- You really should bow when you are introduced or meet someone you already know.
Many Japanese who are familiar with Western behavior, will accept a handshake,
but it is good to bow.
- When you speak to someone, or refer to someone in conversation, you should add
"san" to their name (first or last), unless they are a teacher / master of some
art or skill, then address them as "sensei" (pronounced "sen-say")
- Gifts (omiyage) - plan to give gifts to the people you meet in Japan;
very nice gifts for people hosting you in their home, small gifts for
people who help you out or who you want to be friends with. Talk to your
escort or guide before leaving for Japan for suggestions.
- In a home and in many restaurants, you will first remove your shoes before
entering; some tourist sites will also require you to remove your shoes before
entering. Either you will just wear your socks or they will provide slippers for you
to wear. Never wear shoes on tatami (straw
- Generally, Japanese keep the bath room (where you take your bath) and the
toilet room (where you use the toilet) as separate rooms. The main exception
you will find is in lodging that is geared to Western habits.