When you're in Japan, even sitting on the floor is a very new experience.
Seats are one of the many 'technologies' that have been imported from abroad that people have wholeheartedly accepted. However, most Japanese people will choose to sit under the floor if chosen. And this is very common no matter where you are, whether it's a luxury hotel or a cheap restaurant.
The reason is that when sitting on the floor, you will never wear shoes, and this will help unintentional guests avoid wearing shoes from outside to dirty the floor. Shoe access in stores and some restaurants is completely acceptable. But if you put your shoes in a place that is just sitting on the floor, this would be a great insult to the landlord, similar to the fact that you wear shoes that hang around the sofa in the West. It's just an insult to just step inside the house with any part of your feet that touches the dirty ground outside, even if it's a pair of socks.
In Western homes, the floor is part of the ground, so people wear shoes, sit in chairs, carpet, and bed. Meanwhile, in the Asian culture, the floor is like the extension of the bed, it is raised, cushioned . The walls can be simple and uncertain but the floor is always invested carefully. Therefore, Japanese people often remove slippers at the door, sit on the ground in some rooms, especially bedrooms, dining rooms, tea rooms. Today most Japanese people do not buy chairs in their homes. This brings a lot of practical benefits. Japanese houses usually have at least one washitsu-style room. In this room, the floor will be covered with tatami mats. There is absolutely no furniture in this room, except for a low table and a few cushions. Some houses are unique in this type of room, and there are no chairs. Washitsu is also very popular in hotels and restaurants.
Sitting on the floor is a culture that has a long history in Japan.(Photo source: unmissablejapan).
In some places, sitting on the floor is for minors only. However, this rule is not applicable in Japan. Even if there are chairs, Japanese people will choose to sit on the floor because this makes them feel more comfortable and relaxed. Foreigners, especially Westerners, will not be used to this at first, but I am sure that they will gradually enjoy themselves.
In Japan there is a series of words that show different ways of sitting in accordance with each situation. In it, the sitting style (seiza) is considered the most polite. For men, the distance between the legs will be far apart and for women, the legs are closer together. When you first practice, you will feel very tired, sore feet, stiffness of your feet. However, Japanese people believe that this type of sitting affects some acupuncture points in the legs, which are beneficial for health. Therefore, since childhood, Japanese children have been instructed to sit this way to get used to it.
In situations that don't need to be overly formal, people can sit in other ways like cross-legged, hugging their knees, bending their legs to one side .
According to Unmissable Japan, if you stay in Japan for a long time, you will feel that wearing indoor shoes is an unhygienic habit and buying expensive chairs is a big waste.