In Japan, tipping is not a common custom. In fact, it can sometimes be seen as an insult. There are a few situations where tipping is acceptable, but it is not necessary for the most part. Let’s take a closer look at when and how to tip in Japan.
Tipping in Japan: Where and When
Tipping in Japan is not common in most situations. However, there are few places where tipping is acceptable. Pitching in these situations, however, can sometimes be seen as an insult, so while it may be accepted, it may not be welcomed.
In Japan, you should never tip taxi drivers or bus drivers. In rare cases, train station porters accept tips, but this can sometimes be an insult.
If you are staying at a ryokan (Japanese-style inn), tipping for services received is not typical but expected. Usually, 1000 yen per person is acceptable as a tip.
Tipping Etiquette in Japan: How to do it right?
To avoid insulting your host, follow these guidelines for tipping in Japan. It is best to leave a tip in an envelope and not pass it directly to the recipient of your gratuity. If you are unsure if a prize will be welcomed, do not offer it.
Is it considered rude to tip in Japan?
Many Japanese people consider tipping an insulting or unnecessary practice and will not expect it from you. Tipping is restricted mainly to department stores and high-end hotels where porters handle your baggage, bellhops carry it up the stairs, and concierges secure reservations.
However, if you decide to tip in Japan, remember there is no set percentage or etiquette for tipping.
The proper amount depends on your resources, the service’s worth, and your ability to receive a cash gratuity.
So just be honest about whether or not an establishment deserves it! And if you think tipping is unnecessary, just remember that sometimes it’s OK to say no to etiquette.
Tipping in Japan Bars
In Japan, a few pubs and restaurants may include a tip for customer convenience, so check before tipping again. Otherwise, no need to worry about sorting coins or waving little bills at the bartender.
A 10% service charge may be included on your bill in some restaurants, bars, and hotels. You do not need to tip if it is not on your account already.
Tipping in Guided tours in Japan is not common, but it’s good to be aware of the custom if you find yourself on a guided tour.
Even if you are part of an organized group, tipping is optional. The price set for the tour does not include gratuity. So there is no obligation to tip, though most people do.
Do you tip taxi drivers in Japan?
Taxi drivers in Japan don’t expect a tip. Tipping is considered rude and should be avoided.
Taxi drivers are very aware of this and won’t be insulted by the suggestion that they accept a tip from their customers.
Should you offer a driver a bonus anyway, they will most likely refuse out of embarrassment or indignance.
Taxi drivers do not expect a tip in most large Japanese cities (like Tokyo and Osaka).
Do you tip delivery drivers in Japan?
A small fee might be added to your bill for delivery services such as restaurant home deliveries and hotel room deliveries.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the driver gets this, however. In the case of restaurants, it is common for a small percentage to be withheld from your bill to cover the restaurant’s costs.
As for hotel deliveries, if you have a bellman with a cart who takes your luggage up to your room for you, that person may get a tip in addition, but they won’t in most cases.
Do you tip Uber eats in Japan?
Uber eats, an offshoot of the Uber taxi business, has started to offer food delivery services in Japan.
However, it is hard for us not to question whether we should tip the drivers because Uber introduced a tipping function only in 2020.
In November, Uber announced that it would introduce a tipping function “sometime between 2019 and 2020.”
Having the tipping option is clear that the company expects a tip, but there is no transparency.
Do you tip hairdressers in Japan?
Yes, and no.
If we’re talking about the standard price in a beauty salon, then no. But if we’re talking about individual hairstylists in a barbershop situation, then yes. Again though, it depends on the shop owner and how well I know them.
There is no set rule here.
Do you have to tip in a Geisha House?
Do you have to tip a Geisha?
The answer is it’s not necessary. However, tipping the right amount can help your experience be more enjoyable and leave a good impression on the Geisha you are spending time with.
Some clientele has been known to tip as much as 10,000 yen for an evening spent at an upscale establishment.
But there are no set rules or guidelines for tipping Geisha.
Tipping should be given if the client has received exceptional service above and beyond regular expectations.
This can include something as simple as asking for a different dance at the end of your time together or paying attention to your conversation where they are interested in what you are talking about.
If you decide to spend time with Geisha or Maiko, tipping is always appreciated when given out of genuine kindness.
One exception to the rule about tipping is in Gion, where they have a suggested amount per Geiko or Maiko which you can give if you choose.
The money collected goes towards getting donations for their house and will benefit each team member who works under the house.
Since tipping is private, the way you tip a Geisha or Maiko should be up to your discretion.
You may even want to discuss this with the Geisha before you go so she can advise on how much would be appropriate for your experience together.
If you give her something extra, it will be delivered in an envelope, and she will never mention receiving a tip from anyone.
But don’t think you have to give her something extra if you don’t want to. There is no need, and Geisha and Maiko truly enjoy their clients’ company whether or not they feel like getting a little closer by way of a small gift!
Originally posted on February 28, 2022 @ 5:05 pm
As a lifelong traveler and founder of lovefortraveling.com, I, Alex Deidda, have always been driven by my passion for exploring new places and cultures.
Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to live in various countries, each offering unique perspectives and experiences.
My love for traveling led me to create lovefortraveling.com, a website and blog dedicated to helping people plan their trips.