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Home > Travel Tips > Japanese Etiquette

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Updated:February 6, 2017

Japanese Etiquette

Japan has many unique cultures and manners/customs. Everyday life involves many things you may not have experienced. In this corner, we introduce Japanese unique manners related to “Travel.”




Guidance to your room

Please remove your shoes at the front of our inn (tourist home), and change to slippers. A service staff will guide you to your room, and when you enter your room, please remove your slippers at the regulated place.


In a Japanese-style room, there is space called the "tokonoma," which is slightly elevated from tatami mats, at one edge of the room.

On the wall of the tokonoma, a scroll with drawing or calligraphy on it is hung, and in front of the scroll, flowers are arranged.

The seat in front of the tokonoma is called "kamiza," and it is regarded as a seat of honor; a guest is invited to be seated here.

Bathing room

A Japanese bathtub is not for washing your body in  it is for relaxing both the body and mind by taking time to warm yourself.

It is common to bathe with other guests that are staying in the inn. Please be careful not to be disturbing to others.

Bathing procedures

(1)Before entering a bathtub,  wash yourself and rinse throughly.



(2)Enter the bathtub, relax, and get out, and wash your whole body with soap in the washing area.

(3)Lastly, thoroughly wash away soap by pouring warm water over your body.

(4)When you leave the bathing room, wipe water from the body with a towel, and dress in a dressing room.


  • Do not pull the bath plug.
  • Do not wear a swimsuit.
  • Do not put water in the bathtub.
  • Do not use soap in the bathtub.
  • Do not bring a towel into the bathtub _ it makes inside the bathtub dirty.
  • Wash your body outside the bathtub.
  • Be careful not to splash pouring water onto people around you.
  • Rinse away a used wash basin and chair with warm water, and return them to the original places.
  • Do not bring a bath towel into the bathing room.
  • Do not jump into the bathtub.
  • Do not run.
  • Do not bring in food or drinks.
  • Do not bathe while intoxicated.


A Japanese traditional bedding "futon" is used by spreading it on a tatami mat.

Take out a futon from the closet, and spread a lower futon (mattress) on the bottom.

Put a sheet on the lower futon, and then spread an upper futon (comforter).

Make adjustment by using a blanket, an upper futon, etc., according to temperature.

Pay full attention to keeping yourself warm during sleep.

How to use a toilet

Toilets in Japan come in two types: Japanese style and Western style.  
Japanese style:  Stride over the lavatory bowl.

Flush paper into the toilet in either Japanese or Western style.
Do not flush lots of paper in the toilet, as it may cause clogging.