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Does anyone have some tips for The Savvy Old Lady regarding customs and culture in Japan?

Does anyone have some tips for The Savvy Old Lady regarding customs and culture in Japan?

Oct 18th, 2007, 09:26 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 116
Does anyone have some tips for The Savvy Old Lady regarding customs and culture in Japan?

In a few weeks The Crabby Old Guy and I will be flying to Okinawa to attend our son, the Marine’s wedding. I thought perhaps some of you seasoned travelers might have some tips for us so that we don’t embarrass ourselves or offend our Japanese daughter-in-law or her family. The best we can get from our dear “Sergeant” is not to stab our food with our chop sticks and to never point our chop sticks at anyone when speaking. The last thing we want or need is to appear as “The Ugly Americans” LOL. Since we have just made a major move to Nashville, Tenn. we have not had the time to do any research. The wedding date was surprisingly moved up due to the military bureaucracy and the fact that our son is being reassigned to a different base. Believe me all advice will be gratefully appreciated.

Stay Savvy!
The Savvy Old Lady©
thesavvyoldlady is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 10:34 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,427
I think you should post this on the Asian forum hun. And as a general rule if things seem to be off kilter bring out the sake.
jacketwatch is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 10:41 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,087
I did business with a Japanese company for many many years. The one thing that was consistant was that they always brought gifts when they came to Canada and I always took gifts when I went there. The number one appreciated item was always Scotch. It is so expensive there and they just love it - so it is certainly an appreciated item. But do by all means take gifts to the bride's parents.
traveller69 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 10:52 AM
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Posts: 116
Jacketwatch, I did post it on the Asian board but thought some cruisers might have also done Japan. Great minds think alike LOL.

Traveler, Thank you I didn't think about bringing gifts to the parents. Great idea!
Hugs, The Savvy Old Lady(c)
thesavvyoldlady is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 03:08 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,264

Thanks so much for that info on the gifts, epecially the scotch. I'm hoping to go to Japan 08 and I'll be watching this thread.

savvy Have a Fab time in Japan and I can't wait to read your trip post.

Theresa in Detroit.
Mamaw is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 07:44 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Someone on the Asian board posted this site for me http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e622.html. It really makes for interesting reading. Sounds like taking a bath and using the toilet will be the two most difficult things to do LOL. Have fun reading it...I just hope I remember it all when I get there. If not as Jacketwatch said bring out the sake LOL.

The Savvy Old Lady
thesavvyoldlady is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 10:33 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,087
Hi Savvy I didn't read the thread you posted for Theresa but I know what you are thinking regarding the bath and toilet. I have traveled to Japan many times and have been on a couple of the Islands where foreign tourists aren't as common. I can tell you that I had to use the Japanese style toilet only once. The hotels were all western style - even a Japanese style hotel on Kyushu. Most of the public parks, tourists attractions etc are marked "western style" One trip my teenage daughter was with me who is very blonde. She was the centre of attention - mothers came up with their babies and asked if they could take a picture of them together. It was a lot of fun. When we were on the Bullet train going to Osaka from Tokyo there was a class of children on a field trip. They were learning English and their teacher asked us if we would mind speaking with them. My daughter thought she was a movie star - she had to give out autographs. The Japanese people are so gracious and polite you don't have to worry about not using the chopsticks right etc. My husband was with me on one trip and they put on a very special dinner for us. He caused a lot of laughter because he was eating with the chopsticks upside down. Just be yourself but do take a gift and you will have a most delightful time.
traveller69 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 12:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 686
I traveled to Japan last year (Osaka, Nara, Kyoto and Himeji (sp?). It was fabulous.

We had absolutely no problems with anything - language, toilets, etc... I used regular utensils for eating.

The service in Japan was outstanding! Nothing I have seen comparable in the US.

The Asia board was very helpful. There was someone by the name of KimJapan who helped me trendmously.
Theresa is offline  

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