The Rugby World Cup 2019 - How Not to Be a Bad Tourist in Japan

Uruguay and Canada in play-offs for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Source: Wikimedia For the first time, the Rugby World Cup will be staged in Japan later this year. You might never become a rugby great yourself, but you can always play our slot, Rugby Star, instead and experience some great success! If you are travelling to the tournament, then the game will provide some superb entertainment between matches. However, there are some dos and don'ts that any traveller to Japan ought to bear in mind, especially if it is their first time in the country. Japanese culture may embrace rugby union but the way fans behave differs from much of the west. What do you need to know if you are a rugby fan in Japan?

Tattoo Etiquette

In Japan, tattoos have a very different association than in the west. For many ordinary Japanese folks, a tattoo is thought of in the same light as criminality and even gangsterism. This means that it is best to cover them up, wherever possible. It is not that you will be thought of as a potential troublemaker, rather than tattoos are just a little problematic in polite society. If you go to hot springs or a swimming pool, then cover them with plasters or avoid going to such places at all.

Eating and Smoking Advice

Unlike many places in the west, you will find plenty of indoor public places where it is still lawful to light up and enjoy a cigarette. That said, if you see a no-smoking sign, then it is well worth obeying it or you may get into trouble. In Japan, however, smoking outside is regulated. Puffing away as you walk down the street is not allowed in many city centres. This means that you will have to find a dedicated smoking zone when you are on the street and stay put in it. Bear in mind, too, that eating while walking along is not against the law but is something that is considered by most Japanese people to be rude. In any case, on a busy thoroughfare, eating while walking is virtually impossible in a city like Tokyo.

When to Wear Shoes

If you are outside or settling down as a spectator in a stadium, then you will be able to wear your shoes. However, if you are ever invited into someone's home, then the done thing is to remove your shoes. Bear in mind that this rule also applies in other places, such as certain restaurants, for example. Some public places, like temples, also expect outdoor shoes to be removed. In some places, you will be provided with slippers but this is not a hard and fast rule. If you are not sure of the etiquette, then ask or follow the lead of others around you. Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium, the home of Japanese rugby union. Source: Wikimedia

What About Noise?

Many visitors to Japan, especially when they are in the nation's hectic city centres, are amazed at how noisy the country is. However, Japan has very tranquil places, too, where calm serenity is supposed to be maintained. Certain public parks are like this, for example. When the quiet is disturbed, this is thought of as unseemly behaviour. Don't worry because you will be able to cheer your team on at any of the games as loudly as you like. Just be careful when you celebrate into the night as to where you decide to make a rumpus!

Guidance on Tipping

Although many westerners would not think of leaving a bar or a restaurant without leaving a tip for service, this is not the way things are done in Japan. Bars close to the stadiums that will be used during the Rugby World Cup have been warned to stock up on beer for the duration of the tournament so they are certainly expecting an influx of business. However, you are under no obligation to tip and – in the eyes of many Japanese people – you are better off not doing so. Most establishments in the country tend to charge for service so it should all be included in the price. If you want to leave a tip for your chambermaid at your hotel, then this is okay but it is best to leave the money in a marked envelope to make it clear that you have not simply forgotten to pick up your cash.

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