3 Things You Shouldn’t Do In Japan!
Different from other countries, Japan is a country that is very concerned with manners, traditional culture, and beliefs, so there are few things that you should be aware of not doing it. We listed up 3 different things that you shouldn’t do when you are in Japan, hoping that your trip in Japan would go smoothly and happily!
1. Awasebashi (passing food to another chopsticks with chopsticks)
Awasebashi is when you pass the food from a pair of chopsticks to another pair of chopsticks, especially when someone is offering you a bite. It’s also called as “hashiwatashi”, and this is a bad manner that you should not definitely do it when you are in Japan.
Awasebashi, or hashiwatashi, is considered as bad manner because it is closely related to the customs in Japanese funerals. The family members of the person who died pick the bones from the ashes and pass it to each other using the chopsticks after the body is cremated, so passing the food to each other using the chopsticks is considered as an act that will bring bad luck.
Instead of passing the food to each other using the chopsticks, you should ask your friend or others to put the food on the communal plate or a small plate for you.
2. Tatebashi (standing chopsticks)
Tatebashi is the condition when chopsticks are placed in a bowl of rice standing up, and you should never do this when you are in Japan. Tatebashi is considered as bad manner because rice with chopsticks standing straight in the bowl to the deceased in Japanese funerals. Thus, use a chopstick rest when you want to put your chopsticks down when you are eating, and if you can’t find any, please place the end of your chopsticks on a small plate, or use the paper cover of the disposable chopsticks as a chopstick rest.
3. Standing on The Other Side of the Escalator
In general, you’re not supposed to walk up the escalator, but it is considered polite to leave one side of the escalator open for people in a hurry to walk up in Japan.
Depending on which region you’re visiting, you have to stand on one side and leave the other side of the escalator open for others to walk up. In Kanto region, you have to stand on the left side and leave the right side of the escalator open for others to walk up. On the other hand, you have to stand on the right side and leave the left side open for others to walk up in Kansai region. The reason why people in Kanto region stand on the left side of the escalator is to match the Japanese traffic laws, where cars drive on the left so people pass on the right, and the reason why people in Kansai region stand on the right side of the escalator is to match the Western etiquette.
However, when you walk up the escalator, make sure that you have enough space and always use the hand rails for safety matters as well!