Japan Customs

Things to Avoid Doing in Japan

1. Don’t try Pachinko.

It is one of the few ways to legally gamble in Japan. But it’s a waste of time and money to take a seat in these smoky, noisy places .It’s not even entertaining at all. People just get addicted to thrill of winning a few extra yen per every few weeks of their live wasted on this so called “game.” Give it a shot if you want, but it really isn’t for everyone.

2. Don’t climb Mt. Fuji in the climbing season.

In the official hiking season, which is in summer and peaks in august, Mt. Fujji’s trails are clogged with Japanese and non-Japanese tourists. So you end up waiting/walking up a line the entire trek up the mountain. Which also makes taking quality photos difficult. So early Fall, September or October are probably the safest.

3. Don’t go to Tokyo Disney Land or Disney Sea

“It’s a trap!” it’s a tourist trap. It’s overhyped, overpriced, and overcrowded. Even on any weekday of the year you can expect excruciatingly long waits in line for any ride. If you crave a rollercoaster go to Tokyo Dome city.

4. Don’t waste your time and money at Tokyo Tower.

This suggestion comes from a article on What Not to do in Tokyo: The Top 5 Tourist Mistakes. There are much better views of Tokyo available all over the city for free and cheaper. Just as the article suggests, the popular Mori Building in Roppongi Hills has a Skydeck from which you can even take pictures that include the Tokyo Tower.

5. Don’t go to Roppongi

The few times I’ve been here I was uncomfortable with the excessively sleezy vibe of this place and the horrendous music, and prices. At night, Roppingi is overcrowded with nerdy English teachers and other foreigners of Tokyo who come to waste money and what little life they have left. Prostitutes, (often quite unattractive actually) proposition you. And the African club owners harass you into trying out their clubs. I don’t really enjoy hanging out all night in general, but Roppongi is not the best place in Tokyo to do so if that is your thing. I prefer Shibuya. I’ve actually made friends at some clubs in shibuya.

6. Don’t go to Hostess or Host clubs.

I always wondered why the prices are so ridiculously high in these places. You could easily pay ¥20,000 for just one or two drinks and risk getting beat up for refusing to pay. Do lonely, wealthy men and women really have such a fear of genuine human interaction and trying to meet someone of the opposite sex even for a simple or entertaining conversation that they feel the need to pay a superficial, overdressed man or lady just to talk to them? Well, actually it isn’t just talk as in some of these places the customers pay for sex. But it still seems to point out a problem in the general social skills of Japanese people most of these places only provide the façade of a social connection. If someone attempts to get you into their bar, politely refuse.

7. Don’t be surprised if you perceive any behavior as cold, or rude

Wow, there are so many examples to choose from. I think I’ll go with an old classic I hope most of you have heard of. A non-Japanese man asks for directions to a Japanese guy, in fluent Japanese, and the Japanese guy responds in English, “sorry I don’t speak English.” It’s obviously illogical right? Yet it happens all the time. The non-Japanese guy might not speak English either, and he obviously speaks Japanese, and so the Japanese guy just doesn’t want to attempt to communicate with another human being. Why? Now, most of the time I have asked for directions, I got an honest effort to help me, but several times I did get a response like that, and so have several of my friends. It’s confusing, and from our logical perspectives quite rude and cold.

8. Don’t avoid talking to people

Talk to as many people as you can even if you don’t speak Japanese! Tell me how it goes! My guess is you will make a few friends, at least at a very superficial level. You will undoubtedly meet many Japanese who stare at you with blank eyes, as if they were comatose, even if you asked a question in fluent Japanese. Just laugh it off, and keep talking until you crack their thick wall of social inhibitions and make some connections.

9. Don’t be negative at all!

Even if you are honest in simply saying you don’t like a certain TV show, song, food or other meaningless thing you risk destroying any chance of developing a friendship with the Japanese person you are talking to if you happen to simply dislike something they like. Seriously. It happens. Conflict of any form is difficult for Japanese people to deal with.

10. Don’t just visit Tokyo.

Tokyo is just like any other big city. And if you stay in it to long, it will just become a cliché of itself. There are plenty of interesting, entertaining, and beautiful places outside Tokyo. Such as Kamakura, monkey island, Hakone, and everywhere else outside of Tokyo.

11. Don’t forget to carry your passport

its mostly a precation. Most people probably wont have any problems. Carry your passport, at leas a good copy of the front and visa pages. If you are a non-Japanese citizen you have no rights. And can be jailed and deported if you aren’t carrying your passport. I know a Japanese citizen who was illegally jailed because he didn’t have ID yet the police racially profiled him as he wasn’t racially “asian.”