We may not be able to travel right now, but that needn’t stop us starting to explore the world again…

Japan is often thought of as a “far away” country where they do things differently, and this is indeed true. The Japanese, have, for example, a unique language not shared by any other group of people, and a unique religion – Shinto. Yet Japan is becoming increasingly “Western” in its norms, expectations, and way of life. Furthermore, Japan today participates more widely in the international arenas of sport, music, food, fashion, design, robotics, R&D collaboration, overseas aid, and “soft power” diplomacy than ever before.

However, despite this pursuit of modern living, the core values of traditional Japan – a sense of duty rather than of rights, the pursuit of harmony as an instinctive need at all levels of society, and respect for each other throughout life – not least in old age – endure. The visitor should be aware that notions of “uniqueness” also endure in the Japanese psyche. Japan is one of the most pleasant and safest countries to live in; it has one of the best medical infrastructures and enjoys the longest life expectancy in the world.

Japan functions mainly as a consensus-based society, but Japanese genius and eccentricity point to an unexpected strand of individualism. This new, updated edition of Culture Smart! Japan provides information and insights into people’s attitudes and behavior and practical advice to help you discover the brilliance and charm of this complex, rich, and dynamic society.

For more: https://culturesmartbooks.co.uk/shop/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=95

Book Details:

    • ISBN: 9781787028920
    • Format: Paperback
    • Page count: 200
    • Dimensions: 170 x 110 x 13mm
    • Published at: £9.99 / $12.99 / CAN $17.99

We have relaunched with 25 new titles!

Culture Smart! guides are designed to help you have a more meaningful and successful time abroad through a better understanding of the local culture.

With chapters on navigating local culture and etiquette, effective communication, and how to avoid cultural misunderstandings, our guides make sure you are a better-informed guest.

After 15 years in publication and more than 100 titles published, we are excited to announce the relaunch of CULTURE SMART!, a series of guides designed to help people have a richer and more meaningful experience abroad through a better understanding of the local culture. CULTURE SMART! guides offer a qualitative improvement to people’s experience abroad by telling readers about the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of people of different countries, so that when they arrive they are aware of local manners and sensitive issues, and are well equipped to make friends or enter into successful business relationships.

25 new editions of bestselling guides were published to mark the relaunch, with more to follow. With a new design and improved format, we aim to reach a wider audience and solidify the series’ standing as market leader of this travel category niche.

What’s New

• The updated guides have been entirely redesigned, both inside and out.

• The new design will help the series appeal to a wider audience at a time when the content covered in traditional travel guides, like restaurants and hotel listings, is readily available online for free.

• The guides remain compact and travel-sized but have 32 extra pages. The layout of this chunkier guide has allowed us to include more content, such as a section on Useful Apps, and to make use of larger images for greater impact.

• The new layout was designed to help make the book more user friendly and, due to better spacing and use of images, offers a better reading experience.
Check out our online shop to see the 25 new books available now to help you prepare for your next trip!

Deep in the Amazon: A Culture Smart! author’s Peruvian travelogue

A Peruvian Travelogue with Culture Smart! author John Forrest

The indigenous inhabitant’s of Peru’s Amazonian region number over one million today. Made up of 65 different ethnic groups and over a dozen linguistic families, there is great variety to be found in this part of the world.

While development continues throughout Peru, there still remains three areas along the border with Brazil where indigenous groups continue to live in isolation from broader society and the Western world.

One of such area is in Madre de Dios, one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the whole of Amazonia in the southern Peruvian Amazon. Here, small groups of Mashco-Piro are occasionally sighted along the Manu and Las Piedras rivers. Photographic evidence suggests that they still live as they have done traditionally for millennia.

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5 Ways You Can Be a Respectable Guest in Japan

5 Ways You Can Be a Respectable Guest in Japan

  • Punctuality:

In Japan, being punctual is an expression of good manners. Excuses relating to traffic etc. will not save you as everybody has to deal with that – even if you are a first time visitor. Profuse apologies and a humble demeanour are more appropriate.

  • Taboo topics to avoid in conversation:

If you want to win friends, do not start a conversation on the subject of the Yakuza – they are not supposed to ‘exist’ (sorry Giri/Haji fans!). Yakuza are a part of Japan’s historical social structure – highlight trained gangsters famed for their ornate all body tattoos, flashy limos and the missing top of the little fingers. Japanese police simply accept their existence and won’t interfere unless something severe happens. The Yakuza rarely bothers foreign businessmen or tourists.

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Christmas Advent Traditions Around the World

As we move through the month of December, many are celebrating the Advent countdown with the reward of a chocolate every morning. While this relatively recent tradition of daily treats is certainly a wonderful one, the history and culture of the Advent goes far beyond this.

The word Advent means ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’ in Latin and refers to the arrival of Jesus at Christmas. Since its origin, various Christian countries have developed their own traditions and celebrations for this time of year:

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Wednesday Wanderlust – 10 Cultural Tips from South Asia

Planning a trip to South Asia or just want to learn more about the region? The following tips and facts will give you an insight into its rich and varied culture for all your travel needs:


1. There is a saying that Bangladeshis maintain ‘Bangladesh’ time, and so you might notice that they display a rather casual attitude toward timekeeping. If you are visiting someone socially, allow plenty of time for this relaxed attitude: they will want to chat before a meal and then relax and chat some more, afterwards.

2. The many festivals and celebrations of Bangladesh have given rise to the expression “baro mashe tero parbon” (thirteen festivals in twelve months). These include Nabanno Utsab (Harvest Festival), Basanta Utsab (Spring Festival) and Pokela Boishakh (Bengali New Year’s Day). This New Year celebration is actually held on April 14th as it follows the Bengali calendar, rather than the Western Gregorian calendar.

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5 cultural tips and facts from South Africa

5 cultural tips and facts from South Africa – winners of 2019 rugby world cup


1 – South Africans go out of their way to make newcomers feel welcome, and this may include being invited to stay in their homes. If you’re invited to stay, there are a few observances that should make your visit comfortable for everyone. Make sure that you keep your room tidy; even if there is a housekeeper, don’t take advantage of it. Offer to help with chores or cooking, even if there is domestic help. Although the original invitation might have been to ‘stay as long as you like,’ be perceptive and gauge how your presence is affecting others. Don’t overstay your welcome.

2 – If you are invited to a South African home for a braai (barbecue) or a formal dinner, arrive on time. Some occasions are ‘BYOB’ (bring your own bottle/booze) or ‘bring and braai’, in which case you’re expected to contribute your share of drinks, meat, salads, or other dishes. South African gatherings are notorious for serving a meal well into the afternoon or evening after normal eating hours.

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5 things you NEED to know about Indian culture.


India is seen world-wide as a large, colourful country steeped in tradition and history. There is more to the people of India than what meets the eye – as such here are 5 things you need to know about Indian culture before your visit!

  • FOOD: Indian food tastes better when eaten by hand. Food should only touch your fingertips, and although people will be polite if you dirty your fingers past the knuckle, they will be disgusted.

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