onlThe islands of Japan are an area rich in beauty and cultural heritage. Japan has temperate forests to the north, tropical islands to the south, and bustling cities with colorful temples throughout. With such a range of travel experiences, most visitors pick one area to focus on per visit. Despite the diversity within Japan, there are a few things not to do that are true across all the islands.


1. Avoid Speaking Japanese

While the Japanese language is difficult to master, in truth basic language knowledge will get you far. Make sure you know at a minimum:

  • yes: hai say Hi
  • no: iie say E-ay
  • please: onegai shimasu say Oh-nag-eye She-mass
  • thank you: arigatō say ah-rig-at-oh
  • hello: konnichiwa say Kon-itch-e-wah
  • goodbye: sayōnara say sigh-o-nar-ah

No one will be annoyed if your pronunciation isn't perfect; it shows you are willing to try - this always makes people feel more friendly towards a tourist. In Japan you will find few locals will start a conversation with you even though they would like to talk - it's considered rude. But if you start with a simple hello in Japanese, many will happily practice their English with you.

Mt. Fuji and Tokyo skyline yongyuan / Getty Images

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