September: 暗黙の了解
Anmoku no Ryōkai

Image result for talking on the phone in a train

“Anmoku no Ryōkai” 暗黙の了解 is a Japanese phrase that roughly translates to “unspoken rule(s),” or societal norms that are assumed to be followed the people of any given group. In Japan, it is important to understand “anmoku no ryōkai” in relation to traveling in Japan, in order to avoid issues with other travelers, blend seamlessly into Japanese society, and to generally learn more about Japanese culture. This month, we will be learning about an unspoken rule of traveling by train in Japan.

One of the most important unspoken rules of traveling by train is to not talk on your phone. You may be able to detect this a few seconds into your phone conversation, after receiving some mildly angered stares from the passengers around you, but it is probably better to not allow things to get to this point. It is okay to answer your phone on the train, but to avoid distracting passengers and to keep the peace, it is probably best to quickly explain that you are on the train and to return the call at a later time. By adhering to unspoken rules like not talking on the train, we are able to display our consideration and interest in Japanese culture and society.
Takeshita, Miki. “13 Manners on Train: Obvious but Important.” MATCHA – JAPAN TRAVEL