10 Weirdest Habits Japanese Do All The Time


If you are a fan of Japanese TV shows or Anime, you may already come to realization that Japanese people have certain habits.

Some of you may be curious why these things even exist or some of you might find those annoying. 


Or there is a chance you may already follow these habits without knowing it you have lived in Japan for a while.

Before traveling to another country, learning their culture and customs is very important.


In this article, I will introduce you the top 10 weirdest habits that Japanese people do all the time.  



Table of Contents

1. Bowing


Yes, Japanese people bow when they greet. 

It is considered as a sign of showing respect for the other person.


It is kind of a habit that people already know, but the point is Japanese people bow all the time.

They bow when they are talking on the phone, passing by other people, crossing someone, entering a room, asking for a favor, apologizing etc…


If you spend a long time in Japan, this is probably the first thing that you pick up from the habits of Japanese people.



2. Reaction (heeeeee)



Even if you are not living in Japan, this is one of the easiest Japanese habits to pick up.

It’s because Japanese people make this sound all the time on TV shows.


This sound can be used when you are surprised (Oh really?), or simply when you are listening to others (Uh huh).

It’s sometime overused because people do it to express the attitude that they are listening to you.



3. Slurping 



When Japanese people eat noodles or soup, they often slurp.

Slurping is normal in the Japanese table manner.


But one thing that should be noted is that slurping is not necessarily a manner.

It’s sometimes exaggerated in Western culture and said slurping is to show appreciation to the chef, but it’s actually not.


It’s not offensive or anything even if you don’t slurp. 



4. KFC On Christmas 



It is a weird tradition, but people in Japan actually eat KFC on Christmas.

KFC start advertising on TV around the middle of November, and reservations for Christmas are already full in the middle of December or before Christmas every year.


I mean KFC is good, but you may have never heard of it outside of Japan.



5. Peace Sign



No matter how old, young people to old generation, everyone makes a peace sign when they take a photo, saying “Hi Cheese”.

A peace sign is universal, but it is not this ubiquitous in any countries except for Japan.



6. Wearing A Mask


Not only Japan, but it applies to many countries in Asia that people wear masks all the time.

There are many reasons why, but the main reason for wearing a mask is to prevent the spread of disease and for other people to not get sick.


Especially when you get a day off because you are sick, you are supposed to wear a mask the next day.

Another major reason is the pollen. 


During the spring season, many people suffer from the pollen because of the large amount of ceder trees in Japan.

A mask is to defend against the pollen.



7. Covering Mouth 


Source: Why do Japanese women cover their mouth while laughing?



It is more like a custom that women practice, rather than men. 

Laugh out loud with opened mouth is often considered as immature in Japan.


Also Japanese people cover their mouth when they eat, when they yawn, when they are surprised, and when they are happy.

They sometimes do it with both hands when they are extremely embarrassed. 


Covering their mouth with their hand is also a sign for grace. 



8. Sucking Teeth And Tilting Head



I think this is also the custom that you see only in Japan.

People make this weird sound by sucking their teeth and tilting their head when they are making a decision.


It’s similar to the “Hmmm” sound in English.



9. Pity Laugh 


If you like telling a joke to someone, Japan is a good place…

Even if your story is not funny, Japanese people will laugh so hard for you anyway.


Japanese people often think it’s not polite if you don’t laugh after somebody tells them a “funny” story. 



10. Expressing Adjectives A Lot


Japanese culture is often said that people rarely express their opinions.

But instead Japanese people use short adjectives a lot by to express their feeling and tell the situation. 


Kawaiii – When they see something cute.

Kowaaa – When they see something scary.

Kireeee – When they see something beautiful.

Umma!! – When they eat something delicious.

Yabba!! – When they find something crazy.

Kimmo!! – When they find something gross. 

Sammu!! – When they are cold.

Attsu!! – When they touch something very hot.

Ommo!! – When they hold something heavy.

Karru!! – When they hold something light. 


You may know some of these words from Anime or some other media contents from Japan. 

There are countless adjectives other than those that Japanese people use all the time.



Of course, anyone has a personal habit.

But these are more cultural things, and more common habits that people can relate to if they live in Japan for a certain amount of time.