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.
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”.
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.
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.
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