Why Japanese Don’t Like Foreigners

this video is brought to you by Squarespace my go-to for making websites more on this in a bit so have you guys ever wondered what Japanese people are really thinking well in this video I wanted to share with you guys some of the things that they never tell you but they’re actually thinking it’s out of their head so I’ve been in Japan for more than 15 years and I’m going to be sharing with you some of the stuff that I’ve learned all along the way in general Japanese people like to follow the rules so when others break those rules it’s very frustrating for them on top of that Japanese people don’t like interacting with strangers so they’ll try to avoid speaking out at all costs and the reason why I know this is because I’ve actually made a lot of these mistakes myself when you do come to a different country you want to be as respectful as possible but it’s just hard because a lot of the times Japanese don’t tell you that you’re pissing them off but just keep in mind that I’m generalizing thing is not everyone is like this in Japan these are some of the guidelines to help you guys understand what Japanese people are thinking and so maybe you don’t piss them off when you come to Japan number one not wearing masks in public when you’re sick if you ever come to Japan or I’ve watched Japanese videos or any of my videos for that matter you’ll notice that a lot of people are wearing masks getting on airplanes or sometimes whether they’re just on the train so what a lot of people think is that Japanese people are scared of getting sick and so they wear the masks to protect themselves from other people transferring any viruses or any sicknesses to them that’s actually partly true but the other side of it is they’re trying to protect other people when Japanese people get sick they don’t want to transfer what they’ve caught or their illness to someone else so that wear a mask to protect other people so it actually pisses them off is that when someone else is sick and they’re not wearing a mask is a common courtesy Japanese people expect others when they’re sick to wear a mask so if you ever in Japan and you do get sick it would probably be good to wear a mask number two squatting in public if you ever been walking the streets in Japan especially Tokyo you probably rarely see Japanese people squatting the reason for this is when Japanese people see someone squatting they actually think that this person is poorly brought up one thing that I kind of see personally in Tokyo I’m especially with tourists is I’ll go to a department store and I’ll just see them like sitting against the pillar or sitting like actually on the ground in the department store or maybe they’re sitting on some stairs this is actually the same thing as squatting in public Japanese kind of view that as behaving poorly so the thing is in Japan department stores are considered luxuries so it’s kind of weird for Japanese people to see someone squatting when they’re trying to like get that luxury experience it’s kind of like seeing someone picking their nose right next to the Chanel shop or like the Gucci shop so if you do feel it hard then definitely find the scene I know Tokyo is a bit hard especially because there’s not a lot of places to sit you can definitely try to find a seat for what Japanese people will do is they’ll find a cafe and they’ll sit there number three blocking traffic now this kind of goes hand in hand with like sitting in department stores or squatting in public basically you’re making a nuisance of yourself when you’re blocking traffic so for example you’ll be walking on the street and you’ll just see like a group of tourists just standing in the walkway and not letting people pass by that just like really pisses people off because a lot of people are trying to get from A to B and you’re just like getting in their way and you’re not kind of considering others not to say that all foreigners or tourists do this but Japanese people will do it too but as you get kind of older you realize to be more courteous of others and you try not to get in other people’s way so if possible if you need to stop don’t stop in traffic try to go off to the side where you’re not actually getting in people’s way number four expecting places like food stalls to accept credit cards and now we’ve gone over this so many times in my other videos that Japan is still very much a cash based society if you’re buying street food probably not expect them to accept a credit card it because it’s just kind of common sense common knowledge that these places don’t accept credit card and they will get kind of like annoyed it’s kind of like why are you asking me to take credit card when you know this place these shops don’t take credit cards because at the end of the day it just makes you look like you don’t have any common sense all right so it just started to rain so I needed to find some cover and what better way to do it and here let’s continue on number five tourist trap spots now this one again maybe doesn’t piss Japanese off per se it is kind of embarrassing to go and eat at these kind of places because it’s just a so much food that Japan has to offer when foreigners go to these like very very tourist trap places and eat it’s kind of like are you kind of missed out thing is I’ve actually gone to a lot of these like tourist trap places myself just not knowing better and I kind