Top travel tips in Japan


  • Never stick oneís chopsticks vertically into oneís food. This applies across Asia as in the Buddhist tradition, this is only done when offerings are made to the dead. Always lay oneís chopsticks on the chopstick holderís provider or horizontally on oneís plate or across the rim of oneís bowl.
  • Always give business cards with two hands, face-up and with oneís information facing towards the recipient. (Never extend business cards as though oneís dealing cards at a poker game!) Receive with two hands as well. You are to present your business card with humility, and receive the otherís with great respect because to the Japanese, a business card is deemed to be an extension of the person. (Therefore, how much respect you show towards receiving their business card is indicative of how much respect you show towards them). This is also why one should neither exchange business cards in a hurry nor give a less-than-pristine card. It would be impolite to do so and translate as blatant disregard for the person whose card you are receiving and to whom you are giving your card.
  • When invited to a meal, wait for your host to seat you as thereís usually a pecking order. (Guests of honour are usually seated furthest away from the door.)
  • Something to keep in mind is that in Japan, itís not customary to make reservations for the same date & time at various venues, decide on which one at the last minute and then cancel the rest. This is generally frowned upon and considered rather rude (unless cancellations are due to unexpected circumstances). Michelin-starred restaurants also tend to have very strict cancellation policies (and some will only tentatively confirm reservations that you make on your own until your hotel calls to confirm that you are, in fact, a guest of theirs)
  • Tipping is not customary in Japan so in most cases, there are no expectations for gratuities. If you would, however, like to give staff a tip as a gesture of appreciation for service deemed outstanding, then itís recommended that you do so by putting the money in an envelope or wrapping it in a piece of paper of some sort and giving it to the person discreetly (as the Japanese would deem it quite indecent to receive / handle the money directly).

Palace Hotel Tokyo has introduced a brand new package to assist travellers with the cultural differences and to prepare them on the etiquette of Japan Ė The Cultivating Tokyo package start at £647 for Club Deluxe Rooms and £1,249 for Executive Suites for the two night package.

To book Cultivating Tokyo, please visit


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