Etiquette: A charm of culture

After a recent project handover meeting in Tokyo, I took a small detour down to Kyoto as an treat for myself and also catch up with my artisan friends in this forever charming city, which I can never get tired of. No matter how many times you return to this ancient capital of Japan, you will always discover something unique in the culture.

I was invited to a dinner by my artisan friend where I also get introduced to a graceful lady in her 90s, which you might think she is only in her 60s with this anti-aging magic of Japan. Luckily, I was informed well in advance to have this gathering and meeting new friends. I have been gifted with a beautiful gift; you won’t expect nothing less in this refined culture, a box of Japanese chocolate. Fortunately, I remembered to always keep a small gift, in this case a can of Chinese tea, in my belonging whenever I travel to Japan. This is actually a fine Japanese etiquette in give a gift when meeting someone new. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or expensive, but a courteous token as a gratitude to meeting each other.

Speaking of etiquette, I have also learned to be sure to always send a thank you note to the host after the dinner and before the evening ended, for inviting me to such an enjoyable dinner with great company. These bits of delicate gestures, though one may seem too polite, really serve in a way to draw relationships closer in a understate matter, and are perhaps the charms of Japan that I never get tired of.

I am pretty sure that there are numerous types of etiquette among all different cultures. To me, that is what it makes all the travel fun and memorable.