The majority of anime fans eventually start making plans to visit the Land of the Rising Sun. However, once you arrive in Japan mimicking what you’ve picked up from your favorite anime series may not be the best idea! So what are you to do? I’d highly suggest reading through Amy’s Guide to Best Behavior in Japan Do It Right and Be Polite! as it is chock full of good advice and tips.
I have been lucky enough to visit Japan and will confirm that there are a lot of subtleties built into Japanese culture that even longtime anime fans may not detect in full. Author Amy Chavez does an excellent job doling out a lot of sage advice that’s accompanied by a great sense of humor. Some of the many topics she covers include what to wear, what to do when visiting temples and shrines, the art of the bow, gift giving, guest etiquette, riding subways and trains, hotels versus ryokan, bathing do’s and don’ts, needed conversation basics, and a section specifically tailored for business travelers! There is a ton of helpful information in this book and it’s all easily digestible. Each section is broken down into easy to understand bullet points including some of Chavez’s own personal missteps. I felt that her anecdotes provided perfect examples of how little things we may take for granted can cause an unintentional frenzy for a Japanese person. Like the casual mention of an odd smell which sent an entire work staff on the hunt for the offensive odor! Chavez also provides helpful phrases that could aide travelers, like Itadakimasu! and Ojama shimasu which many anime fans should be able to instantly recognize. With that being said, I just wish there was some sort of pronunciation guide to accompany these phrases as I fear anyone who hasn’t studied the language could have a misstep of their own if they haven’t already heard how to say the words!
Overall I really enjoyed Amy’s Guide to Best Behavior in Japan and felt like I learned a lot for someone who’s already taken lots of Asian Studies courses! Plus with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo coming up fast I can easily see many people tucking this travel sized book into a small bag. Perfect for exploring the wonders of Japan! So plan your pilgrimage now and heed Amy’s advice!
I’d also suggest checking out these other helpful titles: Exploring Kyoto On Foot In The Ancient Capital (Revised Ed), Japaneseness: A Guide To Values And Virtues, How To Take A Japanese Bath (2nd Ed), Easy And Fun Katakana, and the DVD series Getting Along In Japanese.
Another way to find an assortment of interesting titles about Japan is to type“Japanese Culture” into the search bar!
This guide to common courtesy, acceptable behavior, and manners is essential for any visitor to Japan. Japanese are unfailingly polite and will never tell you if you’ve crossed the line. But by knowing how to act in every situation you’ll gain the respect of your hosts and in the end get even better service and enjoyment during your travels. Covered here are all the essentials—like travel, greetings, dining—plus subtle niceties like tone of voice, body language, cell phone usage, city vs. country styles, and attire (and what to do about your tattoos!).
Chavez knows just what foreign visitors need and delivers it in a smart, compact, and delightfully illustrated package for quick use and reference.Add to CartLearn More