Japanese list 7 positive impressions of Taiwanese tourists: survey

Japanese list 7 positive impressions of Taiwanese tourists in survey by tourist information website

Tourists with Japan's famed cherry blossoms.

Tourists with Japan's famed cherry blossoms. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Japanese travel planning web site Live Japan on July 31 posted a list of seven positive impressions Japanese respondents on the streets of Tokyo had of Taiwanese tourists.

The results of the survey, titled "Tokyo People's Real Word on the Street Report: What do Japanese people think of Taiwanese Tourists?" was released on the Chinese language version of Live Japan on July 31, and were categorized into seven major impressions that Japanese respondents had of Taiwanese tourists.

1. Thoughtfulness is very similar to Japanese

Mr. Nakagawa, who runs a snack wholesale shop near Okachimachi Station, said "It seems that Taiwanese people always lookup what they want to buy first, such as writing down the name of the product, or directly showing pictures on their mobile phones and asking, 'Do you have this?' They think a lot about what to buy, who to buy it for, how many and so on!"

The site stated that this pattern of not making spontaneous purchases, and first doing research, is really similar to Japanese.

2. Gentle and elegant, treat people with kindness

One respondent said, "People from China, and maybe Hong Kong speak in a louder voice and sound like they are in a rush. Halfway through the conversation, they tend to cut you off and start to talk. It feels like Taiwanese wait for the person to finish the conversation. The pace is more even. And they give people an impression of always smiling and welcoming."

The author concludes that Taiwanese have a steady, happy countenance that welcomes people and puts them at ease, and "it seems that Japanese have opened their hearts to Taiwanese."

3. English is very good

"It's amazing how well Taiwanese speak English, young or old," said a receptionist for the online gourmet and restaurant guide Gurunavi surnamed Terashima.

"Although there are staff members who can speak Chinese, about 70-80 percent of them (Taiwanese) use English to ask questions. It seems most have no problem communicating in English. Even among the elderly tourists, many can speak English. I can't recall whether there are many Japanese people my age who can speak English so fluently," said another respondent.

The writer says that Japanese are impressed that instead of speaking their mother tongue, Taiwanese use English to communicate, because it indicates they are taking others into consideration.

4. Value bond with friends

In this regard, Terashima said, "I was very impressed by an incident in which I helped a wife find her lost husband. That day, the couple had taken a tram to Ofuna that day. When they got off at Ueno Station, the two became separated. The woman tried contacting every station along the way but could not find him. She said that her husband might contact her, so she waited at the Ueno Station information center. At last it seems her husband arrived at the last station, Atami. Once he got here, he asked someone to help him contact his daughter in Taiwan, who then in turn contacted the wife. However, although it was already nighttime, the woman rushed to Atami to be reunited with her husband. I thought it was enough that they had found each other. The next day, the woman came back with a famous Japanese dessert saying that she came to 'thank you very much for your help.'"

Japanese people were moved by this incident. The sensibility is similar to Japanese, so it is easier to communicate with each other. This is why Taiwanese cannot help but generate such good will, writes the author.

5. Been to more tourist destinations in Japan than Japanese

A receptionist surnamed Limura, also from Gurunavi said, "When assisting Taiwanese travelers in finding restaurants and travel arrangements, they rarely ask about entry-level restaurants and tourist attractions. It was only when I ask them that I found out that they had been to Japan many times. They usually don't even ask basic questions about modes transportation in the tourist areas of Tokyo. Many do a lot of research before they go. When they do ask questions, they often ask about places that even many Japanese had never been too."

She added that other nationalities seem to ask countrymen who have already traveled to Japan to give their recommendations. She said that South Koreans tend to refer to places that bloggers recommend, however, she said that Taiwanese plan their own trips without feedback from others.

6. Good etiquette

"Their etiquette is exactly right. There's nothing different from the Japanese. They are not too loud when they talk or talk with their mouth full. We very much welcome Taiwanese," said a restaurant owner in Tokyo's Asakusa area.

The owner observed that although other guests sometimes struggle to observe proper etiquette in the restaurant, Taiwanese are very observant of their surroundings and it seems that they very easily integrate into Japanese society.

7. Women all wear "natural makeup"

"Many Taiwanese women give people the feeling of not over-dressing. They have natural curls and makeup that is so natural looking that is often hard to tell if it they are wearing makeup or that's their natural appearance," said Limura.

Limura said that in contrast, Japanese women are much more focused on makeup. She said that she admired the simplicity, smile and kind personality of Taiwanese women.