5 Things To Know About Japanese

Traveling across different cities in Japan let us absorb local culture, customs and meet locals, who are always a significant part of our travel experiences. We’ve already described Chinese people on Etramping, now it’s time for 5 things to know about Japanese.

Japanese people in Tokyo city center, always in a rush.

What are Japanese like based on our observations then?

#1 Clean

No matter how hard we tried, we could never find any trash bags or junk on the streets, although streets were constantly busy. Metro was always kept nice and clean and there was always someone sweeping the steps, and wiping down the halls with washcloths. Japanese are very clean and want everything around them that way.

Busy streets of Tokyo.

Our Japanese host also kept his apartment extremely tidy. Everything had its own place there – clothes, food, drinks and cutlery. We were not allowed to touch walls with our backpacks when entering the room and we had to take the shoes off when entering his place.

#2 Shy

Japanese people are extremely shy when it comes to talking with foreigners. Although their English is really good, they rarely try to start the conversation. Instead, they blush and get very embarrassed. Maybe it’s their culture or maybe English is one of their biggest insecurities. They don’t have any problems with posing and taking selfies though :-).

Group picture in Kyoto.

#3 Helpful

What we love the most about Japanese is that they always went an extra mile to help us out. If you get lost they would google the way, walk you there or even call the hostel to find out how to get there. That was extremely surprising, yet very nice and kind of them. They are really well-mannered people.

Buying fruits at local market.

#4 Hard-working

Japanese people work extremely long hours. They are real workaholics. The metro was usually the busiest around 8-9pm when everyone was coming back home from work. From what we’ve heard nobody gets extra pay for working overtime.

Someone fell asleep on metro :-).

Locals often fall asleep on the way back home and usually work weekends as well. It is believed that in Japanese culture job is supposed to take precedence over even your family at times!

#5 Well-organised

Everything in Japan is well-structured. People stand perfectly in line when waiting for metro, bus or even taxi. They follow certain behaviour patterns that are never being obeyed in China!

Waiting in line to enter metro.

What’s your experience with Japanese people?


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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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27 thoughts on “5 Things To Know About Japanese”

  1. Spot on, Agness! They are very polite and well-mannered, no matter where they are — whether they are in Japan or outside.

  2. yes i’d have to agree with all of these although in my experience they arent the best with English. mainly because in some ways its the polar opposite of Japanese with dozens of sounds they dont use in their own language. One thing though goes with ordered and clean, is incredible levels of bureaucracy. if you live there you’ll soon see what I mean!

  3. crazy sexy fun traveler

    I have a few Japanese friends and even after months of knowing each other, they felt so shy when I tried to hug them :)

  4. I always love reading these kinds of things, especially from those who experienced it first hand! I never know what to expect from people while traveling. I didn’t know the Japanese were such helpful people. :)

  5. Anna @ shenANNAgans

    I loved everything about my time in Japan, the people were amazing too. I was staying at a university, everyone wanted to practise their english with me, so I got to be a part of things I probably wouldn’t normally get to. It was awesome.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Nice to hear that, Anna. Japan is definitely one of my favourite countries. Locals there are very humble and friendly.

  6. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    This is great background knowledge for me Agness because I’m hoping to visit Japan for the first time this year, so I’m glad to hear that they try and be helpful, as I am hopeless at directions so can see myself getting lost!

  7. Rafiq Ur Rehman

    i did realy like japanes because i did worked with them in Abbottabad on Gravity water scheme they are very helpful and respectful people especially the JICA

  8. I really didn’t know these qualities of Japanese people. They are so good. This post pushed japan high on my list. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post.

  9. LOVE this and so very true! I keep on thinking about how clear the streets were after attending one of the biggest festivals in Kyoto. Nobody left any trash behind and there must have been thousands of people there!

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