In less than a fortnight’s time, the Rugby World Cup will kick off in Japan. A sea of fans from all corners of the world will descend on the Land of the Rising Sun for one of 2019’s biggest sporting events.
An estimated 50,000 people from the UK are expected to visit the country, where manners speak volumes.
It is a unique country can be intriguing for a first time visitor.
Here are our top tips on how avoid an awkward encounter.
Japan may be at the forefront of technology but only around 20% of transactions are cashless.
Bow politely when you meet someone new.
A bow can range from a small nod of the head to a deep bend at the waist. A deeper, longer bow indicates respect and a small nod with the head is casual and informal. Bowing with your palms together at chest level is not customary in Japan.
Slurping your food or drink is considered standard practice in Japan and a sign you're enjoying your meal.
Take your shoes off
When entering homes, traditional hotels or temples, you will be expected to remove your shoes and put on slippers (which are usually provided).
The practice is done mainly for cleanliness and believed to go back over one thousand years.
Wait for the green man
Pedestrians should wait until it's safe to cross even if there are no cars in sight.
Carry a passport
You must carry your passport or residence card at all times in Japan.
It’s not a necessary custom in Japan and staff will feel embarrassed if you do.
Show your tattoos
Tattoos have a long association with organised crime in Japan. If you have a tattoo, try and cover it where possible.
Blow your nose in public
Avoid blowing your nose in public as it is considered rude.
If you need to, take yourself away from others or go into a bathroom stall. Always use a clean paper tissue and throw it away after use.
It is polite to hold chopsticks near the end. Don’t chew, lick or leave chopsticks standing in a bowl as it is associated with funerals.
Public bins are almost impossible to find, but people are encouraged to dispose of their own rubbish whether at home, work or in public toilets.
Pour your own drink
Allow someone else to pour your drink for you as it is customary to pour drinks for others in your party - and don't forget to say kam-pai (cheers!).