[Advanced] Japanese Business Office Etiquette

[Advanced] Japanese Business Office Etiquette

As you know, there is a lot of etiquette in Japanese business, and nothing is too polite in Japan. Being polite is very comfortable for Japanese people and leads to a good reputation.

Following the basic part, here’s an advanced version of business etiquette that you can do in their office and lead to a good impression.

1. Let them know in advance if the number of visitors changes.

This is very important as a matter of etiquette. If the number of people attending the meeting changes, you should let them know in advance, as they will decide on the size of the meeting room and the number of teas to be served.

2. Carry your briefcase without rolling it.

Once you get to the other person’s office, it’s best to avoid rumbling and carrying your carry-on case. The sound will be audible and some people may find it uncomfortable. It’s better to hold it until they tell you that you can roll it around. If your luggage is not to be used for the meeting, it is better to leave it in a locker at the station.

3. Say “Itadakimasu” when you drink the tea served to you.

When drinking the tea served during a business meeting, say “Itadakimasu” (Thank you for the tea). When it’s time to leave, say “Thank you for the tea” and gather up everyone else’s teacups and put them at the end of the table so that they can easily clean up. This will give them a good impression that you are a person who cares a lot, which will lead to a good reputation.

 “Itadakimasu” いただきます。

4. Put your business bag on the floor.

Basically, a business bag is perceived as being as dirty as shoes. This means that no matter how clean your bag is, it is not a good idea to put it on a table or chair. If you don’t want your bag to get dirty on the floor, it is better to lay a handkerchief on the floor and place your bag on it.

5. Say a few words about using a laptop.

You may use your laptop to take notes during a business meeting. In that case, it’s a good idea to say “Excuse me”. This is because by putting things between you and him/her, you are putting a psychological block between you and him/her.

Also, some people find it uncomfortable because you may be too busy looking at the screen to make eye contact. In addition, it is also important to be aware that you are borrowing their table to use a PC. For these reasons, when using a PC during a business meeting, it is a good idea to say, “I’d like to use my PC,” even if he/she is using his/her PC in the same way.

6. Turn around at the corner and bow again.

If you’re leaving and you’re parting with him/her in the elevator, you can take a final bow there. However, if you’re parting with him/her on the first floor, you need to be careful. They may be looking off all the way until you turn the corner. In other words, once you say goodbye and start walking, I suggest you turn around again at the corner. If he/she is still standing there, bow again.

7. Match the color of your tie/scarf with the color of the company you are visiting.

This is especially effective if your business partner is the founder of the company. Respect for the company is expressed by the color of the tie/scarf. In the case of one major Japanese company, their corporate color is green, and it is said that more than 80% of visitors wear a green tie.

This is an advanced version of Japanese business etiquette for office visits. Again, there is no such thing as being too polite in Japan. In fact, being polite is a surefire way to gain a higher reputation and trust. It’s a great way to succeed in business with Japanese people!


  1. Notify them in advance of any changes in the number of visitors.
  2. Carry cases should be lifted and carried.
  3. Say “Itadakimasu” before having the tea.
  4. Put your business bag on the floor.
  5. Say a few words about using a laptop.
  6. Just in case, turn around at the corner.
  7. Wear a tie/scarf that matches the color of the company you’re visiting.