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What Surprises Japanese People When We Go Abroad

Hello everyone. Today I would like to talk about some of the things that surprise us when we go abroad. To put it another way, these kinds of things just do not happen in Japan.

-Kissing and hugging while greeting

 I remember seeing all the homestay families in Canada greeting each other like this, and I was so nervous while I wait for my turn. In Japan, we basically don’t touch each other when we greet, even if we are close.


-Bringing back leftovers from restaurants

In Japan, it is not customary to bring home leftover food from restaurants. People tend to order the amount of food that they are able eat. I was really surprised when I saw people bringing home leftover ramen noodles in foreign countries.


-Prefer tanning

 In Japan, especially for women, white skin has always been preferred. Of course, there are people who like to tan, but most of us avoid doing so to prevent sunburn.


 Japanese people are confused about tipping because we don’t know how much to pay or how to do it. I have heard that there are quite a few foreigners who have tried to give tips in Japan but were refused.


-Valentine’s Day is a time for men to give gifts to women.

 In Japan, it is common for women to give sweet gifts such as chocolate to men.

-People spend Christmas with family, and New Year’s with friends.

 In Japan, it is the opposite. Many people spend Christmas with their lovers and friends, while New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are spent with family.


-People don’t bother to flush just to muffle their own sound.

 When we go to the public restroom, we flush the toilet to muffle our own sound, or we push the button to activate the sound of flowing water. From a foreigner’s point of view, this custom in Japan seems a little strange.

-Children don’t play outside alone.

In Japan, it is common to see children playing in the park alone. They often walk to and from elementary school by themselves.


When you come to Japan, you will probably find many Japanese customs that will surprise you. I hope you will enjoy finding out the differences between Japan’s and your own country’s customs!


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