But please, take the do's and don'ts below with a grain of salt, because a) can anyone charity function and you're trying to meet people, make sure you stand with your chin parallel to the floor, your shoulders back, and with good posture.
Don't play with your phone, but rather, maintain eye contact—a novel idea—and lean in if you're enjoying the conversation.
Bowing is also used when thanking someone or apologizing. If possible, we recommend traveling to Japan with shoes that slip on and off easily.
Before entering a home, a matting, you will need to remove your shoes.
If doing so, please make sure to first place the money into an envelope, and then politely hand the envelope to your guide (ideally while bowing and saying thank you! You can read our full article about tipping in Japan for more information.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending a dating etiquette class at The Plaza.
In Japan, money is rarely passed directly from hand to hand.
When purchasing an item or service – rather than handing your money to the cashier – place your payment (whether cash or credit) on the small tray provided. This practice is prevalent in Japan, and you’ll see it in hotels, restaurants, taxis, convenience stores, cafes, bath houses, train stations, and even at the local Starbucks!
However, it is acceptable to give your guide a tip if you feel so inclined (not at all required).
The part where many non-Japanese commit an accidental is by forgetting to switch back to non-bathroom slippers upon leaving the bathroom.
Do your best to avoid this slip-up, otherwise you may be greeted by (friendly) laughter upon returning to the table still wearing bathroom slippers!
Since you’ll be doing this a lot in Japan, it’s nice to have shoes that come on and off easily.
Because of this, it’s also a good idea to make sure your socks match (and don’t have any holes in them)! When you enter the bathroom, leave your non-bathroom slippers outside of the bathroom, and switch to the bathroom slippers.