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When in Japan … mind your P’s & Q’s

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Prepare for these unfamiliar customs:

1. The number 4 is considered unlucky, like the number 13 in America.

2. Blowing your nose in public is considered disgusting. People will sniffle until they find a private place.

3. Tipping can be seen as insulting. People will chase you to return your money.

4. Walking and eating are considered sloppy. Exception: ice cream.

5. Uniformed helpers push you onto crowded trains.

6. Commuters fall asleep with their head on your shoulder. It’s tolerated.

7. There are house slippers and toilet slippers for bathrooms. Put them on.

8. Always bring your host a gift. If you’re on the receiving end, protest but never refuse.

9. Pouring you own glass is rude. Serve others first, and wait for someone to say “Kanpai” (Cheers).

10. Slurping noodles means you like your meal. Don’t belch, though.

11. Sleeping in capsule hotels, in pods barely bigger than a coffin, is common. Avoid it if you have claustrophobia.

—Adapted from “11 Japanese customs that are shocking to foreign travelers,” Asta Thrastardottir, Business Insider.

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