Crash Course in Japanese Culture: What NOT to Do in Japan

Japan is a spectacular country, with many experiences unique to Japan, and Japanese culture is just as fascinating. There are a plethora of must-see sites in Japan, must-eat foods, and must-shop boutiques. It’s important to plan out your trip well in advance so you have enough time to do and see everything you need. 

The Japanese as a whole as very into manners, many of which are contrary to the manners we’ve been exposed to as Americans. Therefore, if you’re planning a trip to Japan, not only study the “musts,” but also the “must-nots of the Japanese culture.”Otherwise, you’ll risk offending the locals. 

1.) Don’t Walk (or Drive) on the Right Side

Japanese culture

With its many parks and gardens, Japan is an ideal walking city.  However, unlike the Western world that encourages people to walk on the right side of the sidewalk, in Japan, you walk on the left side. If someone is walking towards you, Japanese culture mandates you go around them on the left side, otherwise, you’ll be considered rude. 

Similarly, you drive on the left side of the road in Japan, which can be confusing to many Americans at first. There’s not much else you need to know about driving in Japan to fit in with the Japanese culture.