of wanted to give you some pointers on what’s a tourist trap spot and what is not this usually applies to for example like izakayas Japanese drinking restaurants so the ideal for a good Japanese restaurant would be a place like this that keeps it simple with minimal signage what you’ll find instead with like a lot of tourist trap places is not only will they have their sign it may be in English but they’ll also have a signboard with pictures and not only Japanese but it also has English on the menu you’re kind of like oh so they are like catering to a foreign market one of the biggest giveaways for this is not only DC English but you see like Chinese and Korean you see like three different languages on the menu you might want to step back a little bit because this could be a tourist trap spot well one thing though this kind of goes against what I was saying like for example if you go to ramen shops nowadays there’s ramen shops they get really really popular and they have a lot of foreigners coming to it just to make the experience a little bit easier for both parties they just added the English to the menu but originally they didn’t have it so it’s not like they were initially trying to like get foreigners to come it’s just foreigner started coming so they had to kind of adapt and add an English menu oh and this is probably the biggest giveaway out of all of it if you ever hear one of those like aggressive shamisen music playing in the front of his door you should probably run because they’re like trying to attract tourists like he would not believe but in the day if you want to come to Japan and you just feel comfortable eating at these like tourist chop spots then yeah that’s fine but if you want to come to Japan and you want to kind of experience like authentic Japanese cuisine I would say just like try to stay away from these places all right so before I continue I wanted to just give a quick shout out to Squarespace thank you so much for sponsoring this video and in fact I’ve been using Squarespace for I think like more than seven years now and when I started this channel we built out Tokyo zebra coms and at that time I asked Michael to take over the site and she had no problems it was the first time she ever built and managed a web site and I didn’t even have to tell her how to use it it’s that easy to use and as you can see if you look at our site you can build a pretty cool web site with like minimal effort and minimal know how really Squarespace is the perfect solution for your online presence so definitely go check out squarespace.com for your free trial when you’re ready to launch go to Squarespace calm up or slash Paulo from Tokyo to save 10% off your first purchase of your domain or your website number 6 eating with it off hand underneath the table so this one was like really weird to me because what I didn’t know this until after coming to Japan and back to be honest with you I still do it sometimes the way you’re supposed to eat in Japan is you’re supposed to just have some dominant hand you’re eating with your chopsticks and you have maybe happy a rice bowl on the other hand and you’re just like you’re just like eating like this but but sometimes if you know you don’t have the ball in your hand and you’re just eating on the table like I sometimes take my off hand and I put it underneath the table or like just on my lap and I heat with just one hand but apparently this is just kind of bad manners in Japan this is something that Japanese kids grow up with where their parents like telling them to always show their other hand because I think just in general people like to put their off hand underneath the table or on their lap where they eat I don’t know if this is a thing in your country but it definitely is something here in Japan so when you eat and you want to have kind of good manners then you should leave or you should show your off hand the entire time just like put it on the table and finally before we get out of this place number seven not cleaning up after you eat so cleanliness is kind of one of those pet peeves that Japanese people have they like to keep everything clean you know in general so when you’re eating in a public place it’s always like kind of proper manner just to clean up how to yourself while you’re eating and especially after you eat maybe in other countries you expect the waiter or the waitress to clean up after your eating so you can like leave all of your crumbs on the table you can leave you know your french fries or your noodles it’s just like spilled on the table it’s okay just to leave the table like that but in fact in Japan it’s a common courtesy to actually gather all of the napkins of like the loose items and put it all in the bowler in the center or the plate and then if there’s any like spots on the table just to like wipe it down with a napkin make it kind of tidy because in Japan no one wants to have like a really messy table even after they leave is that an international thing or is that a just just a Japanese thing all right so that’s enough about food let’s move on to the next one number eight making people wait this one actually pisses a lot of Japanese off so in general I think Japanese people are very punctual and that’s just because they’re being considerate of others they don’t want to make other people wait so when there’s twisting meet someone say for example for work then they’ll usually