Adice from experienced travellers to Japan?

  Picklefactory 12:45 02 Aug 2012

Hi folks I know a number of you have travelled to Japan and I have my first business visit to the country in a couple of weeks time, and just wondering if there is anything in particular that caught any of you unawares on your first trip? Etiquette? Food? Currency etc?

My company would prefer to provide me with US dollars as currency to exchange there, as we rarely travel to Japan, so any spare is a nuisance, I don't envisage any issue with exchange of $ to Yen, but thought I'd ask.

Food doesn't worry me too much, I enjoy pretty much anything, but again, you never know if there's something to watch out for.

Any advice gratefully received.

I'll be passing through Tokyo and then spending the week working in Komatsu in the Ishikawa Prefecture (Well away from Fukushima, thankfully)

  Picklefactory 12:46 02 Aug 2012

Hmm.... advice on how to spell advice would be first on the list it seems.

  KRONOS the First 12:58 02 Aug 2012

Ah... where is the edit button when you need it?

  Picklefactory 13:09 02 Aug 2012


My thoughts exactly, I really must remember to proof read before posting

  Aitchbee 13:35 02 Aug 2012

I've heard that on the Tokyo underground trains they've got 'official transport handlers' whose job it is to squeeze passengers into compartments when it gets busy.

  Condom 13:53 02 Aug 2012

In a business trip, it is even more important to be polite and respectful at all times. Never raise your voice if at all possible and smile as much as possible. If you are invited out you will find Karaoke (Which means empty mouth)is normally on the agenda and you will be asked to participate. No matter how bad your voice is do not refuse as it is impolite. Always leave something on your plate or you may find it is continually filled.

In a business meeting you will find the most important people will be sitting furthest away from the door. That is as much as I can remember. Have a great trip. It is a wonderful country if not an expensive one.

  john bunyan 15:25 02 Aug 2012

My best friend from school days (sadly passed away) was married to a Japanese lady. She now lives in Otsu, near Kyoto and works as PR in the Shiga Prefecture, not that far away from Komatsu. In the days of yellow flags I could have given her your phone no as she lived in UK for 15 years. You could have phoned her for tips. Japan is a bit male chauvinist. A senior (female) executive from my last company went there to arrange a major research project. Their team leader persistently addressed her (male) No2.They may well over supply alcohol. Do not point chopsticks at anyone. Watch out for taking shoes off in houses etc.

  Picklefactory 15:27 02 Aug 2012


I've heard that too, thank you. I'm not sure if I will need to experience that though, although I do have to get from Narita to Haneda airports in Tokyo, so possibly the underground may be an experience after all.


Thanks, all sounds good advice. I sincerely hope the karaoke will not happen, but I'll give it a go if required. The unfinished food is little different then to my family in Ireland.... same problem there... clean plate must equate to still hungry.

  Picklefactory 15:29 02 Aug 2012

john bunyan

Again, some helpful points there, thanks also, although I'm not sure I'll be visiting anyones home, but good to know none the less.

  john bunyan 15:36 02 Aug 2012


They are status conscious, and the junior bows slightly lower to the senior when they meet. I would take plenty of business cards. When you meet hold it in the thumb and forefinger of both hands together to present it. Try to get some printed with Japanese on the reverse as a sign or courtesy.(Try to double check no errors on it!)

  spuds 16:47 02 Aug 2012

I was out there in the 1970's, and things have changed quite a lot. Politeness was one of the noticeable things, and I think that still stands very much now. Also remember their work or leisure patterns do not correspond to that of the UK. Watch how your hosts entertain-drink, do not try to 'complete'!.

Here's a couple of websites that might prove interesting, using the links.

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