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Etiquette Essentials to Navigate Taito City with Grace


2023.07.27 (Thu)

By Dan Lewis, inbound tourism advisor and consultant, long-term Japan resident & outdoor activity enthusiast.

Taito City, one of Tokyo's bustling neighborhoods, is a highly popular destination for travelers from all around the world. With its vibrant atmosphere and rich cultural heritage, it comes as no surprise that people are coming to visit. The Japanese people are excited to have visitors back, welcoming them with open arms. However, to ensure that your trip to Japan will be a memorable one, it is essential to acquaint yourself with the local etiquette before your departure. Understanding the cultural differences of the destination will be part of the travel experience!

To make your journey through Japan as seamless as possible, here are some important etiquette guidelines and points to note:

1) Respect personal space: When browsing through stores, refrain from touching items with hands that have been in contact with food. Moreover, it is considered impolite to enter a restaurant or store while eating food. Finish your meal before entering.

2) Izakaya customs: At some izakayas you may be offered a "otoshi", a small appetizer or side dish provided to each customer automatically, and the cost is usually added to the bill.

3) Toilet manners: Toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet, but remember not to dispose of anything other than toilet paper in the bowl.

4) Dining etiquette: At restaurants, avoid drinking things you brought in with you. Instead, order from the establishment's menu.

5) In Taito City, smoking is generally prohibited on the streets. However, to accommodate smokers, designated smoking areas have been set up across the city. Please cooperate and respect these designated areas and follow the regulations in place. For more information on smoking areas, please visit the following site:

6) Punctuality matters: When you make a reservation, make sure to arrive on time. If you are late, the establishment may not be able to accommodate you.

7) Photography restrictions: Some areas may have restrictions on photography. Please be attentive to signage indicating photography-prohibited zones and respect these guidelines.

8) Queue etiquette: Standing in line is a vital aspect of Japanese culture. Please refrain from cutting in line, as it is considered rude.

9) Garbage disposal: Public garbage cans are not readily available due to the cultural practice of taking your own garbage back home. We recommend carrying a plastic bag or other suitable container to store your trash until you can properly dispose of it.

By embracing these etiquette guidelines, your trip to Taito City will be a delightful and respectful experience. Let's celebrate cultural diversity, show consideration for others, and create unforgettable memories in this vibrant city. Enjoy your journey and make every moment count!

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