3 Common Mistakes Tourists Make in Japan

There are many mistakes tourists make when going to Japan for the first time. Though some mistakes aren’t that big, some can be fatal!

I’m here so you don’t have to make these mistakes, so here are 3 common mistakes tourists make in Japan. Enjoy!

#1 Tip the Waiter/Waitress

Not only is this unnecessary, it is actually somewhat rude to tip the waiter/waitress. If you leave some money on the table, the waiter/waitress will most likely come running after you to bring back your money, which is very awkward.

However, if you stay at a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), it is actually appropriate to put a tip in a small envelope upon leaving.

This is one of the easiest mistakes to make, so be careful!

#2 Not Wearing Socks

A long-standing cultural value in Japan is cleanliness. It doesn’t mean you should wear a mask and white clothes wherever you go, but you should probably be wearing socks. Why? Well, there are many public places that expect you to take your shoes off before entering. Though some crowded temples will have slippers for you to wear, most traditional Japanese restaurants will not. It’s rude to walk around with bare feet, so refrain from going places with sandals, or at least bring an extra pair of socks if you have to.

#3 Don’t Eat While Walking or Riding a Public Transit

With the number of food stores by the street, you’ll be surprised to see no one is walking around nibbling an okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza) or any other food. This is because it is considered rude to eat while walking around.

Actually, eating or drinking on a public transit is a serious no-no as well! The only time you can eat or drink on a public transit is when you’re on a Shinkansen (bullet train). In fact, there is a trolley service that offers you bentos and beverages on your ride.

Comment if you found this helpful!

8 thoughts on “3 Common Mistakes Tourists Make in Japan

  1. Noah! I have lived in Japan for 13 years and have perpetually committed misdemeanors on the basis of th last two! Good grief! What a slob I’ve been! I guess I at least need to carry a pair of socks around with me in the warm seasons (when socks are uncomfortable for me), and as for eating on the train . . . is it okay to eat on the platform? and can I drink on the train? water or a bottle of tea?

    Ms. Sue


    1. Well, they aren’t *that* important, no one’s going to complain if you do it, but that might be a good idea to bring socks (unless you aren’t just touring). As for your questions, it’s perfectly okay to eat on a platform, since there are sometimes vending machines and even convenient stores in the platforms sometimes. It’s okay anytime except if it’s something sloppy and you spill it. The person who ultimately has to clean it is one of the people who work in the station. 😉 Drinking is usually not okay in trains, but as long as its a quick sip for a parched throat, no one will condemn you.


  2. Normally I don’t read post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do it!
    Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank
    you, quite great post.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.