Why do people rub chopsticks together

Beware, faux pas: you should definitely not do these things in Japan

Culture shock guaranteed! There are quite a few things in Japan that could be perceived as incredibly impolite - so you should read the basic rules of Japanese etiquette carefully beforehand.

Ignore chopstick etiquette

Finished with the meal? Never put your chopsticks in the rice, always put them next to the plate! The chopsticks sticking out of the rice are reminiscent of a funeral ritual. Also, don't pass food directly to someone else's with your chopsticks - put the sample on the plate instead. And: rubbing chopsticks together is perceived as extremely impolite.

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queue jumping

The Japanese like order and rules - and being in line at the back of the queue is part of it. Whether in the restaurant, at the bus stop or in front of the supermarket before it opens: a proper row is a matter of course in Japan.

Leave shoes on inside

This may seem obvious in private homes, but in Japan it also applies in unexpected places like hospitals, schools and even traditional hotels, the ryokans, and sometimes restaurants. In most cases, however, there are slippers that you can wear instead.

leave a tip

In Japan there is no culture of tipping, because good service should be a matter of course. Especially in areas where there are not so many tourists, rounding up in restaurants or hotels will be very wrong and will even be perceived as an insult! Tip: If the service was particularly good, thank you and make a small bow instead of reaching for your yen.

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Eat while walking

The Japanese do not eat or drink while walking, not on public transport and only in exceptional cases on park benches and the like. Even if you buy food from a street stall, you should eat it while standing next to the stall - and then definitely dispose of your rubbish in the nearest rubbish bin. Throwing it on the street is also a no-go.

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