Did you know that it is not customary to give tips in Japan?
In Europe and the U.S., it is customary to give a tip for services received. Tipping is common in hotels, cabs, restaurants, and many other places in daily life. Tipping bus drivers and tour guides is also part of the etiquette on sightseeing trips.
Surprisingly, however, in Japan, there is no custom of tipping people who have provided services. Since the custom of tipping is unfamiliar in Japan, some people are not familiar with the concept of tipping. Why is tipping not necessary in Japan? Is it possible to get the best hospitality without tipping? This article will cover all things tipping related in Japan.
In Japan, there is no need to tip. What is the reason?
Reason 1: The service charge is included in the price of using the service.
Service charges are included in the price you pay for services in Japan. Prices are set higher so that a company can in turn pay its employees more.
Reason 2: Japanese salaries are based on the premise of not relying on tips.
In countries where the practice of tipping exists, the minimum wage in the service industry is set low. For this reason, it is commonplace to earn a living by receiving tips. In Japan, however, the salary system for the service industry is based on the assumption that no tips will be received.
Why is Japanese service so polite even without tipping?
Many people who visit hotels and restaurants in Japan are surprised by the politeness of the service and the spirit of service that can be considered excessive. You may be wondering, “Is it worth it to be nice to someone when you don’t receive a tip?”
In Japan, it is common for employees to be trained in the spirit of “Omotenashi,” or hospitality, and to put the customer first. It is also profitable to have a satisfied customer, which builds reputation and leads to the next visit and new customers.
It would be easier to understand if we consider that many stores provide courteous and friendly services in order to satisfy customers through their services and be loved for a long time, rather than for the purpose of getting personal money in the form of tips.
How can you show your appreciation if you can’t give a tip?
Many places won’t accept tips
Some places that provide services in Japan have a rule that employees are not allowed to accept any money other than the fee for the service. Even if you try to give a tip, most of the time it will be refused. If you are refused a tip, don’t force it, but express your gratitude with words or a letter.
What if you received a generous service in Japan that made you feel happy? All you have to do is smile and say a few words of gratitude, and the Japanese employees will be happy to hear from you. If you are too embarrassed to say it out loud, you can also leave a note with just a few words.
Some places that provide services also have questionnaires. If you fill out a questionnaire to express your gratitude and your impressions of the service, it will encourage your employees to work harder in the future and help you improve your service. If the employee you are thanking wears a name tag, writing his/her name on it will be especially appreciated. The benefits are great, including an increase in your supervisor’s evaluation.
You can also fill out a contact form on the website of the place where you received the service, or send it by e-mail. You can express your gratitude in any way you prefer.
Tipping does not change the quality of service.
What do you think? If you don’t tip, you don’t have to worry that you will not be treated well or that you will not receive adequate service. If you treat people with gratitude, they will be more than happy to entertain you. Please be aware of this Japanese way of thinking and enjoy your sightseeing and leisure activities.