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Mr. Gregory White
Mr. Gregory White, Teacher
Category: General
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Experience:  M.A., M.S. Education / Educational Administration
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Can you also tell me based on your experience in Tokyo what

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Can you also tell me based on your experience in Tokyo what the best tipping practices are? You read a lot of differing advice but if you have suggestions on what you witness to be appropriate in restaurants, with bell staff, concierges, taxis, etc that would be much appreciated too
Thanks for the request.

I know a few people in Japan (they were the ones I went to visit) and that was a question I posed to them.

You should not tip for any services in Japan. Unlike here in the States, the workers there (whether in a cab, a waitress, hotel staff, etc) view their services with high regard and their service to you as valuable and covered under their pay. Here in America we expect tips for everything - that is one of the differences in the Japanese culture.

It was awkward not tipping but, believe me, you are the only one feeling uncomfortable about it. In the high tourist areas they will accept tips but that is only because they do not want to embarrass you by letting you know that they do not need a tip.

One of those differences in cultures that seem strange to us but it is strange to them to accept tips.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Completely understood! And I want to show respect and gratitude for their work in the proper way. I had just heard mixed messages where some folks said it is expected in places that cater to western tourists. Good to have the insider into and know how to proceed! Thank you.
No problem at all. You will find that those you meet at the more "Western" visited locations are more likely to seem okay when you tip them as they do receive them more often. However, culturally, they expect no tip and you are honoring their service more with your actions than with your money.

They are some of the most polite and respectful people on the planet. I enjoyed every moment of my trip to Japan and plan to return in the fall of 2013 again.


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