Bowing, or ojigi, is a very visible part of Japanese culture totally foreign to Westerners. It might seem simple from the outside, but it is actually a very complicated practice with deep social implications.
Tag: Culture Tips
What do Kentucky Fried Chicken, romantic outings, and Beethoven all have in common? Well, they’re the staples of Christmas in Japan.
Love them or loathe them, chopsticks are the primary utensil in Japan, so if you’re traveling there you’ll need to know how to eat with chopsticks.
Many who haven’t been to Japan wonder if its streets could really be as clean as they’re described by those who have been. For the most part, yes, Japan’s streets are impeccably clean. However, the full answer is a little more complicated, and a little bit of digging shows that perhaps Japan is not quite as spotless as it would seem on the surface. So, why is Japan thought of as one of the cleanest countries in the world? And where does it fall short of its own rep?
Those of us who are old enough to move on our own are matured enough to realise that the foreign country we’re moving to definitely has their own way of running things — we’re not that naive. The good and the bad, we have to accept them all. But for some of us who chose Japan as the destination country, we had no idea what we were in for as foreigners in the country. What we didn’t prepare for are the levels of settling in that we have no choice but to go through and put up with just because we’re not Japanese — physically and psychologically.
The word “kimono” has been thrown around as casually and as often a word can be, but do people actually know what it is? It’s quite obvious to everyone that this form of clothing belongs to the Japanese but it’s not just a fashion style — the kimono has quite a culturally rich history with significance to the wearer. It’s also a huge category with not only one type of kimono but numerous types for various occasions. With the untrained, naked eyes, you can’t imagine how a single bolt of cloth can differ from one another.
Weddings are a big deal in Japan, and like so much else in the Land of the Rising Sun there are customs that wedding celebrations are expected to adhere to. If you’ve been invited to a Japanese wedding, you might be nervous about what to expect – read on for our guide on what you’re likely to experience as a guest at a Japanese wedding.
Onsen bathing has been a staple of Japanese culture for centuries, and it has been referenced in their earliest historical records. The act of bathing in an onsen is so important to Japanese people that many people even view it as a religious experience. Perhaps the idea of being *gulp* naked in front of lots of strangers is enough to put you off trying an authentic onsen experience, but practically everyone who tries it agrees it’s one of the best things you can do in Japan. Why are onsen so popular in Japan? And what should you know before trying it yourself?
Here’s the thing: if you’re not born in Japan or have lived long enough in the country, you wouldn’t necessarily know the ins and outs of it. The Japanese etiquette is one that’s profound and sometimes confusing. The unique customs, social norms and rules that regulate the society and relations can be pretty far off compared to what some of us are used to, including the tons of “don’ts” that we are obliged to follow. Even if foreigners tend to get a “free pass” in most situations, it’s best to not take advantage of that.
While less than 1% of the Japanese population identify as Christian, Christmas is still a widely celebrated holiday within Japan. If you are a Westerner experiencing Christmas in Japan for the first time, you will likely find elements of the festivities familiar. However, the over-arching perception of Christmas in Japan is extremely different, and this hugely influences how the holiday season plays out for Japanese people. Rather than being a time of family relaxation and togetherness, Christmas in Japan is a time for friends to get together and party!