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Tipping in Japan

Japan Travel Tips 916
Tipping in Japan

Tipping in Japan is not customary as the Japanese culture is rooted in respect, hard work, and dignity. Tips are viewed as unnecessary, and may even be interpreted as rude since good service is considered to be the standard. If you try to leave a tip, your tip may be turned down- their no-tipping culture is you simply pay for the price of whatever you purchase with no tip needed. The Japanese do their job with pride, rather than hoping for a tip. No matter how odd it may be, do not tip unless it is an exception, as being polite and saying thank you are showing your gratitude. Below are a few tips in certain places and what you should do when it comes to tipping in Japan, like restaurants, hotels, taxi transportation, local guides and drivers, etc.

How and When to Tip in Japan

Tipping in Restaurants
The Japanese believe that in restaurants, you are already paying for good service, so there should be no need to pay extra. When you check the bill, you can see if there has been a service charge added, which may usually be around 10 to 15 percent, but if not, it is still not recommended to leave a tip. Leaving a tip behind may be considered rude and they can refuse the money. Most Japanese restaurants require customers to pay at the front register, rather than leaving money behind on the table for the waiter or waitress.

Tipping for Taxi
When taking public transportation like the taxi, do not tip the driver either. Rounding up fares may be a common idea throughout Asia, but in Japan, the driver will give you exact change back as they do not believe in receiving extra money.

Tipping in Hotels/Spas
Hotel staff does not accept tips, including the bellhop, concierge, and housekeeping. Although tipping maybe sometimes accepted in upscale Western hotels, most of the hotel staff you will encounter are trained to politely refuse tips and the token of gratuity. Politeness and respectfulness are expected from the staff, especially in higher-end Japanese accommodations, but not loving for any tips. If you feel like housekeeping has done an amazing job and you are very satisfied, we can only recommend you leave an envelope behind with the tip, as it is considered rude if you hand the staff tips in person. When in a spa or at the hotel spa, do not leave a tip either, as you should just be respectful and grateful for the service given.

Tips for Local Tour Guides and Drivers

As tipping is not customary, there are exceptions you may run into on your trip. If you are joining a Japan small group tour, the staff that works for a Japanese travel agency are accustomed to receiving tips and maybe grateful to receive a small gratuity. There is not a set amount you have to offer, so you can give what you feel you are comfortable and is right, depending on their service. If you do decide to tip, in Japanese culture, it is considered rude to give cash directly from your pocket or purse, it is best to put the money inside an envelope and seal it before handing it to the recipient. Tour guides or drivers are also accustomed to receiving tips, but it isn't mandatory or even considered rude. If you feel obligated to, a few dollars is perfectly acceptable or what you feel you are comfortable with the offering.

As more and more foreign tourists visit Japan in recent years, tipping habits have changed. Tour practitioners such as tour guides and coach drivers have not refused to accept tipping, especially in countries with the habit of tipping. In the place of business, such as bars, night clubs, clubs, and other places with frequent foreigners, if you feel that the service is satisfactory, tipping is not considered to be rude. It will encourage the service personnel to be encouraged to provide excellent service with your generosity.

As a reliable Japan Travel Agency, we provide budget guided tours, and private Chauffeurs for travelers from overseas. Whether you are looking for a short city tour or a private Chauffeur in Japan, you can easily find the most suitable one at an affordable price. Contact our representatives to book our Narita Airport pick-up and Japan limousine service.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need to tip taxi driver?
    Generally speaking, you don’t need to tips taxi driver. However, if you really love their service, you can give the changes to them as tips. Tipping in Japan used to be considered as disrespectful; however, the practice has been slowly adopted.
  • Do I need to tip the tour guide?
    For our group tour, tips are already accounted for in the tour payment. Our company would hand the tips guide together with their wages to tour. If like our tour guide' service, you are more than welcome to give them additional tips.
  • Do I need to tips the staffs at the restaurant?
    Generally tipping is not needed, especially in traditional Japanese restaurants. Rather, Japanese restaurants value customers' appreciation on the food. In some Western restaurants, you can consider tipping.
  • Do I need to tip the driver for your private transfer service?
    Our price for private transfer service already includes the tips for driver. However, if you like our driver's service or you have extra luggage, you can give additional tips to driver. Tipping is now common in travel industry in Japan.
  • Is tipping customary in Japan?
    In the past, tipping is not practiced in Japan. In some cases, the receiver even find tipping rude because is somehow a complaint on the service. However, as more and more foreigners visit Japan, tipping has been slowly adopted especially in travel industry.
  • Does your tour guide accept extra tips?
    Our tour guides usually accept extra tips. Unlike Japanese tradition, they understand in Western culture, tipping is a way of showing gratitude toward their service.
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