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Japan culture guide 

Do's and don'ts

Going to an onsen/hot spring

Incorrect   etiquette   at   an   onsen   will   land   you   in   hot   water   so   to speak,   so   it   is   important   to   follow   the   simple   rules   as   per   the   sign below   (taken   from   Echoland   Hot   Springs   in   Hakuba),   translated for you as per below.  You must be naked inside the bath-do not wear a towel or underwear     Before you enter the bathtub wash yourself off using a shower first     The bathtub is for soaking only-do not use soap or shampoo inside the bath     Do not take alcohol into the hot spring-it is not the place to party     Dry yourself off before you enter the changeroom (you can use a little modesty towel for this)

Chopsticks and eating

The   humble   chopstick   has   been   the   downfall   of   many   a   foreigner, so here's a simple guide. When   you   are   not   using   your   chopsticks,   lay   them   on   the holder   provided,or   on   the   table-do   not   leave   them   sticking into food-(this is a custom done at funerals!). If you are taking food from a shared plate-do not put the food directly into your mouth-put it onto your own plate first. Wait for everyone to be seated first before eating- everyone will say "itadakimasu" (grace) at the same time, then you can all start eating. At the end of the meal you say “Gochisoosama deshita” At a restaurant it is frowned upon if you ask for separate bills-better to pay all at once and work it out yourselves later.
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