arrive 5 to 10 minutes early on site they’ll probably like go up a minute or two before going to the front desk and check them themselves in it’s just like it’s one of those things being considerate is probably on the priority in like thinking of others so the fact that you’re late meaning you’re wasting other people’s time and Japanese people don’t like to waste time and in fact they hate it when someone else wastes their time in fact it’s I’ve been here so long it kind of pisses me off to be honest when people that I have a meeting with are late I’ll actually set up a lot of international calls like on skype or whatever people overseas are always like 5 10 15 minutes later that email me to the floor sorry got stuck in a different meeting and I think it’s almost like common practice to be late when you’re setting up a meeting but me being in Japan and working in I know a japanese-style environment for so many years I’ve just got accustomed to being on time or if not early to all of my meeting so if you ever come to Japan and you’re meeting up with a Japanese friend you have dinner reservations or just meeting someone for for business or for pleasure you want to be on time if not early so definitely keep that in mind when setting up your meetings but there is one caveat to this so as people get more comfortable with each other than I wouldn’t say it’s accepted to be late but it’s more forgiving and it’s not as big of a thing when compared to if you are acquaintances or if you were a business meeting at the end of the day is just being considered and none that don’t understand why that’s so hard for some people maybe it pisses me off with him Japanese people number nine talking to someone in line so again this one is another thing that kind of surprised me kind of one of those reverse culture shocks when I went in the States I was just waiting in line at the supermarket and all of a sudden someone behind me just started talking to me asking me about the weather or the sports theme or something like that I was completely shocked I think it’s because I’ve been in Tokyo so long that people here in Tokyo at least they don’t appreciate it when a random person it just approaches them especially if they’re just doing their like normal daily tasks like going to the convenience store to buy something it catches a lot of people off-guard and it kind of just makes people uncomfortable I know there’s like there’s people out there that like to talk to people but if you want to kind of respect that people’s boundaries and their spaces then you might not want to just like come up and start talking to them so I think the exception to this is if you do have a reason to talk to someone so for example you are lost and you need like directions then you can like say soon less and excuse me and then ask for the directions I think this is probably more mainly to do with the city because there’s just so many people there’s so many like interactions that could potentially happen that you don’t want to like continue to get bombarded with people so people are kind of in their own zone in the city maybe if you were to go out in the countryside it’s less likely people have the guard down more so so in fact they may actually appreciate you’re talking to them don’t take this as like all of Japan is like this but maybe like in the city areas where people are just more closed off then you might make them feel uncomfortable and finally number 10 talking way too loud now I see this all the time when you’re on the train when you’re on the bus you’re in a restaurant and people are just talking so loud that it interrupts you what’s it’s kind of off-putting and it actually pisses a lot of Japanese off I’ve heard my Japanese friends comment about it it’s just something that people kind of like get really turned off by because people do like their personal space and someone like a group of people are talking way too loud conscious being inconsiderate about their surroundings then it just kind of like pisses people off it just scene says that you don’t really care about the other people around you and I mean if you’re just like talking normal it’s not a big deal but I will say that it’s not like I don’t hear Japanese people do this I mean like you’ll probably sometimes be on a late train and people are like talking loudly because everyone’s drunk on the train or you’ll go to maybe like a festival and people are talking about but just like in normal everyday daytime scenarios people like try to keep their voice down so they don’t bother other people so if you are walking around and you don’t want to piss people off then just like keep your volume – as my grammar school teacher used to say keep your 12-inch voices no one’s made more than 12 inches 1-yard voice because in the States so yeah those are my top ten things I don’t know if this video gets really popular maybe it gets like 10,000 likes or it gets a few hundred thousand views and maybe we’ll do another one so definitely hit that like button let me know that you like this video if you want to see another one or else if you want to see what I’m doing on the daily then check out my Instagram account if you want to support the channel then check out my Shibuya merch yeah if you want to see my other Japan guides or my D in their lives or anything like that hit that subscribe button and the Bell button and I’ll catch you guys in the next one

