If you go to Japan without knowing much about the country, its culture, customs, and traditions then everything may seem a bit confusing. Indeed, you may get a bit frustrated and misunderstand what is happening around you. I started this blog with the intention of trying to provide people with a bit of knowledge about Japan and what I thought were the more important things to know before visiting the country.
Japan is a fascinating country with a deep, rich cultural heritage. I grew up in Canada which, aside from our wonderful First Nations & Quebecois culture, does not have a very long history of customs and traditions. My parents and grandparents were from England and I grew up knowing more about British history than Canadian history. Our hometown in Canada was less than 100 years old and I did not know or care about local history. However, when I arrived in Japan I was intrigued with the Japanese culture, customs, and history and I did my best to learn as much as I could.
A lot of people are nervous about not knowing the language. In my opinion, this is not as important as knowing some of the cultural basics. Japanese do not expect you to know how to speak any of the language but they appreciate it if you try to at least learn a bit about social etiquette while staying in their country.
I was fortunate to live in Japan for a long time (over 17 years). But even with all those years living in Japan I must confess I still know very little about the country and its people. In fact, I barely scratched the surface as there is so much to learn. Japan has a deep and complex culture, with multiple layers to unearth and explore. What little I do know I will share with you and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. If I don’t know the answer I will try and do the research and learn even more about this amazing country (or seek help from my Japanese friends!).