Planning a trip to Japan anytime soon? You may find that their way of living is much different to the way you live. If you want to see Japan for what it really is by getting closer to the locals then there’s one thing you must learn- respect.
Japanese traditions go back for thousands of years and although the importance of respect may not be as serious for the younger generations, it’s still unavoidable in the country. Japan’s cities are vibrant & modern- which could seem like many other cities across the world- but knowing where you stand in society and demonstrating a fair degree of respect is vital.
One of the most important traditions to this day is with the Senpai & kōhai which are terms applied to the mentor system. This is applied in places such as school, sports clubs, businesses, and social organizations.
Another big sign of respect is bowing.
Obama really went for it when he met Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. His nearly 90-degree bow did spark a little bit of controversy back in the states, but that just goes to show how different some cultures can be to each other.
Eating would be yet another vital time to demonstrate your understanding of the Japanese Culture; there are various small mannerisms you need to remember, such as saying “itadakimasu” at the beginning of a meal.
If you’re going to Japan make sure you do your research; you’ll wreak the benefits from showing respect because you’ve demonstrated that you understand the locals and want to see this wonderful country from their eyes.
 
A cup of tea is not just a cup of tea, depending on where you choose to sit and sip it can mean an entirely different experience. A cup of tea in a well placed cafe is the best way to take in a new country. People watching in between sips gives you the sorts of keen insights that make great blog posts and wonderful mental memento's. Take a tour around the world with us and find yourself a tea spot to visit.

Sri Lanka 

Some may have mistaken India, and its spices, for the crown jewel of the British Empire, but we would argue that it was rather the tea of Sri Lanka that Britons valued more. The types grown in the central regions of the island nation are: Ceylon Black, Ceylon Green and the highly-prized Ceylon White. Production of the latter is limited to the hundreds of kilograms and is a rare pleasure. If you're ever lucky enough to get yourself a few leaves save them for a special occasion: a graduation tea date or a pre-wedding cup of tea. To explore the under appreciated central regions of Sri Lank visit Tea Trails.



Japan 

The ritual of tea-drinking is an integral part of Japanese culture so you'll have to approach a tea date in Japan with a bit more formality than your average cafe date. Chanoyu (or sado) is the traditional ritual of preparing and drinking matcha - the powdered green tea favoured in the land of the rising sun. A proper tea ceremony takes up to four hours and involves a meal bracketed by two sessions of tea-drinking. Wherever you go in Japan you'll find a teahouse nearby, but for the in-depth experience Hotel Okura in Tokyo (other hotels offer a similar service) is the perfect place to sample this meditative exercise in tea-drinking.

Morocco 

You would think that the best liquid to combat the stifling heat of a Moroccan day would be cold, but locals will tell you that nothing beats  a foaming cup of Toureg Tea - a type of mint tea. Like matcha above, preparing the drink is an event worth savouring almost as much as the tea itself. The routine involves two rounds of boiling, with tea leaves and then sugar,  and ends with a long pour from the pot to give the tea its characteristic frothiness. Some like to put a tea leaf in their cup before drinking, but leaving it in too long will upset your stomach. Preparation of the tea is done by the head of the family, but in other settings anyone can prepare the tea. Visitors to Morocco looking for the luxury experience may want to stop in at The Repose - a luxury Moroccan hotel, with a lovely traditional riad (courtyard) for their afternoon tea's.   
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