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Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Section 1 Section 2 Section 3
Chapter 2
Section 1 Section 2 Section 3
Chapter 3
Section 1 Section 2 Section 3
Chapter 4
Section 1 Section 2 Section 3
Chapter 5
Section 1 Section 2 Section 3
Chapter 6
Section 1 Section 2 Section 3

Copyright © Kazumi Matsumoto

Page 15 Ch 1 Travel to Japan

Cultural Note:


In Japan, it’s good manners to be polite and introduce one じこしょかい(Jikoshokai) is one’s self-introduction. They are important because one’s introduction sets the tone for the entire conversation or relationship. If it does not go well, then the rest of the conversation will not go well and/or will not be taken seriously. A simple self introduction structure is as follow:

はじめまして。 Hajimemashite Nice to meet you.

わたしは (Your Name)ともうします。Watashi wa (Your Name) to moushimasu. My name is (formal version)

わたしのなまえは (Your Name)です。Watashi no namae wa (Your name) desu. My name is (polite version)

よろしくおねがいたします。Yoroshiku onegaitashimasu. Please be kind to me (formal version)

Business cards (めいし meishi) are handed over with both hands, facing the receiver. Receiver takes the card with both hands if they themselves are not giving a business card. However if two people are mutually exchanging business cards, you give the business card with one hand while receiving with the other hand. (9) Don’t write on them, damage them in any way, or put them in your back pocket in front of them, it’s considered rude if you do. However, it is ok to write notes on the back of the card to help you remember the person.


Bowing, in Japan, is considered extremely important. People generally greet each other by bowing. Bend at the waist to express respect to the one you are bowing to. Nearest English equivalent is a handshake. There are three different types of bows. えしゃく“Eshaku” bow is the least formal, approx. 15 degree bow from the waist. It’s used for casual greetings, or for passing by someone of higher status (NOT for greeting them, but literally passing by). It can also be added after saying thank-you to make it more heartfelt. けいれい“Keirei” bow is used often in business situations. 30 degree bow. It’s used with customers, and when entering or leaving reception/meeting rooms. さいけいれいSaikeirei” bow is 45 degrees, and is used for deep gratitude or apologies.

Sec 1.3 Meeting the Host Family Page 16

Travel in Japan

There are several private railway companies that provide services throughout Japan. Usually the smaller ones have only a line, while the the big ones have extensive lines. Some of the private railway companies include Keikyu Corporation, Keihan Electric Railway, Hankyu Corporation, and Nishitetsu. The most popular railway company is Japan Railways (JR). It is made up of 6 passenger companies (JR Hokkaido, JR East, JR Central, JR West, JR Shikoku, and JR Kyushu), freight railway company, and several other affiliated companies. Rush hour, especially in Tokyo, can be very chaotic. Everyone squeezes on even if it seems overfilled, and the conductor pushes people in to ensure the door will close. On average, most people commute by train, bike, bus, and walking.

The average commuting time for work and school is approximately between 30-60 minutes. Shinkansen, known as the Bullet train, is also operated by the Japan Railways system and can reach the speed of 320 km/h (200 m/h). Many people ride the Shinkansen for its punctuality and flexibility for traveling throughout Japan.

Like with any transportation system, you have to purchases a ticket/fare to ride. IC cards are rechargeable cards that can be used to pay for transportation, stores, and vending machines. There are 10 major cards that are compatible with each other such as Suica, Icoca, Pasmo, Toica, Pitapa, Manaca, Kitaca, Sugoca, Nimoca, and Hayakaken. These cards can be used for all trains, buses, and subways in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Kyoto, and several other areas in Japan. However, you can’t use these cards on the Shinkansen, airport and highway buses. Both, the origin and destination stations have to be located inside the inside the IC card's coverage area. It cannot be used on limited express trains that requires a supplement fee.