Any general etiquette tips? | Nagomi Visit Help Center

Any general etiquette tips?

Come ready to share not to be served is the most important at a Nagomi Visit. The host has already read about you through the request you sent,and excited to meet you so there is actually nothing to worry about. However, just keep in mind that all hosts are participating in Nagomi Visit because they want to learn about you and learn from you too. You are visiting a friend you haven't met.

Respect your host's home. Each and every participant should be made aware of what a Nagomi Visit involves. The hosts are welcoming you to their home because they trust that you will respect their home. Keep in mind that these are all volunteers so if issues do come up such as property damage, most of the time they will need to pay out of their own pocket. So be respectful of your surroundings, but all in all be kind.

More culturally specific tips.
Since this may be your first time going to a Japanese home, you might be a little bit nervous being out of your element so here are a more tips to prepare yourself for your big day.

Be on time
Remember that punctuality is important in Japan. Unless a host recommends otherwise, take the train instead of buses or taxis when meeting your host since trains are almost always on time. Keep in mind that trains depart and arrive exactly on the minute their schedules promise, so if your host recommends you get on the train that departs at 17:23 it will most likely depart exactly at that time so make sure to arrive before that so you can get on that train. 

Come hungry
Though the hosts are not put under pressure to cook any more than what they can manage during their busy schedules, many are very eager to go the extra mile so you will be able to get a full experience. So make sure to come hungry not only so you won’t miss out on all the delicious food but as a host, a clean plate is just always nice to see.

Practice the art of taking off your shoes
You may already take off your shoes at the front door in your own home but give the Japanese-way a try. When you enter your host’s home, you may notice that the room’s floor level is higher than the entrance level. The trick is to try your best to place your feet on the floor level right after you take your shoes instead of the entrance level. It might be hard to balance yourself so placing your bags on the floor level before taking off your shoes will help. If your host happens to have slippers prepared, then slip them on. Some travel guides talk about bare feet not being acceptable unless you are a close friend but don’t worry too much about these sorts of details as you are hopefully going to become good friends with your host. What is important is to enter your host’s home with respect and clean feet!

Ask if your host needs help
Some hosts might feel it’s rude to have you help as you are their guest, but if you are interested in seeing how they are preparing the food, just ask and most likely your host will be delighted to share.

Have fun
This one is a no-brainer but wanted to remind you just in case. Yes, etiquette is always good but coming to the Nagomi Visit ready to communicate, listen, and share is probably more important so get ready and have fun!

Read more about food etiquette here

If you still have any specific questions or concerns feel free to contact your host or the Nagomi Visit team anytime!