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All You Need to Know about the Culture of Japan for Your Next Trip

9 mins. read

Japan is the land of the rising sun, cherry blossoms, maki rolls, hot springs, kawaii, and so much more! Since time immemorial, this country has been known for its rich history and culture. Due to this reason, it has intrigued travellers from all over the world. The Buddhist temples, summer festivals, mouth-watering delicacies and futuristic hotels are reasons enough to vacation in Japan at least once. There is just something about this Northeast Asian nation that has won hearts across the globe. You need to experience it to truly appreciate it! The culture of Japan is homogenous which can be easily observed among the local population. The Japanese are proud of their culture and traditions making them one of the most peace-loving people. While planning a trip to this island country, it is imperative to learn more about its customs. If you have booked a Japan tour package, then it is time to take out some time and learn everything there is to know about this travel destination. Here is an ultimate guide curated just for you! Read on to know more about Japan’s customs and traditions that every traveller should know about.

Culture & Traditions of Japan 

If you are fortunate enough to see the culture of Japan up close, you will realize that its simplicity is beautiful. Ikigai or having a purpose for living is one principle that influences the culture and traditions of Japan in the most positive manner. Here are some interesting facts about its historical background, religious beliefs, mannerisms, and festivities:

1. Historical Significance

The traditions of Japan are unique in their own right. This is primarily because the country has a complex history that made a huge impact on Japanese culture. Be it the rise and fall of several empires in the medieval era or the catastrophic tragedies in World War 1 and World War 2 in modern times, Japan has had a challenging history. But this does not that the culture of Japan has dimmed its glory in any manner! It is because of its vibrant festivals and cultural events that tourists from all over the world flock to the “Land of the Rising Sun”.

2. Religion

Japan is a polytheistic nation which means that its people have the freedom of believing in more than one god. This is due to the fact that the people of Japan follow multiple faiths, namely, Shinto, Buddhism, Christianity, etc. As there are influences from these faiths, Japan’s culture and traditions are inclusive, dynamic, and highly respectful. You will find a number of Shinto and Buddhist activities being organized all year round on your next trip to Japan. It’s a sight to behold and you will surely enjoy every minute of it!

3. Etiquette

Owing to the rich culture and traditions, the Japanese people have some mannerisms and etiquette that they like to follow religiously. When vacationing in this beautiful country, it is suggested to follow these social norms so that you are respectful at all times. The golden rule to remember is to take off shoes, wherever required. If you notice tatami mats in temples, restaurants, hotels, private properties, etc., then make sure to take off your footwear before stepping on them. One of the most famous traditions in Japan is bowing. It is customary to bow down your head when you greet a local. They do not expect it from a foreigner but would very much appreciate your gesture! If you love to slurp on some piping hot noodles, do not hesitate in Japan. It depicts that you are truly enjoying your meal. Whatever you do, be on it. An integral part of the culture of Japan is respecting time. So, make sure you do not keep anyone waiting!

4. Matsuri

When you explore the best places to visit in Japan, it is highly possible that you will witness at least one or two festivals. Matsuri or cultural festivities that are organized across various cities and towns have several Japanese traditions that you can learn only when you mingle with the locals. So, make sure to put on your friendliest hat and ask questions about Matsuri on your next vacation. Japanese people are proud of their regional festivals and they would be happy to make you a part of them!

Food Culture of Japan 

Food Culture of Japan

The most famous Japanese food item that the world has lost its marbles for has to be sushi. The sheer variety of sushi available across the world is awe-inspiring. If you have not tried some, then it's time to hog on some freshly-prepared maki rolls in Japan. Before hitting a popular street food joint or high-end restaurant, you should know that table manners mean a lot to the Japanese folk. Maintaining social decorum is equally important in restaurants and cafes so do not go overboard. The food culture of Japan is so distinct that you might just fall in love with it almost immediately. Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto are a few cities where you can have the most authentic Japanese meals that will make your vacation a memorable one. It would be best to take a local with you to try out some delectable traditional as well as modern preparations. Statutory warning - whatever you do, just do not tip in Japan! It is considered a gesture of disrespect, so keep your 20 per cent tip to yourself.

Work Culture of Japan

There are a lot of business travellers flocking to Japan on a regular basis. This is primarily because a lot of well-established industries are present in Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Sakai, etc. While these regions are also the cultural centers of Japan, they play a key role in the economic stability of this country. People who are visiting Japan for work, pleasure or both should know a little about its work environment. One of the most endearing things that you will notice in the work culture of Japan is that they love to drink together! That’s right. The depiction of businessmen in The Memoirs of Geisha was pretty accurate because they enjoy drinking sake together. But do not be surprised if you find some of them eating their meals alone. It is quite common to find employees having their breakfast or lunch meals alone. Another tip that would help you adapt to the work environment of Japan is addressing your associates with the honorific suffix “San”. It is a way to show respect in the workplace and is applicable to men and women alike.

Fashion Culture of Japan 

Fashion Culture of Japan

The beautiful fabrics, designs, and patterns in traditional Japanese clothing (wafuku) such as kimono, haori, and many others, are adored by the world. If you wish to make the most of Japanese culture, then a dress made out of silk would be the best souvenir that you can purchase on your next vacation. Besides this, the street-style fashion of the Japanese people is bold, bright, and multi-faceted. This is because Japan’s street fashion has many subcultures based on fandoms, western influences, sustainability, and the like. All in all, modernity in fashion is celebrated here but it is important to be respectful in religious places and cultural centers in Japan.

Cuteness Culture of Japan 

Literally meaning cute, the kawaii culture of Japan has taken the world by storm! The child-like charm of Hello Kitty and Pikachu was part of every kid’s dreams in the 90s across the globe. In Japan, kawaii holds a special place in its pop culture even now. The amount of merchandise that you can find in Harajuku will make you go into a shopping frenzy for sure. Our recommendation would be to buy cute stationery, shoes, t-shirts, and plushies for your friends and family. Also, there are various kawaii-anime-themed cafes that you can visit in Japan and get an overload of cuteness in your life.

Missing out on the best anime, cherry blossoms, and sushi would not be fair for a traveller like you, right? Make Japan your next travel destination and come back a true-blue Japanophilic!

January 21, 2023

Author

Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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