Get Ready To Study Abroad In Japan (12 Handy Tips)
Land of the Rising Sun, Japan is a fascinating destination. Come to Japan and find a seamless fusion of old traditions and new technology. Explore the stunning natural landscapes, the sparkling and sprawling cities.
Study Abroad In Japan
Japan is the place known for its patience and mannerism; you will find people waiting patiently in lines even during the time of natural calamities. You can spend days and months learning about the diverse and spectacular country with remarkable cuisine and progressive mindset. We are sure you will continue learning while in Japan; to begin with, learn these basic tips and you are good to begin your journey.
Safe & Secure
Repeatedly showing up as one the world's safest countries, Japan is a great place for foreigners. However always be vigilant, stay out of dark alleys, provoking anyone or flashing the cash.
Time is the essence
Punctuality is the essence of the Japanese culture. Followed religiously, not just personally but by organizations, schools, universities and every working department. You will even find the public transportation always on time; watch people speed walking so not to miss their transport. Being late or making anyone wait is not acceptable in Japan. Even if you are running late by one minute, it is late – try to keep the person informed by text or call about your arrival time.
Mannerism is the key
Japanese are polite and respectful, teaching their children these values from young age. They are taught patience, contentment and respect as part of their upbringing. People bow to each other when meeting, though foreigners can show the same courtesy by a simple inclination of the head. Be formal when addressing anyone during a conversation. Avoid drawing attention to yourself and avoid activities like blowing your nose in public, speaking loud, listening to loud music or speaking on cell phone etc. especially when you are in public places.
Learn to show empathy and appreciation by saying “Sumimasen” and “Arigato Gozaimas” meaning “I am sorry” and “Thank you”. Say it with a smile and genuine tone, and this will take you far.
Be Cash ready
Places and service businesses like restaurants or small shops accept cash payments only. So when leaving your place, carry enough cash for the day and save time for a surprised walk to the ATM for money.
Pointing is rude
Japanese are highly considerate of privacy and personal space. Taking pictures without permission or pointing at people is deemed disrespectful.
Watch your tone of voice
Japanese people are sensitive towards offending people, and are always aware of others around them. It is seen as impolite to raise your voice in public places, even if you are having a joyful casual conversation with a friend.
Following the traditional method, Japanese prefer eating on low tables and cushions or Tatami mats. The cuisine mainly has rice with one main dish and some side dishes. The meals are served on small plates with each dish served separately. It can also be a good idea to learn using chopsticks. Kneeling is the formal way of sitting during meal. Wastage of food is not acceptable and you are expected to take with you the portion of food that you can’t consume.
Every time you are entering a private space like a family home or school/classroom, you will be required to remove your shoes. Always carry an extra pair of socks, as barefoot is also a big no-no here. You will always find a dedicated lobby area to store your shoes and wear home slippers or flip-flops provided. The house shoes should not be worn outside and the outside shoes cannot be worn inside the house.
It is not clean, if it is not Japanese clean. It is rare to spot litter or graffiti in Japan – you will find everything spotless. Even though there is a lack of public garbage bins, the garbage is not at all visible on roads. Japanese hold on to their wrappers, bottles etc. and dispose of them at home. Most of the people, when sick, wear hygienic facemask in public places, and avoid direct touch with anyone so as to avoid spreading germs. Japanese people keep their homes spotless, so try to keep your space as clean as possible; messy rooms and luck of hygiene is deemed exceedingly rude and discourteous.
Japanese believe in utilization of almost everything and keeping their needs to the minimum. Space is at a premium in Japan so you will see that Japanese homes are significantly smaller. The same is true for public transport, be it train or bus. You may find that trains and buses are always crowded, and that is because Japanese prefer using public transport instead of private.
Communication is an art
Japanese are sensitive about conversation topics and usually do not discuss what they are actually thinking. People avoid anything that can interpreted as argumentative or embarrassing during a conversation. So if you are not getting an upfront candid response to your inquiry, it means that the person is hesitant to say no, and not wanting to offend you. Always offer your help or assistance twice, as Japanese are more likely, as a humble gesture, to refuse your help at first.
Learn the language to blend in
Japanese are very respectful and put lot of efforts to make the other person feel comfortable and welcome. In Japan, you will always find people responding to you in English at first. You can try to respond in Japanese as a mark of respect; you will find them being excited and proud of you for trying to learn. We always recommend learning a few basic phrases in the local language, as it will help you communicating with others.