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100 thoughts on “Why Japanese Don’t Like Foreigners

  1. 1:08 It sounds very very reasonable. I hate idiots who go to work or school/university instead of staying home and they end up in spreading flu to everybody. RESPECT JAPAN.

  2. Regarding squatting, well I would accept it provided that it does not make life hard to others. The guy at 2:18 is rude, he is blocking the passage.

  3. Japanese people should come to Malta. They have the exact opposite mentality: Maltese people are completely careless, they're lazy and fat, they don't give a shit about people around them and they have high pride and low competence.

    It would also be interesting to see a Maltese in Japan and how long he would last before his shitty behaviour would alert the authorities.

  4. #3 blocking traffic: we gotta apply that to the US specially Disney and other theme parks and malls i absolutely hate people standing in the middle of the hallways or slowing the walking traffic flow

  5. 匂いについてナシですか??日本人(アジア人)は鼻が低く湿度が高い環境で育っているので鼻が高い人種に比べて極端に匂いに敏感です。そのため他人の体臭や香水の匂いに弱く、電車等の密室で外国人の近くを避けてしまうのもそのせいです。日本にお越しになる際は、是非いつもの1/10程度の香水や無香料のデオドラントを使用して欲しいです🙂

  6. South Korea is pretty much the same way with most of these. I wish politically our countries could get along, because culturally we are very similar.

  7. I'm going to Japan in March and I keep telling my parents that credit cards won't be accepted in Japan but they keep refusing to listen to me and I don't know how to get them to use common sense instead of giving me an international credit card.

  8. What's fucked up is in America, the medical masks that people wear when they're sick are extremely discouraged. I'm good friends with a nurse and some doctors and they laugh at me when I wear the masks when I'm sick in the doctors office. Of course the sign encourages people to wear them because it has to, but they are regarded as a joke and creepy in America. My friends and family make fun of me for being a "germophobe", but honestly it just pisses me off because it's not germophobic at all to 1) not want to kiss people when they're sick 2) want to wash your hands before every meal and after touching something dirty like garbage (or shaking someones hand), 3) to sanitize my tooth brush before using it, and 4) to respect stagnant water bottles and discard them and follow water boiling notices given by my town. My whole point is that the social norms of Americans cleanliness habits are filthy and I'm tired of being the outlier surrounded by idiots, especially those that make fun of me for taking logical, good, sound medical advice on how to not be harmed by dangerous germs. I sometimes feel like the main character in Idiocracy when he's like we should try to give the plants water instead of Brawndo. And the people go "Water, like from the toilet!?" facepalm

  9. I don't like this title, theres so many things wrong with it.
    "Tips on what not to do in Japan" would be 1000 times better. Just sayin.

  10. i’m from chicago , and in my hood the streets are one way and narrow. people will stop their car in the middle of the street and have conversations with people through car window. if u honk or say anything . THEY LOOK AT U LIKE THEY WANT TO KILL U because ur out of line and you should wait.

  11. I must be Japanese. All these things are things that annoy me as well, even the squatting in public, it just looks trashy and people stopping right in the middle of a right of way? oh man, that's a paddlin.

  12. I hate people who block walkways too, extremely irritating when I run across some koreans (NW USA) who all congregate in one area forcing you to find another route and or acting spiteful when you try to force your way past. Number six is the complete opposite at least for having your hand on the table it's seen as rather disrespectful at least when I was being raised.

  13. They dont like foreigners 😱 Omg Why the hell are they throwing gadgets in other countries & why they sell used 2nd hand bikes to Asean countries & pollute their country but definately saving themselves.
    Japanese means meanest

  14. So Japanese get upset when tourists go to tourist shops that where specifically designed for tourists. I get upset when retards get upset with tourists going to the place designed for them.

  15. Stop the “piss off” comment. You can use that a few times but after that use anger or perturbed or uptight. Piss off is way too harsh. You’re not a native speaker it’s obvious. I live in Tokyo for almost 20 years from 1989 to 2008. Some of what you say is true. But some of it is not accurate. I lead a very Japanese life in Kichijoji far away from the other gaijin. I still missed Tokyo very much…

  16. Considering all tips mentioned, japanese people shouldn't visit Israel or Middle East under any circumstances, they'll probably get a bad time there. 🙂

  17. I won't never go back to that country, people in general is respectful but they are not warm, they don't want to make friends between them, neither the foreigners, is sad but is the reality.

