This month we’ve got some more cut out and keep tips & tricks on how to behave in Japan.
Visiting A Home
The first thing to remember when visiting somebody’s home is to remove your shoes! Normally your host will provide slippers to wear in their house after you’ve removed your shoes at the door.
If your host has a tatami floor, then don’t forget to remove your slippers before stepping onto the tatami. Only bare feet or socks should be worn when walking on the mat.
While we’re talking about slippers, don’t forget to change them when visiting the washroom. There are normally toilet slippers just outside the door which you should use instead.
If you’re lucky enough to be invited to someone’s home and want to take a bath, then as usual in Japan there’s a few rules to follow.
First, you should wash your body using the shower outside the bath, then you enter the tub, which in Japan is for soaking only and not washing.
After your relaxing soak, get out of the bath and wash again with soap, making sure none gets into the bath water, then soak once more.Although it may be unlikely being a guest, in Japan it’s customary to re-use the bath water for other members of the household, so you don’t cleanse yourself in the bath water, that’s done before you get in!
If you’re dining on a tatami mat then you may have to kneel on the floor. The formal way is called “seiza” and is basically kneeling with your legs behind. Foreigners aren’t normally expected to do this for a long time as it can be uncomfortable.
In more casual situations, men normally sit cross legged and women sit with both legs on one side. These are considered to be the correct casual way to sit for men and women respectively.