For the first time in my life, I went to Japan last year. I was astonished by how different was social culture and how visible it was at "every corner". Bowing, of course, was in first place. People talked gently and kindly (including talking to me) without a slight sign of arrogance which could be annoying in western cultures. They achieve such kindness by sort of distance called tatemae (official face) which is opposite to honne (true face). I like this distance as a tourist. I'm not sure how I could live with it for longer time though.
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