Tourist-like behavior

19 Oct

According to the website What Japan Thinks, these are the top ten tourist-like behavior that Japanese people exhibit when they travel overseas:

10. Going to the duty free shop before departure
9. Eating at Japanese restaurants (rather than trying the local cuisine)
8. Forgetting to tip (because it’s not a custom in Japan)
7. Taking a packaged tour
6. Taking photos of food with a cell-phone camera
5. Doing everything in a group
4. Putting valuables in a waist pouch or shoulder bag
3. Buying a lot of brand-name goods
2. Following the recommended course in a guide book
1. Taking many photos

And here are the top ten list of behavior of foreigners in Japan (who have been here for a while, probably) that surprise Japanese people:

10. Singing Japanese traditional Enka songs.
9. Using Japanese era dates, not Western calendar
8. Wearing a necktie around head when drunk (this is a common image of Japanese middle-age businessmen who’ve drunk too much)

7. Eating with chopsticks
6. Eating natto (a Japanese dish made of fermented soybeans)
5. Using Japanese proverbs or idioms
4. Speaking Japanese fluently
3. Speaking Japanese with one of the regional dialects
2. Bowing while speaking on the telephone (A number of people in Japan (especially older people) do this)
1. Writing difficult kanji (Japanese (Chinese) written characters)

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12 Responses to “Tourist-like behavior”

  1. Nathalie Mumaw February 7, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    I’ve done all of those things, except the drinking ones since I don’t drink. I love natto though!

    Just recently one of the teachers at my school practically tripped over herself when I mentioned that it’s been 三寒四温 recently. (Three cold, four hot; it refers to the fluctuations in temperature when the seasons change) She was honestly taken by surprise, heh.

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 7, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

      >I’ve done all of those things

      Do you sing enka? Speak fluent Japanese? With an regional dialect?

      >I don’t drink.

      Oh!? I love alcohol…especially beer!

      >I love natto though!

      Do you? Have you tried it on rice with kimuchi? That’s how I like nattou best.

      >when I mentioned that it’s been 三寒四温 recently…..She was honestly taken by surprise,

      Well, that’s not even very common for Japanese to say.
      Actually though, I’ve said it before and gotten a surprised reaction, too.

      Like

  2. Jon (@Toshogu) October 20, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    I will do all of those EXCEPT eat natto. Yuck.

    Like

    • tokyo5 October 20, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      You’ve already decided that you will do them?

      Alot of my behavior has changed since I’ve been here, but it wasn’t a concious decision.

      And… have you ever tried natto?
      It doesn’t smell good but it tastes good — especially with kimuchi !

      Like

  3. Jay Dee October 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Those don’t sound like tourist-like behaviour of foreign tourists to Japan. Sounds more like Japanese behaviour.

    Like

    • tokyo5 October 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

      Sorry … I guess that I should have written more clearly.

      The second list is behavior of foreigners in Japan (who have been here for a while, probably) that is surprising to Japanese because it’s “Japanese-like”

      Edit. – I changed that line in the post to read like this.

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      • Jay Dee October 19, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

        Ah, ok. I can understand what it’s like to get surprised reactions from people. I’ve been using chopsticks since I was a kid, so my 25 year experience using them and more than 7 years in Japan still makes my students surprised I can use chopsticks.

        Like

      • tokyo5 October 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

        Well … it’s actually understandable — many, if not most, Westerners can’t use them.

        Like

      • Jay Dee October 19, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

        I would assume that most foreigners who live in Japan can use them. It’s just that I know people that I’ve known for more than 2 years still get surprised when I use chopsticks.

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      • tokyo5 October 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

        Often that type of compliment such as “you’re good with chopsticks” or “you speak Japanese well” is polite small-talk.

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      • Jay Dee October 19, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

        It’s not just that, but more like shock, even though they knew I could use chopsticks. It seems odd, not at all small talk.

        Like

      • tokyo5 October 20, 2012 at 12:25 am #

        In that case I think that it’s not a big deal and they’re interested in you — so that’s nice.

        Like

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