The Kansai Tourism Bureau released a fun video series on January 21, explaining the basics of Japanese culture to the ever-increasing number of tourists.
This Japanese Culture 101 installment covers Lesson 5 and Lesson 6.
Lesson 5: Smoking Areas
If you happen to be a smoker coming to Japan for the first time, you might be surprised to see no one smoking in public places.
Could it be that all Japanese are non-smokers? Well, no. Not yet, anyway.
Smoking in public here is confined to small, clearly-labeled areas.
Fancy a smoke while waiting at Hachiko? Hold that thought, and find the designated “smoking area” just across the street!
Lesson 6: Going for Sushi
Sushi is seen as the epitome of Japanese cuisine. Therefore, a few rituals are attached to the dining experience when partaking of this fare.
For example, did you ever wonder why you were presented with a small dish at the beginning of the meal, which you had no recollection of ordering?
Just like in many other countries, there is a cover charge. To make it more inviting, in Japan you are sometimes presented with tsukidashi, a light dish to wet your appetite before the meal.
We all know that Japan is the country of green tea, and for good reason. Sushi restaurants often will serve green tea as a warm hearty drink to end the meal. It always seems to taste better then, and the best part is, it’s free!
Have you found the videos useful? Let us know!
(Click here for more information and to reach links to the rest of the series.)