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Sticky Situation 2009/5/9 18:14
Hello,
I am a middle-aged single woman traveling to Japan with my teenage son. A Japanese acquaintance has offered to show us around when we are in his area. I have noticed that restaurants in Japan are very very expensive, and we will, as usual, be traveling on a tight budget, very aware of expenses. I am worried how to handle the meal costs on the day or two we are together. While I would like to pick up the tab on any meals we share, as a thank you for showing us around, I don't know if I will be able to afford the restaurants he picks to take us to, and I also don't want to offend him by insisting on paying for his meal. By the same token, I am not quite sure what the protocol is if he would offer to pay our tab. I don't know what he can afford and I really don't want him to impose or for him to think he should pay our way. Would it be rude to treat him when I am able, and when I am not, to suggest we split the bill?

by looking ahead (guest)  

. 2009/5/9 23:56
I have noticed that restaurants in Japan are very very expensive,
Restaurants can be as expensive or as cheap as any place in the world. Just depends on the restaurant chosen, some posh high rise restaurant or a small mom and pop store.

As for the bill, if the host insists on paying then I don't see anything wrong.

Splitting the bill when going out isn't that uncommon either. If you can't afford or think something is too expensive, then express it, "I think this maybe a little expensive..." no offense in that. If they offer to foot the tab, then I don't see any argument.
by Express Train (guest) rate this post as useful

Just to add 2009/5/10 01:06
I agree with Express Train, and additional to that, even if you wish to pick up the tab on any meals we share, as a thank you for showing us around it's not common to do that for every meal. Say you share several meals during your visit. Paying for perhaps one meal is the common procedure, and you can split the bills for the rest.

Otherwise, why not bring a souvenior from home as a way to appreciate your aquaintance's hospitality. And you can insist on splitting all the bills. But still, if he insists on buying you meals, it's common to accept that with a humble ''You shouldn't have.'' Especially, if he is a male older than you, you can often expect him to pay for you.
by Uco, J middle age woman with a son (guest) rate this post as useful

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