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Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/5 23:48
Having read that in Japan it is preferred to give out thank you gifts from home country rather than tips we are trying to think what would be good to take.
We are thinking maybe taking some bars of Cadbury dairy milk (the largish 200g ones - we are Birmingham, UK based which is where Cadbury world is) to take as gifts. We are visiting 2 friends from UK there who might appreciate some UK chocolate and thought also we are staying at some ryokans and airbnb where we might have particularly good service. Would this be a suitable gift?
It might get a little melted/broken on our travels but I suppose any gift is susceptible to breakage. We will be travelling in March/April so hoping melting risk is low.

Advice welcome :)
by Sakurayuna (guest)  

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/6 15:08
In Japan, you don't "tip" at all EXCEPT for ryokans, the type where the owner lady shows up at your room and greets you personally upon check-in, and (usually) serve your meals in your room. And at these ryokans they do expect tip (in cash), so please do give cash. No small gifts and things.

For airbnb (I don't even know if you'd meet the landlord?) it would be OK.

For your UK friends - if they like Cadbury, it might be an idea, but Cadbury is available in Japan... so you might think of something a bit nicer/hard-to-find-in-Japan?
by ....... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/6 22:26
Really? Everything I've read says do not tip so I am surprised this expectation has passed me by! How much tip do they expect? I'm a little disappointed to be honest I actually thought the no tip attitude was a great one!

I have no idea what is and isn't available in Japan, advice suggests something from where you are from so Cadbury seemed ideal, what would be better? We are travelling light so would not want to take anything too big. One of the airbnb we are staying in a room in hosts house but the other we might not see host.
by sakurayuna (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/6 22:53
Well, I wouldn't say that ryokans "expect" tips. It's just that it's not uncommon to tip at ryokans and in taxis.

I love Cadbury, but it's so commonly sold here in Japan that most people don't even notice that it's British. I think you'd also need to worry about not smashing it or melting it by accident before you give it to anyone.

Perhaps hard tiny toffee can be better than chocolate. In fact, old Japanese ladies often have the habit of giving away candy to almost anyone they talk to.

Thinking about it the other way around, Japanese travelers often carry things like tiny Japanese fans so that they can give one away to someone who was nice to you while travelling overseas. Perhaps you can find something similar at your local souvenir shop in the UK to give away after you arrive to Japan.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/6 23:16
I'm surprised about the Cadbury another thread I read suggested it was just dairy milk you could get and even then it was Australia imported so different taste to British! I'll go back to drawing board on that one then.

I Googled the ryokan tipping and most seem to say only the ryokan that are more than 20000yen per person per night, we aren't staying anywhere that fancy.

I'm not sure there's any good local souvenirs, just tat that says Birmingham on it :/
by sakurayuna (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/6 23:34
Tipping at Ryokan is classic style at these days.
If you visit a Ryokan with large number of group(eg, more than five people), or, have infants, small kids together, you can hand a tip there in cash(2,000 Yen or so) because the staffs at Ryokan need to work more for your family and group.
Ryokan charges service fees other than room charges, so no need to hand a tip unless you demand an extra work there.
by tokyo friend 48 rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/7 00:16
I'm surprised about the Cadbury another thread I read suggested it was just dairy milk you could get and even then it was Australia imported so different taste to British!

Well, that's the thing. Back in the 80s when Japan hardly sold Cadbury, I used to love buying them from vending machines in the London tube as a tourist, and then all of a sudden it was Australian! I was confused and I think a lot of us Japanese still are. And this is the first time I realised it was from Birmingham. Just for your reference, these are the Cadbury bars available in Japan.
http://www.tomoe-global.jp/ja/lineup/cadbury

So It's a different taste, is it? I'll be sure to buy some the next time I visit the UK. Meanwhile, I wouldn't mind any souvenirs related to Black Sabbath, but then I don't know how many Japanese locals would.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/7 00:38
Just what I hear, I haven't tried Australian version :) I believe they have to make it a little differently for Australia because British version melts at a lower temperature (would be no good in Japanese summer either apparently). Birmingham is where Cadbury is originally from but obviously being a big company now it's made in more places.

Thanks for your help, we might just ask our friends if there's anything they miss (but only like 1 thing each because we can't carry much extra!). I'm not sure if we need anything for anyone else but sort of don't want to be caught unprepared either...
by Sakurayuna (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/7 00:53
Yep, I prefer the taste of the UK one's, oppose to the australian version and Hong Kong version, one type that isn't available in most countries are the original flake in the yellow wrapper. I miss those, I like to crumble them up and eat them in one go. suppose they get crumbled up too easy and can't survive high temp, thats probably why many countries don't sell them officially, but you do get some imported.
by kms899 rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/7 01:57
By the way, I think that chocolates are perfect as gift for your friends. Bring a whole box, in fact.

