As many will know, the standard level of etiquette in Japan is quite high compared to other countries. With that in mind, I thought it would be prudent to make a basic outline of the done thing.


Out and about:



  • When meeting someone, it's polite to greet them with a handshake or bow. For thanking someone or apologizing, it's respectful to bow. Also, make sure you appear interested and lively upon meeting people, as seeming indifferent doesn't do you any favours.
  • Do not eat or drink in the street, this can be considered rude. Same goes for using mobile phones and raising your voice in public.
  • Also, make sure your hair is dry before going out because as above, it can be seen as rude. As a general rule, looking scruffy in public isn't favourable and you're likely to get a few funny looks. So try to appear tidy.
  • It's considered more polite to refuse any offered assistance and to then accept it if you're asked again.
  • If you're to wear a kimono, always wear the left side on the right as the opposite is only done at funerals.


Dining:



  • Do not set down a bowl of rice on the table; hold the bowl of rice in one hand and then use the other to hold/use your chopsticks.
  • Making wild movements or pointing chopsticks at others is rude, and don't "stab" your food with them either.
  • Dip, don't pour; it's more polite to dip food in soy sauce rather than pouring it as this can be quite insulting to the cook/chef. Unless of course, you're eating tofu.
  • Don't be a Homer Simpson - wolfing down food like it's going out of fashion is considered bad manners. Take the time to savour the flavours and textures of whatever you're eating.
  • If you're with others and drinking alcohol, do not pour for yourself. You are expected to pour for others as they will pour for you.


These are the basics so if you have any questions about visiting other places, post them below.