Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Smoking In Restaurants

One of the things Japan has been very slow in adopting, is smoking in restaurants. While Japanese people are very friendly and super considerate of other people around them, smoking in restaurants is a whole new element. Most restaurants are divided into non smoking and smoking but you can still smell it pretty bad, better restaurants have smoking rooms or good ventilation which are nicer. 

It takes a bit for foreigners to get accustomed to especially if you are a non smoker or have children. What surprises and angers me the most is sometimes people light up around us when there are kids, or sometimes you see a whole family with young kids dinning in smoking areas/rooms because their parents smokes. These rooms you can sometimes see are just so smokey and I can't comprehend how the parents can put their children through that, it's like smoking in the car with your windows closed with your kids in the car.

I mean don't get me wrong, there has been improvements in this area as well. I have been living and coming to Japan for past 20 years and still remember the Japanese airlines being one of the last to allow smoking up the back of planes. A lot of public areas prohibits smoking and Japanese people are very law abiding people, in fact they excel in this area.

It's a somewhat a touchy subject depending on if you're a smoker or not, some people feel very strongly about it so I guess there is no right or wrong. Being a non smoking family with kids we tend to take a bit more notice for our daughters health sake.

Like I said, it's no right or wrong but feel free to comment if you have an opinion on this, certainly would like to hear your views...


  1. One year late, but since it says "feel free to comment"...

    Japanese smoking habits is one thing that surprised me too (I am from Sweden, where smoking is forbidden by law in any place where people have to work, like a bar or restaurant). I don't smoke, and find it irritating and unpleasant when my friends smoke when we are together, though I am quite used to it by now.

    On the topic of bringing kids into a smoking room being like smoking in the car, my Japanese friends do smoke with the windows closed in the car... Some of them do not have children yet, but I would guess that they would still smoke in the car or at home, so bringing the kids into the smoking room is probably not strange to them. I often see people bringing young children (4 year olds) to bars full of smoke (and drunk people) in the middle of the night too, which I also find strange.

  2. Thanks for your comments! I also have self confessed Japanese friends who cannot travel overseas because he cannot survive without smoking on flights. I guess it could happen to anyone from anywhere and not necessarily unique to Japanese.

    Where I Sweden are you from? I grew up in Moss, Norway for 6 years...