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You can have surprised these Japanese Etiquette in Japan

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Japanese Etiquette that Surprises Foreigners

  1. Exchanging Business Cards (名刺交換 – Meishi Kōkan)
    • Reason for Surprise:
      • In Japan, presenting and receiving business cards is a formal and ritualistic process. Foreigners are often surprised by the level of respect given to these cards. People carefully examine the card, and it’s considered impolite to put it in a pocket or write on it.
  2. Bowing (お辞儀 – Ojigi)
    • Reason for Surprise:
      • The frequency and depth of bows in Japan can surprise foreigners. Bows are used as a form of greeting, apology, gratitude, and respect. The level of the bow can convey different meanings, and understanding this non-verbal communication can be initially challenging for newcomers.
  3. Quiet Public Spaces (静かな公共の場 – Shizuka na Kōkyō no Ba)
    • Reason for Surprise:
      • Public spaces in Japan, such as trains, buses, and waiting areas, are remarkably quiet. Many foreigners are surprised by the collective effort to maintain a peaceful environment. Talking loudly on public transportation or in quiet areas is generally frowned upon.
  4. Shoes Off Indoors (室内では靴を脱ぐ – Shitsunai de wa Kutsu o Nugu)
    • Reason for Surprise:
      • It is customary to remove shoes when entering someone’s home, certain traditional accommodations, and even some businesses. Foreigners might be taken aback initially, but this practice ensures cleanliness and respect for indoor spaces.
  5. Cash Transactions (現金主義 – Genkin Shugi)
    • Reason for Surprise:
      • While credit cards are widely accepted, Japan has a strong preference for cash transactions. Foreigners might be surprised by the limited use of cards in some places, and cash is often the preferred method of payment. This can be different from the cashless trends in some other countries.

Understanding and adapting to these Japanese manners will not only help in avoiding cultural misunderstandings but also contribute to building positive relationships with locals. Embracing these customs showcases respect for Japan’s unique traditions and fosters a smoother integration into the local community.

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