10 Things The World Needs To Learn From Japan And Its People

There were some things that make Japan unique from the rest of the world.

Here are listed ten things you can actually learn from Japan & its people.


1. High-spirit of self-renewal

Earthquakes, tidal waves, fires and volcanic eruptions have marred the history of Japan, with large scale destruction on each occurrence. Not only did these kill thousands of people, they also brought down great age-old structures likes temples, castles and palaces. While most places in the world would never attempt rebuilding these structures, many ancient temples and shrines around Japan that were previously destroyed, have been rebuilt.

2. Training for Cleanliness

Japan is undoubtedly clean, and littering and fines for it are completely unheard of. But get this, there are no dustbins either. No trash cans, as far as the eye can see, just recycle bins that are strictly for plastic bottles and soda cans that are bought from nearby vending machines.

Japanese children are taught from a very young age to keep their surroundings tidy and household responsibilities are not alien to them. Perhaps this stems from the belief that cleaning is associated to morality rather than being a menial task that is irksome.

3. Respect for others

While travelling on the bullet train, many people step out of the seating area of the train compartment and stand near the doors to attend their phone calls. Even on the metro, you will find people answer phone calls in hushed tones, promptly informing their callers that they are in transit and will call back as soon as they have the time.

4. Religious harmony

Despite being the frontrunners of technology and coming up with innovative ideas, traditions and religion still influence the daily life of the Japanese. Businessmen pay their respects at the shrines of deities while excited students buy good-luck charms and fortunes foretelling the future.

Complexes have a Buddhist temple and a Shinto shrine, while most Japanese people worship deities of both religions.

5. Delicious Food everywhere

Japanese food is often thought to be expensive due to items like sushi and sashimi that make use of fresh ingredients. However, that is not true. There are hole-in-the-wall establishments that are moderately priced with a limited menu and a homely atmosphere.

Convenience stores are mini supermarkets where fast-moving consumer goods are sold. They offer a wide array of ready-to-eat meals, sandwiches, salads, snacks and beverages that can also be reheated by the shop attendant.

6. Tipping not mandatory

While most service staff feel they should be tipped for what they do (nothing wrong with that), tipping in Japan is not required. Some people will flatly refuse your money, sometimes offended that you should feel obligated to reward their efforts.

7. Safe for everyone

Despite the notorious existence of the Yakuza, Japan is quite a safe place, and petty crimes like pick-pocketing and theft are virtually non-existent. Primary school children are taught from an early age that if they do come across an object that doesn’t belong to them, they should attempt to find the owner, or bring it to the nearest police station.

8. Highly Mannered people

Manners matter, so smiling, being polite and thanking people is mandatory when asking locals for directions. Being respectful goes a long way and is most welcome in adapting to Japanese culture.

Do learn a few phrases in Japanese, as it helps a lot in communicating with people and not coming across as a xenophobic foreigner.

9. Japanese Trains are never late

In fact, the best way to travel through the country is by train. All signs are bilingual (English and Japanese) and there are huge signboards mentioning which platform your train arrives at. If you’re still lost, there are information counters within close proximity. However, it is best to remember that the trains are best avoided at peak hours (7 am to 10 am) and (6 pm to 8 pm) and that people queue to board. Do not push or shove & moreover Japanese trains are never late.

10. Importance of Masks

In public places, you will find lots of people wearing medical masks. It might be strange for you and you can consider them a bunch of germaphobes (which is partly true). But the broader reason for this is that the people wearing masks are unwell or have caught a nasty cold and do not wish to pass on their germs to their fellow commuters. It’s not because you stink.

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