First Impression is Crucial in Japan: Learn Don’ts Etiquette When Meeting Someone




First Impression is crucial in Japanese culture. Here are typical things Japanese don’t do when they see people for the very first time.

Let’s find out the reasons so you don’t feel puzzled.




Check this out if you are visiting Japan this year → The Killer Guide for Wi-Fi Spots in Japan

Do you know why Japanese hot spring tend to avoid individuals with tattoos? Why Hot Spring in Japan don’t Accept Tattoos?



Japanese Don’t Hug


Most Japanese don’t hug when they meet someone for the first time.

I should rephrase it.

Japanese don’t hug.


Why? Because hug is more like for couples.


They rarely hug friends or family members. If they hug, that’s because they have been to foreign countries.


For example, I didn’t hug my parents before coming to Canada.

After I came to Canada, I hug my parents when necessary.




Japanese Don’t Kiss

Just like hug, Japanese don’t kiss when they first meet people.



They simply don’t kiss.


For Japanese, kissing is special and it’s not recognized as greeting etiquette.

They don’t hug and they rarely kiss.

In fact, if Japanese kisses another Japanese, it looks like Hentai (pervert). Very rude and feel uneasy.


Unless they have been to foreign countries, they don’t really know how to kiss on cheek. So don’t bother to kiss Japanese.


Save that for a boyfriend or girlfriend!



Japanese Don’t Shake Hands


Some Japanese shake hands for business purposes, while other Japanese don’t shake hands at all.


They usually hesitate to touch other people because it’s considered inappropriate.

Even if they shake your hands, handshake is weak and you may feel anxious.

It’s different. Japanese don’t know how to do proper handshake because it is not required for business opportunities.



Japanese Are Not Frank



Majority of Japanese cannot be frank when they meet someone for the first time.


Japanese always try to be polite and nice to other people. That means they don’t ask personal questions like “How old are you?”


“Are you married?”

“How much do you make annually?”


Asking personal questions is considered as rude and immoral in Japan. Some Japanese, however, ask personal questions and make people feel uneasy.




Japanese Don’t Feel Comfortable to Speak Foreign Language

Many, if not all, Japanese feel uncomfortable to speak foreign language. It includes English, Chinese, French etc… Any foreign language!


For instance, if someone talks to a Japanese woman in foreign language, she would either feel

“nothing” or “confused.”

Some may walk away because they are afraid of communicating with foreigners.



Japanese Don’t Make Eye Contact

When you meet Japanese, you might realize something weird.

In Japanese culture, looking at someone’s eye is not very important. Some even think it’s offensive. They think bow is more important to show respect.


Thus many foreigners feel awkward when meeting Japanese people.







If you are not familiar with Japanese culture, you might think Japanese are shy and difficult to be friends.


That’s not true because some Japanese ARE friendly and sociable.

If you meet Japanese and you feel that person is cold and unfriendly, remind yourself that it’s due to Japanese culture.


Japanese don’t touch others and leave personal space. They think that’s beauty of Japanese custom and respect for others.




Check this out if you are visiting Japan this year → The Killer Guide for Wi-Fi Spots in Japan!

Do you know why Japanese hot spring tend to avoid individuals with tattoos? Why Hot Spring in Japan don’t Accept Tattoos? Any Problems?



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