Been living in Japan for 18 long years already and though somewhat accustomed of the way things are going on in here, there are still lots that I need to work.
Japan is known all over the world for courteous residents and politeness are visible wherever you go. The idea of being nice to others, treating each and every one inspite of difference is evident. You can recognize it by the series of bowing and warm smiles. This is because of their practice and way of upbringing, they were taught during early childhood, at home and school, to always respect and follow rules.
The government is firm on protecting the rights of the people much more with the places. Public disturbance (meiwaku) is a no no in Japan. You cannot have parties at your residence, or apartment, if you want to host one, you have to make sure, your neighbors won’t hear you or else you will get reported and police may knock on your door! Have your events in a rented hall or Karaoke houses, that is what everybody (foreign ones) are doing.
The Nihonggo language can be confusing and the kanji characters can leave foreigners in fear of speaking (the pronounciation and the hatsuon – intonation, for that matter)or reading. But it will only be during the first time. You will get accustomed to it by watching Japanese television and by reading books and listening to music and interacting with the locals. It is a good way to practice and have conversation with the old guys also, to know the formal and informal sentences used everyday.
Japanese people are generally friendly in the city area (Tokyo and Osaka) where the english language can be used if know nothing about the local language. However, people from the (inaka) province region are much more friendlier. A comprehensive guide book can be bought in any bookstore so grab one if you have the need for it!