Before my recent visit to Japan, I did the same obsessive research I always do before things like doctor visits or job interviews. Unfortunately, this usually means I walk into every doctor visit and job interview convinced I have a disease that affects one per cent of the population.
In the lead-up to my trip, I was feeling very overwhelmed by all the articles, travel guides, and videos I was reading and watching. You could fall down a rabbit hole trying to learn how not to be a bumbling tourist in Japan, and I was certain I’d end up inadvertently doing something terribly insulting.
I quickly learned the truth upon my arrival: outside of a few basic courtesies, you won’t be expected to know every aspect of Japan’s etiquette culture. In fact, many locals were happy to politely show me what I was doing wrong and correct me.
In the video below, our local producer Michael Tudda showed me some basic etiquette every visitor should know when visiting Japan. Michael has been living in Japan for five years, and as a foreigner who has learned to adjust to Japanese culture, he shared the best ways to be a good tourist in Japan.
There’s a lot to learn, but maybe the most important lesson is: don’t overthink it. Just be respectful, have fun, and be open to learning new things. Alternatively, just watch this Logan Paul video and remember to do the exact opposite: