Rude and obnoxious tourists

I’ve heard many times that Americans are hated abroad because of their behavior and unwillingness to learn the local language. I resent that stereotype as an American, but I am about to make the same one about people from another country.

First…I traveled around Japan for two weeks. I found everyone to be very polite and helpful. The only behavior I encountered that was odd was how the people in Tokyo would stare at us. Perhaps they were judging? Or maybe just curious about us large blond people.

I’ve encountered many Japanese tourists in my last few weeks of travel. They are loud, rude and act as if they are the only people on the planet. I was physically pushed twice so one of them could get ahead of me in line. Do they realize or care about the reputation they are creating?

It could, perhaps, be said that Americans don’t act differently abroad. If they are rude at home they will be rude elsewhere. And I do know plenty of loud and obnoxious Americans. But the Japanese tourists I’ve encountered are very different from the gracious people I met in Tokyo and other cities in Japan. Maybe their culture is so rigid at home travel is their escape from being polite?

Or is this all evidence of people struggling to understand people from other places, or people who look different?

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About jewelsworldtravels

I want to see the world! I am armed with the book "1,000 places to see before you die" and I am having a great time. I am also a dog lover and theatre snob.
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5 Responses to Rude and obnoxious tourists

  1. tokyo5 says:

    Are you certain they were Japanese?

    Japanese usually try to even more polite outside of Japan.

    In fact, I once saw a survey that asked major hotels around the world to list the best and worst tourists by nationality … and Japanese always ranked high – – often highest.

    • No, I am not certain. And I have since heard that Chinese tourists are quickly getting the reputation for the rudest tourists.

      The more I travel, the more I believe the perception of rudeness may be because of lack of understanding of each other’s cultures and values.

      It isn’t even always a language problem. I was recently accused of being rude by a woman from Australia.

      • tokyo5 says:

        >No, I am not certain (that they were Japanese)

        Then I guess this post isn’t really fair.

        Not trying to be obnoxious…so I hope I don’t come across as such.

        I like your blog…and I wonder how you can travel so much!
        I wish I could!

      • I agree! I wouldn’t write the same post today, but am not sure if I should remove it. I appreciate the comments! I wasn’t trying to offend, and rarely try to start disagreements. I will never forget how polite everyone was in Japan. I always felt welcomed – even when I couldn’t communicate very well.

        One of the things I love about travel is the opportunity to learn about other people and cultures!

  2. tokyo5 says:

    Not to say that there aren’t rude Japanese people though … but generally speaking, they are the politest.

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