Any traveler will know that when you visit another country, you are suddenly subjected to a whole new array of cultural rules and practices that you probably have never experienced before. And many of these practices will probably leave you scratching your head. Some cultures find it offensive if you tip while others if you laugh with your mouth open. It’s kind of like that game- the floor is lava– you don’t really stand a chance.
Japan is known for its rich culture and ancient history, though many of its practices may seem unusual to foreigners. Not only do the Japanese hold high regard for privacy and respect – but also these two elements have profoundly shaped most of the country’s way of life, rendering everyday life unique and very tricky for some foreigners to grasp.
Let’s dive into what makes Japanese culture so unique- from bar hopping with your boss to avoiding the number 4. These items might both surprise and delight you.
Friends Don’t Get Home Invites
If you travel halfway across the world to see a friend, you expect, in most cases, to get an invite to their home at some point. You expect the folks, siblings, and other important family members. In Japan, no such thing will happen. It is not customary to receive an invite to a Japanese person’s home.
Unlike other parts of the world, this is not the case, but privacy is held in high regard in Japan. This means that most Japanese prefer to go out to the bar or dinner with friends. As a foreigner, you should not be offended if you do not receive an invitation to visit a Japanese friend’s home during a visit.