When visiting a new country with a different culture to what you might be used to, it’s always worrying knowing what the right thing is to do and what you absolutely must not do to not insult the locals. The Tokyo culture is very different and to help you out, we’ve got what not to do in Tokyo and what to do. Get that cheap flight to Tokyo booked and save the publically embarrassing situations for another time! Here are some things you should know when travelling to Tokyo.
DON’T tip – it’s insulting!
Something to remember with Japanese culture is that you absolutely must not tip no matter what the situation is. Whether you’re taking a taxi or eating out, don’t get the extra cash out – it’s actually considered insulting! It will be seen as you thinking you know best by going against what the set price is from authority.
DO keep hold of your rubbish
You’ll notice there are no rubbish bins in Tokyo, only very small bathroom-sized ones in hotel rooms or hostels. Even in some of the most popular areas you will not find a rubbish bin, and despite all of this, the city is litter-free! Obviously you don’t want to be littering everywhere because we know the locals won’t be happy with you, so just carry a bag to store all your rubbish in when out in the day.
DON’T wear ugly socks – you will suffer
A lot of places including homes, museums, castles and hotels you have to take your shoes off in mark of respect. If you’re visiting somewhere that is full of tourists, the Japanese culture is to have a doorman which will check your socks. If your socks are dirty, holey or disgust him, you will be asked to remove them and walk around in shame with your feet out.
TIP: A good way of seeing what properties require for you to take your shoes off is to watch the locals. They know what to do in Tokyo much better than you do.
DO just walk – absolutely nothing else
When walking in Tokyo, it is a very serious matter. The Tokyo culture is for you to take as much care when walking as when you are driving. No eating, no drinking, no smoking or talking on a mobile phone – you won’t get arrested but you’ll probably get asked to leave the area. They have English announcements every 30 minutes to enforce this and security will make sure that this rule is followed, as weird as it sounds it could interrupt your holiday.
DON’T eat cheap bentos
If the bento boxes are served in wooden boxes, ignore this, go ahead and enjoy. However do use your common sense. In general, the bento boxes get served in Styrofoam packages which are covered in plastic which are then micro-waved. We know that you’re never meant to put plastic in a microwave but Japanese culture like to leave it down to the machines.
DO visit a cat cafe
One of my personal favourites of the Tokyo culture has to be the cat cafes. You can go along to one of these pet cafes that you are able to pet and stroke for a small fee. One of the best is Nekorobi which is a “pay as you stay” cat cafe in Tokyo. It is one of my personal favourites of the Japanese culture, who doesn’t love cats? (Unless you’re allergic, I understand)
For more insight into the Tokyo culture, click here! There’s nothing more embarrassing than being told off in an unknown-city for not following their culture. Do your research before your flight to Tokyo and you’ll have a fantastic trip and really experience the city like a local.