  18. Does it annoy Japanese English speakers when one keeps saying, "at the end of the day"? I like his videos, though I'd like them even more if they made all the main points in half the time, but in fairness to him at the end of the day I feel that way about most videos. I really liked visiting Tokyo, btw.

  19. People blocking paths is still annoying in Canada, even worse when you got a full tour bus of Asian tourists blocking traffic for some pictures.

  20. Ah the 100 Yen invisibility cloak of the surgical mask. Many women wear them when they are "dating" (wink wink) a guy not their boyfriend or husband.

  21. Idk man, I live in Romania and many of these things do apply here too. Like if you eat at fast foods in a convenience store or a mall, people usually take their trash to to the bin themselves. Also, talking to random people out of nowhere on the street is not an usual thing. So is the thing about paying with a card at small stores and stalls. Also tourist trap restaurants are a thing here an are despised and it's not usual to sit an the ground or stairs (or at least people that do it are not necessarily considered ok).
    But things like talking loud in public and being late is common, yet they are still annoying.
    I guess these things are trully about common sense and are kind of universal, but maybe in western Europe and USA people are lacking this more than they had in the past. Eastern Europe has a more conservative atitude, so respect and politeness in public is visibly apprecited, not as much as in Japan. But sure, these things also depend on the individual.

  22. just because something is different from were you come from dousnt mean they have to change it or you have to cry about it.

  23. Most of these if not all cover “big”city living. London, Paris, Bangkok, Singapore, Seoul even Marrakesh it’s the same. Big population centres create their on set of rules outside of cultural norms. If you’re from a big city just behave normally as you would at home don’t worry so much about the local idiosyncrasies. They’ll be forgiven.

  24. In a nutshell, Japanese people always think of others and minimizing inconvenience to others, which, to be honest, is what every people should practice even when they are not in Japan! In a public space, always be mindful of other users, and don't be impolite or selfish.

  25. Clean Tables are probably an international thing. .. At least over here in germany. If you have the possibility to put your Rests away you should do it. I have a very uncomfortable feeling when I leave a dirty table after me.
    Except in Restaurants, they come to you to clean after you and if you try to clean after your self they say it I'd not necessari.

  26. Cleaning up after yourself is an international thing but god damn so many people in the UK are somehow happy to leave their filth everywhere. It sucks so much

  27. Very informative video. For any Japanese people who would agree with Paolo remember to take the pole out of your ass before you visit Ireland and you will be very welcome.

  28. Big tip, dont talk about your sponsors on location …. its rude ….. (Do it eighter in the beginning or the end…. like talking about your sponsor twice is over-selling it….

  29. I hate having to wait for people. I learned from my mother to always show up early even if you know you'll most likely have to wait. I'm not Japanese nor have I been to Japan.

  30. 所々合ってるやつもあるけどじゃっかん間違ってるやつもあるな笑

  31. The nice things about America, people are rude in the open. That is a good trait, rather know you don't like me, than you being an internal devil.

  32. Yeah, specially when you occupy the whole stair (2:21) blocking it to others. That is grosse and totally idiotic, not to mention a total lack of education. In here you would probably thrown down the stairs, or run over by 2 or 3 people so next time you would think a little……..Good video.

  33. a very small country, with many, many people, where social interactions HAVE to be smooth; thus, conformity, conformity, conformity.
    the Japanese are also one of the most racist people in the world; they make us (except for certain groups who live in America) seem like social angels. at least, we learned our lesson.
    Making people wait is a passive-aggressive move, common to some of the same, racist groups in America.

  34. I'm Swiss and I think Japan is a bit similar to Switzerland on some points. We don't like "disturbing" people, we are mostly considered to others (we won't be loud, let a mess at the restaurant, not making people wait. . .) We might also think it's weird when people start to small talk to us while at the supermarket or on the train. When I first moved aboard, I was very surprised by people small talking to me all the time. Anyway, all of this make kinda sense to me

  35. Erhm. I feel like this is just common sense apart from the mask but we use our arm to cover. I'm from Sweden and this is how it used to be. Mostly immigrants and feminists breaking these rules which basically seems to be most nowadays unfortunately.

  36. If I visit a "real" Japanese restaurant and I can't speak Japanese or read the menu…should I expect them to speak English. That seems disrespectful too.

