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Travel Trade & Media
Japanese Customs & Manners

Sightseeing Manners

  1. Don't eat while walking

    Eating and walking in tourist areas is an enjoyable experience, but it is important to remember to be considerate of the locals and the environment. At festivals and events where food stalls are set up, be careful not to block sidewalks and pathways. Be sure to dispose of any garbage you produce while walking around and eating in the appropriate trash cans. Do not litter or throw garbage on sidewalks, so as not to pollute the environment.

  2. Do not take photos near dangerous places

    As trains are Japan’s most iconic transportation method—making aesthetic appearances in anime and movies alike—you may want to take pictures next to them. However, for your own personal safety, please do not take photos near railroad lines, roadways, or other dangerous places.

  3. Take photos respectfully, and follow rules

    Always be mindful of photography restrictions at certain sites, like temples and shrines. There are usually signs (in Japanese and English) that list a site’s photography rules. Please note that in some instances handheld cameras may be fine, but other tools like tripods will be prohibited.

    Also, be considerate when photographing people, and do not take pictures on private property. Be especially careful in situations involving privacy, such as portrait photography and private homes.

  4. Follow the smoking rules

    In Japan, smoking in public facilities and outdoors requires consideration. To smoke, please go to designated smoking areas, which are generally marked with a cigarette symbol.

  5. Respect others and be aware of your surroundings

    Enrich your trip to Japan by being considerate of others and respecting the local culture and customs.
    ∙ Everyone is expected to be quiet in public places and on public transportation. Try to keep loud conversations and cell phone noise to a minimum.
    ∙ When waiting in line, be sure to follow the queue. Line-up etiquette is an important element of the smooth use of shared public space and key to cooperation with those around you.

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