Travel: When in Japan, don’t fart
A Japanese tourism board has called on foreign tourists to refrain from public “belching or flatulence” in an etiquette guide which was hastily rewritten, reportedly after complaints from a Chinese resident.
The Hokkaido Tourism Organization, which represents Japan’s northern-most island, published a downloadable brochure on its website, with polite instructions on everything from public bathing to using a Japanese toilet.
Helpfully, it even dedicated an entire section to protocol for avoiding bodily functions. “Japanese etiquette is based on avoiding causing discomfort or nuisance to others,” the guide points out.
“Accordingly, Japanese will avoid bodily functions such as belching or flatulence in public entirely, or perform bodily functions as discreetly as possible.”
However, the Chinese-language guide — originally entitled “Common Sense When Travelling in Hokkaido” — upset a Chinese resident who angrily claimed the diagrams featuring examples of bad tourist behaviour were offensive, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported. The complaint prompted a new, foreigner-friendly version with softer explanations of Japanese customs. Read More