Taiken Japan

Autumn Leaves 2016

It's Okay in Japan : Different Country, Different Culture

Photo: Freedom II Andres on Flickr

It's Okay in Japan : Different Country, Different Culture

Sanny Soedjatmiko Hartanto

First of all, you have known about the chopsticks etiquette in Japan, right? Isn’t it too difficult to remember it for you? Yeah, sometimes I also feel that Japan has so many rules that sometimes make me confused about which one is okay and which one is inappropriate. Surprisingly, there are some rules that are impolite or inappropriate in other countries, but they are okay in Japan. What are those rules then? Let’s learn about them!

No Tips in Japan !

Photo : Lea Latumahina on Flickr
This is the first thing that is really cool about Japanese culture, I think. Japanese people do not give tips to any restaurants or hotel clerks. In many countries I have gone, I always give some tips to any restaurants I have visited. But, in Japan, when I want to give tips to any restaurants, they refuse it. Without tips, a sense of equality is built between everyone. Because of this culture, Japanese service industry is the one of the best in the world.

Being Indirect

Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal
Photo : Pedro Ribeiro Simões on Flickr
Maybe in your country, when you have something to say, it is better to say it directly, not to hid anything behind it, and just say it honestly. Surprisingly, Japanese people don’t like that. They usually do not address the matter directly. When Japanese people complain about something, they will say it in a lighter way that makes you need to think about the hidden meaning of it. For example, Japanese people will always say how good it is in front of you although they think it was just so-so. Keep calm and get the hidden meaning of it!

Doing Noise When Eating

Photo : val.pearl on Flickr
Have you ever gone to Japan before? Do you notice that Japanese people are producing noise while they are eating noodles? Yes, maybe you will think that it is rude in your country, but it is okay in Japan. It is also known that the food will tastes much better when they eat and produce noise at the same time. Isn’t it really interesting?

No Need to Open the Door for Other People

Photo : Hernán Piñera on Flickr
This detail is so interesting. In my country, men usually open door for women. If you don’t do that, women will consider you as not being a gentlemen. Surprisingly, it is different in Japan. In Japan, there is no such this thing. It is known that there is no relation between being gentlemen and open the door for women. What do you think about that?

At Last


At last, I want to say, “Different Country makes Different Culture!” What is the important part then? Although, some countries have different cultures than yours, you should learn about their cultures and respect them. There is one short verse of Japanese about respecting other cultures, 郷に入れば郷に従え (Gou ni ireba, gou ni sitagae). It means when you go to some places, you must take its rules or cultures and respect them. It's such a good verse, isn’t it?