tipping in Japan

Some people say you should never tip in Japan, but tipping etiquette is never quite that simple. It's true that many people in Japan believe that good service is standard and tipping is rude. However staff working for companies connected with tourism may still be grateful for tips. If you do decide to tip in Japan, place the tip inside an envelope and hand over the envelope. It would be rude to give cash directly from your pocket.

tipping etiquette for hotels in Japan

In Japanese Hotels Don't Tip except for Ryokans

If you are staying in an extremely high class Ryokan (a traditional Japanese Inn) the tipping etiquette is to leave a small tip in an envelope and never to give the tip directly. Otherwise hotel staff in Japan will not expect you to tip and if you do decide to tip it may be refused. You should expect this tipping etiquette to hold true even if you are staying at an extremely high-end hotel. Often hotel staff in Japan are trained to say "no thank you" if they are offered a tip.

tipping in restaurants in Japan

In Japan Don't Tip in Restaurants

Waiters and waitresses in restaurants in Japan will not expect you to tip. Like most services in Japan the view is: you are paying for a good service, why pay extra? So much so it's not uncommon to hear stories of staff chasing down patrons to hand back change that was left as a tip.

Food in Japan

There are many must-try foods in Japan, including the obvious sushi. However there are many more delicious dishes:

  • Curry Rice
  • Yakitori (meat skewers)
  • Onigiri (stuffed rice balls)
  • Yakiniku (grilled meat)
  • Nabe (soup)
  • Okonomiyaki (omelette pancake)

tip etiquette at spas in Japan

In Spas Don't Tip in Japan

You don’t need to tip at the spa in Japan.

Social Etiquette

  • Simply incline your head slightly to greet someone.
  • Take off your shoes when entering someone’s house.
  • Don’t draw attention to yourself

should you tip your taxi driver?

In Taxis Don't Tip your taxi driver

You don’t need to tip your taxi driver in Japan.

Taking a Taxi in Japan

Public transport is very good in Japan. However, taking a taxi may be necessary is small towns or villages. There is usually a light on the taxi wind-shield. If it’s green, the taxi is occupied. It it’s red, it’s free. If you don’t speak Japanese, bring a map with you, and point to your destination.

should you tip your hairdresser

In Japan Don't Tip at the Hairdresser

Tipping if not expected nor required in a hair salon or barber shop in Japan.

should you tip your tour guide?

In Japan No Need to Tip your Tour Guide

You can tip your tour guide, but it isn't mandatory, or expected.

There are many available tours of Japan including city tours, nature excursions, visits to Mt Fuji, cultural tours, gourmet tours, and much more.