General Rules to Follow in Japan

Japan is known for its rules that help govern the flow and way of life of Japanese and tourists alike. While these are not written laws, they are still rules that everyone follows, so try to do the same when you visit Japan (it makes life a lot easier).

Quiet on the trains – When riding on the subways and trains in Japan, most people are silent. Most people are either in their phones, reading, or even sleeping. They also do not eat while riding the rails, so when you board, keep it quiet and just enjoy the ride to your destination. If you must take a call, there are compartments between the cars you can use but normally people are quiet and just waiting for their stop.

Don’t tip – I repeated this a few times on this blog already, but it needs repeating, don’t tip! There is not reason for it, the Japanese don’t do it, so save your extra money and keep it moving. Tips are included in the cost of services and Japanese usually feel insulted or just strange if you offered a tip, so don’t do it.

Follow the signs – There are signs everywhere in Japan, most are even in English, so follow them. They will help you find your way and its how everyone gets around during the day. This includes the cross walks, so pay attention and read the signs to figure out where you are going (also helps you avoid getting lost and looking like a normal tourist).

Don’t walk and eat – Japanese don’t eat and walk at the same time (same with drinks) when moving about the cities. They usually will eat at the restaurant or just wait till they get to a spot they are able to stay at before chowing down (or just eat outside the convenience store). It’s what they do, how they keep everything clean, so make sure to follow their lead.

Be mindful – This is a very broad one, but be very mindful of your surroundings. For example, don’t get into a big argument in public or make a big scene. It is consider rude and very unbecoming. Japanese tend to keep to themselves and are quite private, whether its walking to working or riding the trains, they simply keep to themselves. So if you are with a group and want to take a big, “fun” picture in the middle of Shibuya, just have a little respect. You will probably block a walk way and annoy people along the way, so be mindful of your decisions.


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