Once very isolated, Japan has developed a range of unique customs and traditions that still continue to today. In some respects, these customs can seem a bit odd or different to what we are use to in the west, but each custom has a purpose and it is poor etiquette to not to adhere to the simple rituals that have been part of Japanese life for centuries.
Many of the customs are just common sense like removing your shoes before entering someone’s home or pouring your companion’s drink before your own. While others can seem a bit odd to foreigners (gajin), like some of the rules of using chopsticks or the fact it is considered rude to blow your nose or eat on the street, but it is perfectly ok to take a leak in the gutter in broad daylight. Typically this custom is only practised by older Japanese men, and we recommend you find the nearest toilet before whipping it out in public.
Hopefully our guides below will explain a bit about Japanese culture to help you not perform any faux pas while going about your life in Japan.