Embassy publishes manners guide for Thai tourists in Japan
The Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo has posted online a guide to proper manner for Thai tourists visiting Japan.
The embassy said on its Facebook page that social media contained reports about inappropriate behaviour by Thai tourists. However, some of those people may not have understood why their actions were deemed unsuitable or strange to the Japanese, who place a high premium on polite manners.
The embassy suggested that, when in doubt, the best rule to follow was to observe and mimic local customs.
The embassy said that its tips were aimed at educating Thai tourists about practices in Japanese society so they could avoid pitfalls. But the embassy stressed that it wouldn't take a stand on which society was more polite.
1. Stand on the left of an escalator or walk on the right side in case of hurry. However, in some regions such as Kansai, the left side is for walking. Japanese people also clearly divides walking lane on the footpath.
2. Refrain from using mobile phone while using public transportation, such as buses and trains, and the cell phone should be put on vibrate mode.
3. Queuing is normal in Japan as service is provided on first-come, first-served basis, whether it is for public buses, toilets, buying food or other items. There will be no jump queue for either minors or the elderly.
4. When using an elevator, the first person gets into the lift will hold the button to open the door for other passengers and being the last person leaving.
5. Place money into a provided tray when paying for goods at a shop, as it will help reduce confusion on payment. Cashiers will also give change on the same tray.
6. When wanting to get some service at a shop, Thai tourists should wait for a assistant to come to them, instead of calling those who may in the middle of providing service to other customers.
7. Thai tourists should refrain from speaking in a loud voice in the public as the Japanese highly respect privacy and they think that public space is the common area used by all people. Therefore, train stations during morning and evening rush hours will be relatively quiet.
8. Separate garbage and recyclables and put them in the appropriate bin. Normally, there are no garbage bins on sidewalks, except in front of convenience stores and train stations.
9. Drive with consideration to pedestrians. Drivers must stop at zebra crossings and wait for all to cross the road with patience without honking the horn.
10. Do not use own chopsticks to pick food for other persons. Receive food send by the other by using the plate, not the chopsticks.
The embassy ended its guide by noting that Thai tourists should not worry too much about these manners, but as a visitor to foreign country, the humble personality of Thai people and their ability to observe behaviours in surrounding people will help them travel and have fun during their trip.