10 Japanese Customs That Are Bizarre To The Western World

Japan has a completely unique culture and strict code of etiquette that baffles most people who grew up in the Western world. The Japanese just like to do things differently — from eating noodles, accepting gifts, to even pouring your own bottle. Their complex web of social traditions, beliefs and rules can cause a culture shock to those traveling to Japan, especially if they came there unprepared. Here are 10 Japanese customs that you should know before hopping on that plane to Japan.

Slurp On Your Noodles

Slurping on your noodles is considered polite in Japan — you are giving compliments to the chef. Slurping shows that you are enjoying your food, so make sure you do it loudly.

Pleasure in Isolation

In Japan alone, there has been a unique phenomenon involving young men locking themselves away and being completely isolated from the real world. This phenomenon is known as ‘Hikikomori’. These men lock themselves away in small rooms with almost zero contact to the outside world, relying on their parents on food and other provisions.

It is so widespread in Japan that there are even facilities and counselors that cater to these sufferers. An estimated 700,000 to 1 million Japanese are said to suffer from Hikikomori.