Amy Chavez lives on Shiraishi Island, Japan. She is an American journalist and writes about the beauty and life-changing experiences she learned from living there.
Japan’s social structure and efficiency is something they should be applauded for. It’s extremely impressive and anyone who has been there before would say the same. Spotless streets, hygienic public washrooms, their trains run on time and especially the wonderful people, although a bit eccentric (considering their cosplays and long lines for chicken ramen-flavored ice cream)which by the way adds to their charm and politeness.
Even a short trip to Japan can make you realize what an amazing country it is. Amy Chavez writes about what experiences and observations are felt by a number of tourists who visit Japan every year.
- Always return favors, no matter what!
In Japan, returning favors is as important as much accepting them is. It’s important for the people here for smoother relations with their fellows. And it doesn’t matter if the favor you return is of equal value. Doing even as little as buying them a drink shows appreciation and that’s enough for the people there. Everything you do will be followed with a kind gesture even if you don’t ask for it. It’s their way of showing gratitude.
- Thank people the next time you see them
This is really common between Japanese people. They never forget to thank someone for something they might have done for them some while ago. This might feel a little exaggerated but not when you’re on the receiving end since it sure feels good to know the other person remembers and appreciates your effort.
- Politeness goes far beyond just saying “Thank you“ and ”Goodbye“
This is what Japanese people excel at. Manners and politeness are something they value a lot. Politeness and refined manners are very important in Japanese culture. They are very selfless and would go out of their way to help you out. They don’t do it thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’ and that’s not something you find in a lot of people.
- Put others first
Like it has been said above, these people are extremely selfless. They’ll show and make you feel your importance. For example, giving you relative or mother the most comfortable seat in a restaurant, baking a cake and sharing it with neighbors or giving you the biggest piece of cake. They will try their best to prioritize you and make you feel your best. They treat their guests with utmost respect. In a traditional Japanese house you’ll see how special seats are arranged for guests and placed near the most beautiful pieces of art displayed; flower arrangements, hanging scrolls etc.
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- Include everyone in the group. Nobody is excluded!
People who make you feel at home even if you’re an outsider are the best kind of people. Going to a party or even for a drink? Everybody is invited. And it’s amazing how everyone makes you feel so comfortable without any awkward moments or pauses. No one is left out of a photo even if you’re not family or a friend, different class or religion, it doesn’t matter. They are probably the most tolerant people out there.