Community and Communication

Japanese Customs and National Holidays

Daily Life and Customs

  • ・Take off your shoes at the entranceway to homes. Do not wear slippers on tatami mats.
  • ・At the public bath houses and hot springs, wash before entering the bath or bathtub. Do not use towels or soap in the bathtub, because bathwater is not changed after each user.
  • ・People often greet each other with a bow, not with a handshake.
  • ・In concluding agreements, people use seals instead of signatures.
  • ・The word “Agaru” in addresses in Kyoto means that the address is on the north of an intersection and “Sagaru” is on the south.
  • ・According to Japanese law, drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco is prohibited for those who under 20 years old.


  • ・An 8%~10% consumption tax is included in the prices of goods.
  • ・Except a few retail stores, the prices of goods are fixed and not open to negotiation.
  • ・There is no tipping custom in Japan.。

National Holidays in Japan

Date Holiday Name
January 1 New Year’s day (Ganjitsu)
Second Monday in January Coming of Age Day (Seijin-no-hi)
February 11 National Foundation Day(Kenkoku-kinenbi)
February 23 Emperor’s Birthday(Tenno-tanjobi)
Around March 21 Vernal Equinox Day(Shunbun-no-hi)
April 29 Showa Day (Showa-no-hi)
May 5 Children’s Day (Kodomo-no-hi)
Third Monday in July Marine Day (Umi-no-hi)
August 11 Mountain Day(Yama-no-hi)
Third Monday in September Respect for the Aged Day(Keiro-no-hi)
Around Sept 23 Autumnal Equinox Day(Shunbun-no-hi)
Second Monday in October Sports Day
November 3 Culture Day(Bunka-no-hi)
November 23 Labor Thanksgiving Day (Kinro-kansha-no-hi)
  • ・All government offices and many businesses are closed from December 29 to January 3.
  • ・From the end of April to the first week of May there are several National Holidays and this period is known as “Golden Week.” During this period, most businesses and some shops are closed.
  • ・Many businesses and stores are closed during the Obon holiday period (a Buddhist festival) which is mainly lasts from August 13 to 16.