Etiquette Rules for Visiting Japan (Upper-Intermediate Lesson)

ESL/EFL Level: Upper-Intermediate (B2/C1)
Lesson Topics: etiquette, Japan, tipping
Skill Focus: Listening, Speaking, Vocabulary
Approximate Class Time: 1.75 hours
Lesson Plan Download: etiquette-tips-japan-upper-intermediate-042024.docx
Lesson Overview:

  • After warm-up questions, a prediction task, and a quick vocabulary preview, students read a 290-word passage about etiquette in Japan. The passage is based on a YouTube video by Hangry by Nature on 11 etiquette tips for visiting Japan (video is C1/C2 level). After comprehension questions, students match vocabulary from the video to definitions and then form discussion questions using the target vocabulary.
  • There is one debate topic about the value of tipping. The roleplay scenario has one student try to recall the advice from the video and pass it on to a traveler visiting Japan soon.
  • There is also an etiquette guide activity in which students must prepare a list of etiquette rules for a group of Japanese coming to their home country.
  • This is followed by some famous quotations. The lesson ends with a review of vocabulary and collocations before presenting some final discussion questions.

A man slurping ramen in Japan

UPPER-INTERMEDIATE (B2/C1) Lesson Plan on Etiquette Rules in Japan


  1. What examples of bad manners do you often see?
  2. Are the people of your country well-mannered compared to other nationalities?
  3. When you think of Japan, what comes to mind?
  4. Have you ever been to Japan? Would you like to go?

Predictions: You are about to watch a video about etiquette rules to know before traveling in Japan. What rules do you think might appear on the list? Make some guesses with a partner.

Match Vocabulary to the correct image: tray, slippers, vending machine, bow, bin, queue

An image of a few objects from the reading passage.

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This lesson plan was created by Matthew Barton of (copyright). Site members may photocopy and edit the file for their classes. Permission is not given to rebrand the lesson, redistribute it on another platform, or sell it as part of commercial course curriculum. ChatGPT was used to generate answer keys and some famous quotations. For questions, contact the author. 

Comprehension Question Answer Key

  1. True
  2. (Possible answers include 1) to reduce the amount of garbage on the ground, 2) because fewer people snack and walk, there’s less need to dispose of waste while outside, 3) people have a stronger sense of social obligation, so they can be relied upon to dispose of their waste properly
  3. Eating and drinking while walking is frowned upon for a few reasons: it can lead to making a mess, bumping into people with food, and it is considered bad manners not to take the time to enjoy your food.
  4. (We can infer that showing respect and social cohesion are important in Japanese culture.)

Vocabulary 1-b, 2-j, 3-c, 4-a, 5-g, 6-k, 7-h, 8-e, 9-l, 10-d, 11-I, 12-f

Collocations 1-d, 2-a, 3-f, 4-b, 5-c, 6-e

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