Japanese is one of the most disciplined and polite people in the world. The following basic manners are important for foreigners to learn strictly before going to Japan.
1. Mute your cell phone while traveling
Japanese always turn their cell phone in mute mode while traveling on public buses and trains for not disturb others. There are some signs and some anouncement for cooperation. Anyway, if you need to communicate really, it is better to use text message instead.
2. Kanto stand on the left, Kansai stand on the right
Good manners for using escalator in Japan is stand on one side. For Toyko, Kanto area and others stand on left side. Only Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Hyogo, Shiga, Wakayama and Mie) stand on the right.
3. Please be in line
Queuing is very common manner for Japanese people. Restaurants, Supermarkets, Train Stations or Bus Stations, no matter how long to wait, they always be in line. So please follow them.
4. No eating while walking
Eating while walking is not polite in Japan. You may disturb people by making their clothes dirty. In case the restaurant is no seat, you should stand somewhere to finish your food.
5. Do not smoke outside designated smoking areas
There are many places designated for smoking in Japan. So please smoking in that area and do not disturb people on the way by your smoke.
6. Punctual is very important
Punctual is very seriously important in Japan. Trains, buses and other transportations will always depart and arrive on time. No flexible in any conditions. Having an appointment with Japanese is also the same. If you do not want to lose good manner personality, please remember to always be punctual.
7. Waste-separating everytimes
Before put your garbage in the trash, please be sure that you take the right one. There are many types of trash in public places, such as, burnable garbage, plastic garbage and bottles.
8. Put toilet paper in the toilet
Toilet paper in Japan is designed to decay and dissolve in water easily. So do not hestitate to throw it into the toilet after using.
9. No tipping
Japanese has service mind in their heart. Please remind that no tipping culture in Japan. If you are tipping servers at restaurants or taxi drivers, it may be considered insulting or at least confusing.
10. Put money on the cashier tray
Every shops and restaurants in Japan always has a money tray on cashier counter. Put your money on that tray when you pay for the bill. Remind that the cashier staff will not take your money until you say okay.
11. Use oshibori with hand only
Oshibori (お絞り) is a small wet towel offered to customers in Japanese restaurant. It can be hot or cold depend on the weather. Please remind that oshibori towel is for cleaning your HANDS only.
12. No need to wave for a bus
Buses in Japan has a very clearly routes and timetables. They will stop at all designated bus stops. If you are punctual in the right place, you will absolutely catch the bus.
13. Taxi door is automatic
Most taxi doors in Japan are automatic.The driver will open and close the door for customers. The good manner for this situation is do not operate the door by yourself.
14. Avoid talking loudly in public
In Japan, you can talk in public, but you should not talk too loud because most of Japanese people are very respect in privacy. They will not do anything that may disturb others.
15. Get business cards politely and carefully
Business card is very serious culture in Japanese business. Always present and accept cards with two hands and read it carefully. If you are in the meeting room, put the card on the desk beside you until meeting is over. Remind that you must not leave it behind.