Even if something is considered common in Japan, once you go abroad, you may find that the same thing is not common at all. The same goes when foreigners visit Japan, and it’s normal to find many differences between one’s country and Japan.

Today we will present some “Unexpected rules that surprised me when I went to Japan” from the perspective of an Italian woman who came on a trip to Japan.

Through things that make foreigners go “WOW”, Japanese people may find out that some rules are very unique in Japan. (The following represents only the personal opinion of the interviewee.)

Japanese people take things seriously when they board a train

“In Italy, making calls on your cellphone while on the train or bus is ok, although it doesn’t happen often. However, in Japan, there are strict rules forbidding the use of cellphones, and you can see signs everywhere in the car, and Japanese people diligently abide by these rules.

Furthermore, when getting on and off the train, it’s amazing to see how people on the platform line-up on the sides of the opening doors to let people off.
Italians tend to let people off before getting into the train, but they don’t line up so neatly.” (Italian/Woman)

Even when using public transportation that they ride on a daily basis to go to school or work, Japanese people are concerned about their behavior.
Above all “calling” and “interrupting” are often considered bad manners. To me it seems that foreigners are impressed by the fact that Japanese people are so serious about keeping their behavior in check and about following the rules.

The train station staff is very kind

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Japan has a very well-developed train network, and many tourists use this transportation system to reach other cities, and consider it to be convenient.

Usually there’s station staff by the gate at nearly every station, so, if you’re not sure where to go or what to do they can help and they are very kind. I think it’s very helpful to travellers.” (Italian/Woman)

On the other hand, it may be difficult to operate the ticket vending machine. In a large station with multiple options like Shinjuku Station or Tokyo Station things can easily turn into a struggle for most foreign tourists who have to use these machines every day. In these events, the station staff can help, but it’s also nice that the staff does so in a friendly manner.

The bus ticket is not unlimited!

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“In Italy, busses are free to ride within 75 minutes after obliterating the ticket, or using your card. Although there is a time limit, it’s convenient because you can head to different places within that time…

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