Buffalo Tours are excited to officially launch their Tokyo office and welcome our wonderful travellers to this incredible destination! We’ll be celebrating with some great Japan focused content and you can check out our tours right here now.
Travelling forces you to leave your comfort zone and come face-to-face with new, sometimes baffling, customs, traditions, and ceremonies. Japan has a rich and ancient history and its customs, so ingrained in the local culture, might not be obvious to the first-time traveler. Yet, the longer you stay, the more efficient and effective the Japanese way of life seems.
To help you acclimatise even faster, here are some helpful practices to remember. Who knows, maybe you’ll want to take them home with you after you leave…
Drinking green tea regularly
Tea ceremonies are an ancient Japanese tradition that have been religiously studied and practiced for centuries. Tea ceremonies, or chanjis, can last up to four hours and are meticulously executed! But don’t worry, you won’t have to wait that long to gulp down a piping hot cup of green tea, as tea drinking has been adapted to suit today’s conveniences. Not only is it delicious, but this potent drink is also closely connected to reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. Today, Japan is one of the top 10 tea-drinking nations, coming after its looming neighbour China. While you’re there, be sure to drink up!
Experience Japanese cuisine
Greatly associated with its freshness and health benefits, traveller’s can reap rewards by learning about and experiencing Japanese cuisine. Ranking #6 in the world for seafood consumption, such dishes like sushi and sashimi help to lower the risk of heart disease, increase omega-3 fatty acids, and increase life expectancy. While on your trip, try out new dishes and remember what you can take home to adapt for your own kitchen!
Stay to the left
While this may be hard to implement as a one-man team back home, you can still leave with a couple of takeaways about Japanese public etiquette. Queuing and following proper etiquette in public is very important in Japanese culture. When going up escalators, be sure to stand on the left side if you’d like to relax, and walk up the right side if you’re in a hurry. This leads to an efficient and relaxed manner of getting around public transportation!
Practice the art of eating with chopsticks prior to visiting Japan and upon your return home, you’ll be a pro! Using chopsticks not only allows you to assimilate and experience a different culture’s method of eating, but also forces you to eat a little slower, which is better for your metabolism. Remember that you can also slurp your noodles or make loud noises while eating in Japan! In fact, slurping hot food like ramen is considered polite and is a sign that you are enjoying the meal.
Serve others, not yourself
When you’re enjoying a drink with friends, you’d typically pour a drink for yourself right? Perhaps so, but in Japan, it’s actually customary to serve others and wait until someone pours one for you. A sign of respect and proper etiquette, this could be something you teach your group of friends and family back home!