Did you know that napping at work is honorable in Japan, unlike in other countries? Yes. That is just 1 out of the 300 wtf facts about Japan. The unique tradition of Japan is an exciting combination of new and old.

With deeply embedded traditions and an ever-changing way of living, Japan is both boldly traditional and ultra-modern. It is a country that promotes its clear cultural heritage, from food and everyday manners to fashion and literacy.

Whether you are about to plan a vacation or just want to know more about the nation, these 9 facts about Japanese culture will give you a deeper understanding of the unique and beautiful culture of the country.

1. Walking while smoking or eating

In Japan, going down the street when eating is inappropriate. Which is why you’ll often see people waiting by vending machines, finishing their beverages or snacks. In the meantime, smoking while strolling the street is prohibited in certain places. There are approved smoking zones, but you cannot light up until you enter one.

2. Bathing is for relaxing

In Japan, taking a bath at home is for relaxing rather than washing up. Hence, the Japanese don’t use soaps in their baths. Instead, they’re going to shower initially and then relax in the tub afterward.

3. Praying involves clapping

Yeah, that’s real. But initially you bow, give a slight shift, bow deeply again, alarm the bell (telling the gods about your presence), then you clap again, and praise the gods silently, bow deeply again, and depart. Temple manners are a part of the tradition in Japanese society.

4. Vegetarian for 1,400 years

It may seem like an insane truth regarding Japanese society, but it’s real. In the 19th century, the Meiji emperor himself split the taboo and consumed beef, leaving Japan more and more accessible to Western values. Prior to that period, Buddhist policies enacted in the 7th century banned consuming meat (but birds and fish were fine).

5. They count their age differently

A few established truths about Japanese tradition: everybody is a year older than you thought. Identified as kazoedoshi–or’ counted years ‘ –citizens will instead, together with everybody else, be a year older on New Year’s Day. Desiring to modernize, the government declared this scheme outdated in 1902.

6. Be careful with your chopsticks

When citizens give offerings to dead loved ones, it is common to provide a bowl of food with chopsticks sticking out of it. But, when you’re doing something that looks like this in a bar or in a restaurant, you could get some strange looks.


It’s a great fact to learn about Japanese culture if you’re considering a holiday there! When you’re finished with your chopsticks, just place them on the side to make sure they’re secure.

7. Counter staff are very polite

If you’re heading to a grocery store in Japan, prepare a lot of stuff to be said to you by the staff. Even though they appear to express a ton of things, what they’re trying to do is giving you friendly forms of terms and phrases. Typically, it’s not essential to answer, a simple thank you will do. It’s one of the ways to show goodness.

8. Being noisy in a train is showing impoliteness

When you’re on a train in Japan, you’re going to observe one thing right away–it’s silent. Traditionally, if people speak, they do so quietly. People seldom make a call when on a train (a helpful thing to learn about Japan). It is one of the etiquettes you should know when you are riding a train in Japan.

9. Bowing

Perhaps an undeniable truth about Japanese culture is bowing–or ojigi –is significant. So literally, we say to everyone. If it’s a nod to a grocery store clerk or a major bow to your boss at work, that’s a real thing.

How many occasions you bow and how profoundly your bow indicates your appreciation for the individual you are bowing to. Even with their group of friends or colleagues, they bow to each other.


Such fascinating details about Japan are only a taster of what there is to know regarding the current society of the country. In Japan, cutting-edge innovations lay side by side with ancient rituals. This diverse cultural blend is part of what makes a nation so interesting to visit.

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