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Tipping? 2008/6/4 20:44
When I was in Japan in 2004 and 2005 I found out that tipping was never done. It happened then several times when I gave a tip that they brought the extra money back to me, even if I was already on the street.

Now I am in Japan again and I wonder if things has changed. My check tonight was about 2700 and I paid with 3 notes of 1000. The waitress asked if it was ok. Am I stingy that I did not agree or is it something she would never ask to a Japanese client only to foreigners?
by Trudy  

... 2008/6/5 10:06
Now I am in Japan again and I wonder if things has changed.

Tipping is still not customary in Japan.

My check tonight was about 2700 and I paid with 3 notes of 1000. The waitress asked if it was ok. Am I stingy that I did not agree or is it something she would never ask to a Japanese client only to foreigners?

Whenever I pay for something the cashier always asks if what I had put down is ok unless it is exact change. So I don't find it out of the ordinary for her to ask you if you were ok paying with 3000 yen.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

no tipping 2008/6/5 12:18
it will cause you more problems if trying to tip.(staff trying to chase you down to give you your change) Much easier with no hassles to not even try.
by daz88 rate this post as useful

just don't tip, ever 2008/6/5 13:30
Trying to tip in Japan generally causes embarrassment for everyone concerned. There is no need to do it- pay the exact amount, or wait for your change and take it when it is given.

I used to work as a waitress when I first came to Japan and I wouldn't have known what to do with the money if someone had tipped me- there is no system at most restaurants here for pooling tips, and there is no way I could have just pocketed the money.


by SHU rate this post as useful

paying extra 2008/6/5 14:15
The custom has not changed at least for decades.

When the cashier asks you if it is "okay", (s)he means, "Are you sure you don't want to take your time and get rid of any more small change that is bugging your purse?"

If someone does something you feel especially thankful for and you feel like giving them a tip, just give them a bill and tell them "o-tsuri wa irimasen (keep the change)". This may happen when enjoying luxuries such as riding a taxi, or when you made a terrible mess at a restaurnant and they were nice enough to clean it up. At other times, paying extra can seem arrogant.

Otherwise, people traveling abroad tend to carry non-expensive tiny gifs to hand out in means of friendship.
by Uco rate this post as useful

tipping 2008/6/5 14:33
For me, the lack of tipping is one of the greatest benefits of being in Japan.

Of course, the "service costs" are already included in the higher prices anyways so it's not like we're really saving money so to speak.
by Dan rate this post as useful

Well... 2008/6/5 15:17
Yeah I went to a couple of Japanese restaurants whilst I was there and nobody was expected to tip, and I was also told by one of my friends not to. It's amazing though as despite the fact that staff don't get tipped they are much better in Japan than they are in western countries like the UK and New Zealand.
by magpie1862 rate this post as useful

... 2008/6/5 15:28
I agree with Uco-san - when the waitress asked you if it was OK, she probably meant to ask you if "Can I now take this amount to the cashier?" meaning, "Don't you want to add some small changes?" because some people might place 3,200 to pay a bill of 2,700 yen so they get only one 500-yen coin back as the change.

The only time I tip is when I've bumped into a very nice cab driver, and I just give them a bill and say "o-tsuri wa irimasen" (keep the change please).
by AK (Japanese) rate this post as useful

not tipping 2008/6/5 17:01
Unlike in the US, waiters/ waitresses in Japan (also in NZ where I come from) are paid a decent wage, so are not expected to make up the majority of their income from tips- this is why you still get good service even without tipping.

I am still amazed by the idea that you have to tip even the person who washes your hair at the hair salon in the States- in Japan, and NZ, we all get paid by our employers for doing our jobs, so there is no feeling that these kinds of extras are necessary.
by Sira rate this post as useful

tips? 2008/6/5 18:12
In Japan you will notice on your receipt that the Donburi priced 500 yen on the menu actually cost less but that with tax it cost 500 yen. Many countries in Europe include tipping and taxes in the price of a meal. IF a meal is posted outside the restaurant at 20 Euros for an appetizer, main course and dessert, you pay 20 Euros at the end, UNLESS you also wanted wine or beer (you can ask for water-no charge-) or a coffee at the end. In France your 3 courses meal priced on the menu, and advertised outside, at 20 Euros includes a 20.6% tax and a 15% service charge (tip). After years of living in North America I still get annoyed at having to pay extra above and beyond the listed price. In Portland last week a restaurant serving, as it turned out, very plain food "suggested" on the menu a "gratuity" from 15 to 20%!
by Monkey see rate this post as useful

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