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Tokyo Etiquette & Social Norms

Tokyo Etiquette & Social Norms
2010/11/09 Maya H.

  • Walk to the left
  • Quiet in public
  • Everyone carries handbags (even men and kids)
  • Money is not exchanged hand to hand
  • Business cards are held with both hands and read at length
  • Service is chronic not acute (it's a way of life)
  • Conformity is okay
  • Cleanliness is a given
  • Building stomach muscles comes easy (from bowing at the waist)....beware of pulling butt muscles though
  • Individuality is for kids and after work; blue suits are for all other occasions
  • Small is good
  • Hotels with multiple restaurants is the standard
  • Left is right
  • Technology is everyday
  • Do not be surprised by heated toilet seats or toilet lids that open upon entering
  • Pokémon and Hello Kitty are Japanese
  • Do not mistake meekness for stupidity
  • Rectangular cellphones + charm = just about everyone
  • Colors? Mix and match!
  • Tradition trumps technology
  • Knee highs are fashionable
  • Style is a part of their DNA
  • An interaction doesn't end until you are out of sight (i.e., expect the Japanese to wait until the elevator door fully closes before leaving....!)