Japan combines culture, traditions and modernity in an exceptional and masterly manner; traveling in the land of the Rising Sun is a unique and unforgettable experience.
The beauty of the territories, the image of cherry trees in bloom, sanctuaries, modern and ancient buildings and their landscapes arouse strong appeal and curiosity on western people.
Their culture is much more “rigid”, rigorous, compared to ours and, for this reason, those who choose to visit this land must absolutely remember and respect their rules. Let’s find out some to be considered gaijin ideals, strangers.
Being invited home by a Japanese is an honor and you must behave appropriately. It is good practice to present yourself with a gift, carefully wrapped; discarding it in the presence of guests is however rude.
Also appreciated is removing shoes when entering a Japanese house as well as in some public places, in places of worship or in a spa; in this case, the guest will have to stay with its own socks or, in some cases, will be able to wear slippers, disposable, specially prepared for guests, the uwabaki, provided by the landlord.
For those who want to sleep in a hotel, in Japan, there are some of them with “capsule” rooms, a traumatic solution for those used to large rooms. The dimensions of each room, in fact, are similar to those of a coffin; this is a convenient and practical solution especially for those passing through.
Some guidelines, for example, concern the consumption of food and drink. Itadakimasu, enjoy your meal! In Japan, there are rules regarding eating.
Eating on the street, for example, is considered to be an inelegant action and behavior that does not respect the environment and clichés; for this reason, public areas have been set up in Japan with vending machines and waste bins.
Moreover, if for us the noisy eating is embarrassing, for the Japanese, instead, it is an indication of appreciation because it is a sign that we like what we are eating, as well as consuming all the meal.
Even in drinking, there are several labels to respect and accept. For example, it is considered rude to pour alcohol into one’s own glass while it is respectful to pour it into that of the other guests, in order of seniority; they say “Kanpai” to make a toast while our “cin-cin” can arouse hilarity for the meaning it assumes in their language.
About food and drink, it is important to remember the rules concerning the payment of the bill in the public place. In Japan, once the meal is eaten, ready to leave the room, the bill must not be handed over to the cashier but must be placed on the prepared tray; moreover the tip is not left because it is considered a disrespectful gesture and the money will be returned. In their culture, in fact, “serving the other” is considered a gesture of honor and respect.
These are some of the many Japanese “rules”. A way to reflect and compare two cultures, the eastern and the western, different from each other, in some cases.
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