What kind of people are the Japanese? Let us introduce the typical Japanese and how to interact with them.
Japanese work hard. It is not rare to see fathers leave for work before their children wake up, and come home after their children sleep. There are critics that say they work too much, but it is true that this diligence was what led Japan to its rapid growth after the war.
There is a saying "move 5 minutes ahead of time" in Japan. It is to finish your preparations 5 minutes early, and start moving before the planned time. There are many Japanese who are strict about punctuality, so do make sure to get to a place on time when given a specific meeting time.
"Group" over "individual"
Japanese put more value on their position within a group than their own individuality. They tend to feel uneasy when making choices that stand out from the rest, and is very important for them to fit in. It is said that it is a Japanese virtue to act considering the harmony with others.
"Otaku" and the Japanese
One thing you cannot forget when talking about current Japanese culture is the "Otaku culture". You can take a peek at the interesting and creative Japanese aspect through cosplay (costume play) and their unique views.
The truth about their "mysterious smile"...
There are many Japanese who are not good at English. English is taught in schools, but it's a different thing when it comes to communicating in English. When spoken to in English, Japanese will show you a smile instantly. Foreigners may find this strange, but this smile actually shows that they are troubled, worried or shy.
Talk to them with a smile
Do visit Japan with a smile on your face. When asking for directions, you could point at places on your guide book. If you have a pen and a paper, you may be able to communicate with them easier. Don't forget to say "thanks" at the end of the conversation.