Regras de Etiqueta do Japão”

  1. Não Luis, raramente tem alguns constrangimento quanto ao ousen no Japão. A cultura oriental é muito ”inocente” no quesito nudismo. Raramente eles veem maldade ou malicia nas coisas. Embora com a ”ocidentalização” do Japão, isso está mudando aos poucos.