Japan is famous for its culture that is different from what we have in the western world. There are some traditions and habits that might seem strange but not for the people living in Japan. It has been more than 150 years since Japan has opened it sports for the western tourists after being in isolation for centuries. There are various amazing things about Japan that you will instantly fall in love with. However, there are still some aspects of Japanese Culture that are mysterious to many and will surely surprise you. Here we have some interesting facts about Japanese Culture that you have never known before.
1. Omiyage is not just a Souvenir
The Japanese term Omiyage is commonly translated as a souvenir in English. However, Omiyage is much more than that. Souvenirs are things that people buy for themselves when they visit a different land but Omiyage is something that you will bring for your family members and friends when you will visit a different place. Omiyage is a special food from different region of Japan that is packed perfectly in bright color boxes and beautifully wrapped. You can bring back home to share with your love dones. In western world bringing back Omiyage is a nice gesture but in Japan people expect it.
2. Christmas is Celebrated as a Romantic Holiday
There are only 2% Christians in Japan that is why Christmas is more like a novelty in Japan and not a holiday. You will find the Christmas trees and various other decoration around the area. However, in Japan people mostly celebrate the Christmas Eve instead of the day. You will be surprised to know that eve is considered as a date night just like Valentines’ day where couple go out on dinners and exchange some romantic gifts. Christmas is celebrated in a unique and different way when you are in Japan. Families like to keep the tradition alive but in their own unique way.
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3. Signs That Tell When You Remove the Shoes
In Japan, it is considered a polite gesture to remove your shoes when you enter someone’s house. This is the reason when you have to enter a house you have to assure that you remove your shoes outside before entering the room. However, tourists get confused that whether they have to remove the shoes in other buildings or not. You should know that there are signs that show when you have to remove the shoes. Some of the common signs you need to look for are.
- If the front of building is raised it means you have to remove your shoes before stepping on the raised surface and entering the building.
- If you notice that slippers are lined in front of the entrance of building, you will have to remove your shoes and wear the slippers before you enter the building.
4. Tradition to Blacken Teeth in Japan
You will be surprised to know that married ladies in Japan used to blacken their teeth, a process called ohaguro. It was considered attractive in the Japanese culture due to which ladies used different products like ink and wax to change the color of their teeth. It was thought that blackening teeth will help protect teeth from decay. However, the practice was banned in 19th century to modernize Japan and make it more appealing for tourists.
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5. Do not Drink or Eat While Walking
If you are in Japan and planning to have coffee that you can drink while you are walking to the next destination you should be ready to have locals looking at you with anger. You should know that in Japan drinking and eating while you are walking is considered ill-mannered and rude. That is why it is better that you find a place to sit and enjoy your meal or drink before you can start walking again. By the way, try to discover delicious Japanese dishes.
6. Baseball is the Most Popular Game
Most people have the misconception that baseball is the game of westerners. However, you will be surprised to know that people in Japan love baseball. It is one of the most popular games in the country that people like to play and watch. You will easily find all the accessories of baseball in all the sports stores. As well as there are kid playing baseball in the ground. There are two professional baseball leagues of Japan and the official team from the country also compete with other nations.
7. Position of Your Chopsticks is Important
One of the most important things to consider while you are in Japan is the position of your chopsticks if you know how to eat with them. Remember that you should never try to stick and leave the chopsticks in your meal while you are eating it because it is considered as a bad omen. It is a ritual that is commonly performed at the funerals. It means that if you are eating outside and you have your chopsticks in stuck in the food, you might get kicked out of the shop is the owner is the strong believer. That is why you have to be extra careful.
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8. People Eat Different Types of Meat
You will be surprised to know that there are different types of meats served in Japan. We commonly like to eat pork, beef and mutton but in Japan the most common type of meat available is horse meat. There are many traditional cuisines that are prepared in the horse meat. It means that if you are not interested in having the horse meat make sure that you ask which type of meat is used in the meal you are planning to order. As well as specify the type of meat that you would like to have to assure there are no confusions in the end.
9. Men were the First Geisha
In Japan Geishais the person who is trained to entertain the kings and lords by performing inthe courts, temples and castles. Geisha is known as the person of art. In the early ages all the geisha performing in the courts were men. Their duty was to entertain the king and assure that they are pleased with the performance. However, with the passage of time the tradition changed and women were labeled as geisha. After that there were no men allowed to perform as geisha because lord enjoyed the performance given by women.
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10. Its Polite to Pour for Others
As you already know that sharing from other person’s plate is not a good thing if you are eating out because it belongs to a ritual performed at funerals. If you will try to share from your friend’s plate you might notice the people will start crying looking at what you have done because it will bring back some sad memories. However, when it comes to drinks you should pour/refill the cups of others while you are drinking in a group because it is considered polite. The tradition is applied for all types of drinks whether it is a tea or a regular drink. Make sure that you refill the cup of person next to you as soon as you notice that their cup is empty.
11. Slurping is Compliment
In the western tradition if you will slurp in the restaurant people will look at you surprised because it is not in manners. However, in Japan if you will not slurp people will think that you did not like the ramen or noodles that were served. In Japan the sound of your slurp will determine that how satisfied you are with the dish. That is why the louder you will slurp the happier will be the chef.
If you are planning to visit Japan any time soon make sure that you know these important things about Japanese Culture. That is the only way you will be able to assure that people will not get offended from you and you can have an adventurous trip. Get cheap flights to Japan here.
When you are in Japan there are many things that you will learn about Japanese Culture. Assure that you make some of the best memories in Japan. If you make an offending mistake let the locals know you do not belong to Japan and apologize to assure that you will not have to deal with any issues. Have fun while you are in Japan.