Top 5 Things that You Should Know About Visiting a Japanese Home/日本のお宅を訪問するときに知っておくべき5つのこと

emimaru English

Top 5 Things that You Should Know About Visiting a Japanese Home

Have you ever visited a Japanese home?

By knowing our customs and etiquette, you can enjoy yourself and deepen your understanding of Japanese people.

Today, let me introduce the general custom and etiquette for visiting a Japanese home.

Top 5 Things that You Should Know About Visiting a Japanese Home(日本のお宅を訪問するときに知っておくべき5つのこと)

1. Taking off your shoes at the entrance

It is well known that Japanese people don’t wear shoes at home.

Generally, the entrance has a lower space than the floor of the room.
This space is where you take off your shoes.

It is a regular etiquette to put your shoes together nice and neatly.

This not only makes it easier for you to wear your shoes when you return home but also looks neat and orderly.

Please avoid entering the room with bare feet. It’s better to wear socks or stockings.

This is because you will bring dirt (sweat, smell, germs, etc.) of your feet to the host’s house.

Generally, when you enter the living room from the entrance, you better say 「お邪魔します」 (ojyamashimasu) which Japanese always say this phrase.

In English, you can say, “Sorry to intrude.”

2. Taking a present

There are few taboos in giving presents. Japanese norms are all about modesty and simplicity so it’s better to bring something modest rather than a high-class item so that it won’t burden the host.

For some reasons, Japanese people feel uneasy and awkward upon receiving highly expensive things that it somehow pressures us as of how to show our gratitude or how to give back.

For example, fruits, sweets, and wine, if the host can drink alcohol, are highly commendable as gifts.

If you bring flowers, avoid chrysanthemums.

This is because chrysanthemums are reminiscent of death. It is displayed at funeral halls and graves.

Moreover, some people may not open your presents on the spot.

The host may offer your gift to the Buddhist altar first. It’s a gesture showing that we respect you and acknowledge your effort.

So please don’t be disappointed if the host does not open your present in front of you.

On the other hand, when you get a present, it’s okay to open it in front of the person. However, please do not rip the wrapping of the present roughly.

Most Japanese treat the packaging gently, including the bag or paper that wraps the present, as it also reflects respect and grace.

3. Enjoy eating


There may be rules specific to the household, such as how to use tableware and eating habits.

Let’s look at the behavior of the people in the house and follow the rules.

The person who cooked is very concerned about whether you enjoy the dishes or not.

He or she may not look like it but the person is surely anticipating your reaction and comments about the food.

When they see you like it and how much you enjoy it, it greatly makes the person happy and proud.

This also encourages him or her to accommodate you better and livelier.

So before you dig in, please say, “Itadakimasu!” and while eating, occasionally say “Oishi-desu!”「おいしいです」 or “Koresuki-desu!”「これ好きです」.

In English, you can say, “Thank you for the food!” then you can say, “It’s delicious!” or “I really like it!” while enjoying the food.

Having a foodgasm may appear too much for others but for Japanese people, it really gives us happiness in seeing you are enjoying the food we prepare so much.

Also, if you find something you dislike, you don’t have to force yourself to eat it.

You may just focus and eat more of the dishes that you like instead since we prepare more than two or three dishes in a meal.

If you should voice out your comment, please be honest, but you should be careful about what you say.

Please be polite as much as possible.

Most Japanese don’t like expressing directly.

Please avoid saying the words 「嫌いです」”dislike”, 「まずいです」.

Because such terms are strongly received by Japanese people.

It’s better to say, 「食べられないんです」” I’m afraid I can’t eat,”「苦手です」 “I’m not too fond of it”.

4. Don’t make too much noise

If you drink a lot and get drunk, laugh or talk loudly, you may get complaints from nearby residents.

This is due to the housing situation in Japan, generally, Japanese houses are small.

In addition to the dense houses, many Japanese are sensitive to noise and are easily disturbed or stressed out by loud noises.

But this depends on the location.

If you go to the countryside, you can make noise to dance and sing overnight, it may be no problem, but unlike other countries, parties don’t usually go until sunrise.

5. Be on time

It’s good manners to arrive on time in almost every country, but Japan is a country with particularly stringent attention towards time.

It’s not good to arrive at the promised time too early because the host may be busy preparing for things like cooking and cleaning up.

On the other hand, if you arrive too late, the host might worry that something bad has happened to you.

I’ve mentioned five things above.

But please remember, what your host wants from you the most/ is for you to have a good time.

I hope you have a nice time in a Japanese home!

























4. あまり騒がないようにしよう