The Hokkaido district in Japan recently released an updated set of guidelines, reportedly targeted at Chinese tourists, on how visitors should behave in public.
“Hokkaido Kokoroe” (“The Traveler’s Etiquette Guide to Hokkaido”), published by the Hokkaido Tourism Organization, is a brochure containing a set of rules foreign visitors are expected to observe while in the country. The guide was allegedly a response to a growing number of Chinese tourists caught misbehaving in public, according to the Japan Times.Image via The Hokkaido Shinbun Press
Interesting entries in the booklet include policies against speaking too loudly, failing to finish food and even farting in public.
It reads: “Japanese etiquette is based on avoiding causing discomfort or nuisance to others. Accordingly, Japanese will avoid bodily functions such as belching or flatulence in public entirely, or perform bodily functions as discreetly as possible.”
It also advises against stealing restaurant cutlery and offers pointers on to how to use a toilet.
The prefecture printed over 85,000 copies each of the newly-revised etiquette handbook’s English and Chinese versions. It was revised after the older guide printed only in Chinese called “Hokkaido Ryoko Joshiki” (“Common Sense When Traveling Hokkaido”) drew criticism from a Chinese resident who took offense and found it condescending.
While the material understands that some of the actions listed were “a necessary part of human life,” it advises tourists to be modest and discreet when visiting Japan.