Japanese etiquette: Do’s and don’ts for travellers in Japan


At the moment, all we can do is dream about a trip to Japan.

But when we can go, a Melbourne-based TikTokker has some sound advice about Japanese etiquette.

Tina Pik, who posts TikToks under the handle hangrybynature, has travelled extensively through Japan and has a list of things to avoid if you want to avoid “judge-y stares” from the locals.

Over five videos she explains some common pitfalls to avoid.

Here we go … 

1. When you’re in the supermarket, don’t poke or squeeze the fresh produce

“Trust me, the only put out the freshest fruit and veg … just grab and go,” she advises.

2. Do not eat or drink while walking

Unfortunately for us coffee-loving Australians, walking and drinking coffee counts too. “You will get judge-y stares,” warns Tina.

3. Don’t try on clothes in a store without a face cover

This prevents makeup from staining the material.

Free face covers are provided when you enter the change rooms. Picture: Hangrybynature / TikTok

4. Don’t barter when it comes to the price of items

“Don’t haggle … it’s not like other parts of Asia where this is common practice”.

5. Don’t put your bag on a free train seat

It’s just common courtesy really. As Tina says, “that should be a universal thing”.

It’s true. This behaviour is universally annoying. Picture: Hangrybynature / TikTok

6. Don’t walk into a fitting room with your shoes on

Take them off before entering to keep everything clean.

7. Don’t expect everyone to know English

Try to learn some Japanese before you go. Tina highly recommends the app Lingodeer for learning some handy phrases for your travels.

8. Don’t be too enthusiastic with PDAs

Public displays of affection tend to make Japanese people a little uncomfortable, so maybe save it for when you’re behind closed doors (or when you’re in a love hotel).

9. Don’t talk on the phone on public transport

You will, again, get judge-y stares for ruining the peace.

Leave the phone call for after your train journey. Picture: Hangrybynature / TikTok

Leave the phone call for after your train journey. Picture: Hangrybynature / TikTok

10. Don’t blow your nose in public

It’s considered bad manners or “just kind of gross” according to Tina. “Sniffle it back in, or go to the bathroom to get those boogers out,” is her advice.

11. Don’t place money directly into cashier’s hands

Put it on the little tray that is provided.

12. Don’t stand on the wrong side of the escalator

Keep left if you’re not in a hurry, otherwise you’ll annoy the people trying to overtake you. 

13. Don’t leave your backpack on inside public transport

Because nobody wants a backpack in the face.

14. Don’t go barefoot or wear house slippers into the toilet

There’s a special pair of toilet slippers for that part of the house.

15. Don’t pull open the taxi door

The doors open automatically in Japanese taxis. It’s super handy and makes you feel like you’re in a robot car.

The taxi doors open automatically. It’s super handy when you have heaps of shopping etc. Picture: Hangrybynature / TikTok

See also:

–My accidental trip to a Japanese bondage bar

–The Aussie slang terms that baffle foreigners

–Man reveals ‘lies’ people are told about Australia

–Lockdown memes are back (and funnier than ever)

– Sneaky Macca’s drive-thru move on Google Earth

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.