Tipping in Japan

Unlike most western countries, there is no custom of tipping in Japan. Japanese people don’t expect to get a reward for a good service. The service is always expected to be included on what you already pay.

Tipping in a Restaurant

If you leave money in a restaurant or bar can generate confusion. It’s not uncommon for the waiter to go out trying to find the customer who “forgot” some of his money over the table.

Japanese restaurant

Tipping in a Hotel

Do not tip in a hotel, even if it’s an expensive one. Quite often the hotel employees are trained to politely refuse the tip in case they are offered a tip.

However, there is an small exception to this rule. In high-class ryokan 旅館 (Japanese style inn) you can put a bill into an envelope and give it to the person you think it deserves it. This is an ancient custom and only valid in really expensive ones. And don’t forget to use the envelope! It’s considered rude to give money directly.

Tipping in a Taxi

Japanese taxis are quite different from any part of the world. The doors are opened and closed automatically so you don’t have to touch them. Drivers always use white gloves to drive and they put white laces decorating the seats. But no, they don’t accept tips either.

Tokyo taxi

Tipping in a Tour

There is no need to tip the tour guide. They don’t expect to receive any extra compensation for what they are doing. However, this is always up to you. Tour guides are more used to work with foreigners so they may know better what tipping is.

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