Etiquette tips for first-time travelers


2018.11.01 (Thu)

Japan travel tips

Customs and manners are quite important in Japan. If you are familiar with some basic manners and follow common rules you can easily avoid trouble and make your travel go smooth. In addition it is also helpful to learn just a few basic words of Japanese.

Eating & Drinking

In Japan, it is not common to give tips. Just pay the full amount indicated in the bill. Please note that there are a number of places that are cash only and do not accept credit cards.

An “o-toshi” cover charge is quite common at bars or izakaya pubs. It might be 300 - 1000 yen per person. At places that take an o-toshi cover charge every customer has to pay it. It is not a charge for tourists.

If you make a reservation, please come on time. And if you cannot make it, please cancel your reservation. Japanese culture values punctuality.

If you are eating outside, please do not block the way for others. In some areas it can get very crowded, so please be considerate.

Please do not litter. While there are only few public trash cans, many shops will take back empty cups or trays after you are done. Trash cans for empty bottles and cans can often be found next to vending machines.


Smoking while walking is prohibited. Please smoke in the designated smoking areas.


Please do not take pictures or videos where photography is forbidden. Some areas within temples and shrines for example are private.

Getting around

Please follow the general traffic rules and make sure to let others pass if you stop to take pictures.


Please exchange money in advance. Local shops, restaurants, and shrines and temples do not exchange money.

Not all shops accept credit cards, so sometimes you need to prepare cash.

Please line up. It is common in Japan to wait in line at the cash register, the train stations, or at popular restaurants.


You can use the free Wi-Fi service in Taito-ku at places with the pink Taito FREE Wi-Fi mark (SSID:Taito_Free_Wi-Fi). Many shops, restaurants, and hotels also offer free Wi-Fi.

Please enjoy your time in Japan!

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