Post 15: Boys’ Trip – Offending Japan Left and Right

World Travel


A special word, unique to Japanese language.  And, arguably, unique to Japanese culture.

Running on the platform to catch a train…..Meiwaku.

Talking on the phone, shouting, or even just speaking, on the metro…..Meiwaku.

Not sorting trash into one of the many recyclable categories…..Meiwaku.

The Japanese culture is deeply steeped in centuries of respect, discipline, and politeness.

After seven months of more or less solo travel, four of my college pals from Santa Barbara–Jon, Luke, Ravi and Mo–came to Japan to visit for two weeks.

Running and hollering around train stations, shouting in shrines, drinking booze openly–being rowdy Americans–I can just imagine a Japanese parent trying to teach the concept Meiwaku to their child:

“Above all, you must avoid Meiwaku.  The act of being inconsiderate, or causing inconvenience, to others.

You want an example?  Let me think…

Ah, look, American tourists!  Perfect.  The very definition of Meiwaku!”


IMG_0148 The first group…

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