Japan travel tips for first-time travellers


2019.02.28 (Thu)

Japanese culture includes its own set of etiquette and customs. While you are traveling in Japan, being familiar with some basic manners can help you avoid trouble and make your travel go smooth. Please enjoy your time in Japan!

Eating & Drinking

You are expected to take off your shoes at some restaurants and bars. Sometimes you will be offered a pair of slippers for walking around inside. Slippers are not worn in rooms with tatami flooring.

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

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.

It is not common to give tips. Please pay the full amount indicated in the bill and do not give a tip.


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

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

Tax-free shopping for tourists is available at some shops. Please ask for details at the store.

Some shops can arrange the shipping of your goods to your home for you.

Getting around

In Japan, people usually do not speak on the phone when using public transport. Please switch your phone to silent mode when you take a bus or train.

Please line up to buy tickets or when you are waiting for a bus. It is common in Japan to wait in line.

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

Please do not litter.

Near train stations you can often find lockers to store your shopping or luggage.


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


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

Smoking inside bars, restaurants, and cafes is often allowed. Some places have smoking rooms, but other places do not allow smoking inside.


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.

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