I love traveling, and I've traveled half the world, but Japan was very different for me from the first moment.
I fell in love with Tokyo and the Japanese people, and decided to stay.
I didn't know one word of Japanese to start with. I didn't know how to ask for directions. I didn't even know what was in their soups (luckily, because I was a vegetarian back then).
And the Japanese... They're the kindest, most polite nation in the world, but lets face it- English is not their highest virtue.
This led to some very funny and embarrassing situations until I knew what I was doing.
The art of bowing
Little did I know that Bowing is a very important custom in Japan culture. It expresses respect, thanking, apologizing, greeting, and so on.
I thought "thats easy" and got myself into some very hilarious situations.
The reason is that Bowing is nothing less than an art. The etiquette is very complex. The depth and length of a bow depends on the social status or age of the person you bow to.
Part going backwards
You are also not supposed to turn your back to someone in higher status than you, even if you are saying goodbye. This leads to very amusing situations where people part going backwards, and even enter the Taxi with their backside first.
For the last 5 years I have a website which is called Tokyo Attractions.
My website provides Recommendations For Top Things To Do In Tokyo and the Most Exciting places to visit in Japan.