When travelling to a new place, you might encounter a “culture shock” which could make you frustrating and embarrassing. But it could also be interesting as you will come across something new. Let’s go and explore a different Japan!
- Dining Etiquette
There are some similarities about table manners between Japan my home country China, for example we do not play with chopsticks while eating and point your chopsticks at others which are very impolite. But when I searched online, I found some uncommon things and I was a bit shocked. The first thing is never pass food with your chopsticks, if doing so it would remind Japanese of the ritual of passing cremated bones between chopsticks at funerals. The second custom is in Japan you can never waste any food and if you ask waiters to take home all the leftovers at restaurants it is seemed to be inappropriate.
Another difference is when you have Ramen in Japan; you need to slurp noodles loudly. The louder you eat, the yummier your food is. And eating noodles too quietly could be seen as lack of enjoyment of the food.
- Keep to the beaten track
It is well known that Japanese are extremely mannered as they follow rules everywhere. It seemed to be unbelievable that you aren’t allowed to make phone calls on the train or bus, people talk in low volume or keep silent in public area because speak loudly can be a rude behaviour.
There are so many things we can barely understand and sometimes we might feel confused, but what we need to do while travelling is to embrace culture differences and enjoying them instead of complaint. Each culture is a unique identity, just experience, indulge in and be challenged by a new place.
Rodgers, G. (n.d.). Japanese Dining Etiquette and Table Manners. Retrieved May 11, 2015.