But I thought you were asking about what you can give instead of "tips". So for people who are serving you, or nice people who are just passing by, you can give them something much smaller as a mere token of appreciation/greeting.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/7 04:24
Another gift that doesn't weigh much and hardly takes up space in your suitcase would be a nice English teatowel. There are the touristy type with prints of Buck Palace, a map of the underground, etc., etc.... or maybe one with pretty flowers on it. I received a Portmeirion teatowel years ago, still using it and every time it reminds me of the sweet lady who gave it to me.
Just a thought.... Enjoy your trip!
by Dutch Ann rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/7 05:11
The American version of Cadbury taste like crap. Made by Hershey's. Enough said. I had to Australian version (sold in Philippines) and it was okay, way better than US but still not as good as UK.

As for "small gifts" to replace "tipping", I'm bringing Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nut. Couple boxes and a container of individually packed ones to give away to those who are helpful (I'm from Hawaii).

A coworker said her friend (with maybe about 6 other family members) with 3 rooms booked arrived several hours before Check In time. So they asked if they could leave all their luggages and carryons with them while they go out for lunch. They also asked front desk best place to eat in the vicinity. The friend took out 2 boxes of the Chocolate Covered Mac Nuts and gave it to the front desk for their help. While the friend and his family in the lobby going over which of the several restaurants the desk gave them, the manager came up to them and informed them they have rooms ready to check in early.

I'm sure that this won't happen always but you never know! YMMV.

Also, my friend had those small individual pack Choc Mac Nuts and he passed it out to those who helped him along the way. He also said that when they were walking through food vendors/stalls on the way to a Shrine/Temple in Kyoto a little girl came up to them and took their rubbish that they were holding on to. They came upon a stall to purchase more food and noticed the little girl sitting there. They waved to the little girl and gave her some of the chocolates. She excitedly told her father who was cooking the food and he gave them a little extra for making his daughter happy.

I think little gifts like these (hard to get or very expensive in Japan or any country you're visiting) to show your appreciation will be greatly appreciated. I for one would appreciate original UK version Cadbury. But again, I know the difference.
by ab (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/7 06:23
Thanks everyone.
I am leaning towards getting some little cartons of cadbury mini eggs to give out as little tips, obviously its just a very small inexpensive token. Are mini eggs common in Japan?
by sakurayuna (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/7 10:40
To be honest I think the cheapest and easiest option is to get some of those clip-on koalas. People LOVE them. When I was a tourist here, I'd carry some around in my bag to give to people who went out of their way to help me, hotel staff etc and they were so excited. If you really want to bring food I suggest Caramello Koalas, but like with any snacks, they can be easily squashed or broken, especially when you're traveling, so I think clip-on koalas are less troublesome.
by Jenn Jett (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/7 10:46
Oops sorry, please disregard the last comment - I thought you were from Australia. I agree with the others - Cadbury can be found here, and it's troublesome to carry food around in your bag and worry about it getting squashed or melted. Any cheap British souvenirs you can get in bulk are fine - keyrings, magnets, etc. They don't have to be expensive or fancy. Hotel staff don't expect anything from their guests, so getting any type of souvenir from travelers will make them happy.
by Jenn Jett (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/7 14:12
Mini eggs aren't common here in Japan. I can't recall ever seeing them (even though I've been to London several times!). We do have something similar, but I notice from an internet search that they're exceptionally pretty. I'm sure that locals would love your kindness.

ab wrote:
the manager came up to them and informed them they have rooms ready to check in early.

Just for the record, it's not uncommon at all for hotels to let you in earlier if it so happens that your room is ready. It's even happened to me in the busiest days of the New Year holidays, and I had booked through a very cheap package. And I didn't tip! These things happen totally from luck.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/7 16:52
@ Uco

I forgot to mention, that another couple tried to check in earlier right before them and was told too early. But they was dealing with someone else at front desk. When the friend's wife inquired the other person manning the desk she was told the same. They decided to just try and ask also and try their luck. The other couple just left their luggage with front desk and went out to start their vacation. The friend and family stayed back for another half hour inquiring about places to eat and rest a bit in lounge. The friend gave the boxes of chocolate just maybe 10 mins after dealing with the front desk. There were others who left their luggage after them but everyone else cleared out except for friend and family.

My coworker and I assumed that Front Desk didn't let early check in since there was many people at once who arrived and would have been a hassle if can accommodate some and not all. Maybe it helped them get early check in due to the fact everyone else left soon after leaving their luggage and they were the only one left. Not sure if the chocolates had anything to do with it unless they remembered who gave it.

Well, I'm hoping for some luck when I get there.
by ab (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Thank you gifts instead of tips? 2017/3/7 19:29
Just be careful you don't cross that "bribe" line. That may appear a little rude.... lol!!!! :-)
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

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