Within the last two years, Japan has been one of the most wanted travel destination for a lot of people, Indonesians included. Especially since the existence of E-Passport allows us to travel to Japan without a visa, Indonesians are very much eager to travel to the land of the rising sun. Now it seems like everyone you know is going to Japan. In almost travel exhibition, travel groups and airlines are busy highlighting Japan as the most promising getaway destination, for solo travelers, best friends who travel together, families, pre-wed hunters, or honeymooners alike.
Now, you might have heard or collected the must visit touristy spots, or the must try cuisines from Google, blogs, or even from your own friends. So, let us give you some uncommon facts, like etiquette, that might come in handy during your stay in Japan.
In most culture, including ours, this would sound a bit inhumane. If we ever do this in a restaurant, the other tables would most likely give us that condemning “holier than thou” look. In some other countries, you have no choice but wait until the server comes over to your table. Normally, it won’t take long as they will make sure that you get everything you need in the hope of getting a big tip from you. But in Japan, yelling to the waiter or snapping your fingers is also okay to do. The waiters won't even get offended. Simply yell out “Sumimasen!” and someone will come over to help you out. It might feel a bit strange at first to shout for a service in a restaurant, but that's what the locals would do. Go ahead and try it!
Tipping is quite a “must” in these modern days, even in Indonesia (even though we already have service charge taxed into our bill). From waiters, bartenders, cabdrivers, and hairdressers. Everyone loves getting tips! But apparently, not in Japan.
Tipping in Japan could make anyone who receives the tip confused as to why you gave them money. It won’t take too long before they insist for you to take it back. Some people would even feel guilty for receiving that extra money. They would struggle whether they should report it to their superior or whether they should pay the tax from that “extra income”. If you don't want to put them in an awkward position, keep the change.
This is a big NO-NO in most countries. Slurping noises, whether you are in the middle of enjoying a bowl of noodles or soups, are simply intolerable. But in Japan, slurping is equal to politeness. When eating ramen, soba, udon, etc. don’t be afraid to slurp! Some say it helps to cool down the temperature, some others say it enhances the flavor. Besides slurping, you’ll also find Japanese people burp audibly throughout their meal as a polite sign that they are enjoying the feast. The louder, the better! So go ahead burp and flatter the cooks. It’s the only time when you can forget all you ever learned about table manners.
What do you think? Does reading about all those three kinda tickle you to actually give it a try? Or, not? Well, whether you want to do it or not, make sure that whatever moment you create in Japan is captured by our photographer, then you can bring home the memorable experience back home in the form of sweet photographs!