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Should I Tip in Japan?

No — tipping in Japan is considered extremely rude and insulting. This applies not only to waiters and waitresses, but to bell hops, taxi drivers — any service-oriented worker. It's always important to check guide books on proper etiquette before visiting a foreign country.

More manners:

  • Other countries, where tipping in restaurants is considered demeaning or at least unnecessary, include Costa Rica, Brunei, Denmark, Fiji, Malaysia and New Zealand.

  • Bowing is customary in Japan, even a small nod of the head is respectful.

  • The wet towel offered at the dinner table in Japan is for washing your hands before you eat.

  • Cheers in Japanese is kampai!

  • When visiting a home in Japan, take off your shoes in the entryway. A pair of slippers likely will be offered as well.

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More Info: LA Times; Magellans

Discuss this Article

Chmander
Post 3

@RoyalSpyder - I don't have an exact answer for this, but I think people in Japan consider tipping to be rude because you don't need to show your gratitude for someone by showing off money. Obviously, there's probably more to it than this, but it certainly makes the most sense. Maybe they also believe that if you enjoy the service (such as at a restaurant) you'll eat the food, and anything extra is pushing it.

RoyalSpyder
Post 2

While Americans are a lot more casual and laid back, those who live in Japan appear to have some strict no-nonsense guidelines. In fact, this brings me to the next question, which the tidbits didn't mention. Why is tipping in Japan considered to be rude? After all, when you give someone a few dollars (as an American) you're trying to show them how much you appreciate the service, correct?

Viranty
Post 1

The fact that tipping in Japan is rude is really shocking to me. After all, in America, it's considered rude not to leave a tip. Not only does this show the cultural differences of our world, but even more so, if you ever plan to visit a foreign country, always check what's acceptable and what's not. After all, you don't want to insult someone, even if it's by mistake.

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