  37. The streets are clean!!! Come to any western country and you'll have lame brains throwing their crap on the ground….

  38. Hey mister Paulo,… those people were not "squatting" as you put it. Squatting is the illegal occupation of a building or land. Get your facts right mister!

  39. That was a total waste of time…! Everything you moaned about is purely cultural, and every culture has its idiosyncrasies,…. for example,…. japanese tourists in English bars piss the landlord off BIG time when they order ONE glass of Coke so that they can sit at a table for 10 or 12 people!

  40. What surprised me the most was the talking in line one. I'm from Toronto and when waiting in line, I always talk to my friends.

  41. Really interesting video, thank you. I would have never imagined the whole show your other hand while eating thing could upset someone. Good to know.

  42. Eating with your off hand on the table is a tradition of honesty. In the days of real gangsters that wore suits, those who kept their off hand under the table were often using it to point their pistol at others.

  43. When I was there, I hated people talking loud. No respect for Japanese culture. Being able to hear people a block away from me, is saying something. Also, there is no true last call, at any of the bars. So you'll see some really drunk tourists out and about. I knew of a few, who damage a display window, because they were heavily drunk. I felt ashamed to even know them. Tipping is something that's looked down on too.

  44. Funny how we always have to conform to everything when we visit, and have to understand their culture and people being rude to us, but when foreigners come into Western nations, we have to bend over and do everything in our power to accommodate them and help them. White people are the LEAST racist of any group of people when you hear what other races say about them.

  45. This is not why Japanese don't like foreigners. They don't like foreigners because they are xenophobic racists. This is more about conforming to their cultural norms.

  46. #3 is one of my biggest pet peeve‘s about driving in Japan. And it’s against Japanese people. Pedestrians and cyclists are oblivious and have no common sense.

  47. Foreigners … don't get involved anymore in Japan. Please leave it … Permanently. We will return … to an ancient lifestyle! 🗾

  48. The Japanese never liked foreigners, this is more a racial superiority thing with them. Foreigners not doing things the way they want them too is just the trigger for this dislike.

  49. Not Japanese but I clean up our table when we eat out. The reason is what are we pigs. Why would you want for someone to clean up a table after you that looks like a two year old had just eaten. Just a question of courtesy. Old American culture teaches that elbows are allowed on table and one hand stays on your lap. I don't follow that rule but my wife does.

  50. Most people get angry when others are late. My parents always taught me "If you're not early, you're already late". Being early is just proper manners and it shows you actually care

  51. I have a hard time believing some of these, if Japanese are so damn anal if someone says something to them standing in a line then perhaps they should keep their asses at home where they don't have to seen so no one will dare try to be nice to them. I also don't think anyone would get pissed off because you have your hand under the table. Are they so anal they are thinking your holding a gun under there and thinking you're going to shoot them or something? Again, if they are that scared of people maybe they should stay out of the public. Some of these just don't make good common sense no matter what country your in, as most the time if it doesn't make sense most usually it isn't true. Nat saying you are a liar but think you may be over exaggerating things a bit.

  52. High School flashbacks to the disorganised traffic jams while trying to get to class. Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide Episode on traffic jams would have come in handy then.

  53. Japanese tend to be more considerate towards strangers. New Zealanders (Aucklanders) are awful when it comes to blocking traffic (with their cars) in car parks. (Oh! I see a parking space opening up, so I'll stop my car and wait for it. No consideration for the other traffic I am blocking at all.)

  54. Loool, Japanese people hate when people don’t eat their food but only eat at tourist traps? Never seen a Japanese eat „our“ food here but only visiting Japanese/Asian restaurants. Talk about double standards … the other things I’d really like to have here as well…maybe then I wouldn’t hate people so much ^^

  55. 日本語版のタイトルと英語版のタイトル、ニュアンスがちがう気がする。

  56. Japan like most Asian countries is a submissive culture. Everyone is used to bowing and scraping all the time, which is submitting to each other and especially authority. They don't understand Americans for examples from a dominant culture, were not submissive by nature, and we don't like giving power to others over us. It's because we have so many freedoms most nations don't enjoy.

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