Kyoto Japan Etiquette Guide

It’s no secret that Japan, also known as the ‘most polite nation on Earth’, do things a little differently to a lot of other Westernized countries.

‘Omotenashi,’ or selfless hospitality, is the concept of going above and beyond to welcome guests and ensure they are happy, and it’s an important part of the Japanese culture.

But unfortunately for the Japanese people, foreign visitors aren’t so courteous.

Kyoto, one of Japan’s best-known cities, has recently experienced a rise in popularity, bringing with it a large number of misbehaving tourists, many of whom are unaccustomed to the Japanese way of living.

In an attempt to put a stop to such cultural faux pas, they have released two separate etiquette guides, the first aptly named, ‘How to Use this Toilet’, and the second, an infographic outlining what not to do as a tourist.

Deal breakers include discarding paper in the trash bin, opening taxi doors by yourself, since they are controlled remotely by drivers, and tipping, something the Japanese people consider to be an unacceptable behaviour.

Among the most serious offences are smoking outdoors in non-designated areas, punishable by a fine of 1,000 yen ($8), and cycling while drunk, which carries a huge fine of up to one million yen ($8,000) or five years in prison. You have been warned.

Of course, in true Japanese style, the guides are extremely polite, complete with charming cartoons to illustrate annoyance. Each offence is rated on a scale of one to three, with the angry face emoji indicating a major no-no. They are the most polite nation on earth, after all.

The guidelines will be posted as stickers in the city's public and private toilet facilities.