You see couples holding hands, kissing, and even making out in public all the time in the United States. No big deal. But in Japan, it's a BIG DEAL.
The Japanese are not known to show affection in public. When a famous baseball player left Japan to come play Major League Baseball a few years ago, a TV crew and reporters followed him to the airport where he said goodbye to his wife and two children. The wife was holding back her tears and the camera flashes were going off. The player got close to his wife to console her, and gently and quietly... shook her hand!

So how far can you go in public without making the people around you uncomfortable?

"I once saw a Japanese girl and American guy kissing on the train. An older woman went up to them and told them that people don't do that in Japan," wrote one blogger. Another wrote, "I don't mind couples holding hands, but it pisses me off when I'm walking behind them on the sidewalk because they walk so slow." Comments like, "Isn't it gonna be embarrassing if they're cuddling in public and they run into someone they know?" and "I don't know where to look when I'm stuck in an elevator with a couple gazing at each other!" seem to be the norm. One blogger seemed pretty emotional when they commented, "Go to a LOVE HOTEL!"

Not only are overt displays of affection not the norm, sometimes there's just not much personal space in big cities, so most people, especially the older generation, don't want to see you being all lovey dovey in their faces.