NO tip is necessary in Japan. WHY?

2018-12-21 LIFE , OTHERS

This post is also available in 日本語

Did you know it’s not customary in Japan to give tips?

In western nations, it’s common practice to give tips when you receive services. You pay tips at various occasions daily when using hotels, taxies, and restaurants. It’s also said to be a good manner to give tips to drivers and tour guilds when you are on sightseeing trips.

However, to your surprise, no custom to give tips exists in Japan. You may have been refused to accept tips at hotels and restaurants in Japan, also a restaurant employee may have chased you to return tips you had left on your restaurant table. These incident causes you to wonder why they don’t accept tips.

There are some people who has never heard of “tips” because giving tips is not in the Japanese common custom. Then, why no tip is necessary in Japan?  Why do you receive exceptional “omotenashi”with no tips? Here are some answers to these whys.

No tips required in Japan. Why?

Service charges are included in the price you pay. How?

Your payment to services rendered includes service charges. No additional money is required on top of the service charge and the goods price you pay. The employees receive tips with no clear knowledge, therefore, you don’t have to pay bills or changes as tips expressly.

Salary is not assumed to be dependent on tips in Japan.

The minimum wage for the service industry in countries where tips are the common custom is set at a low level. Thereby, it became necessary to receive tips to make a living. But the wage system for the services industry in Japan is built on no-tips assumption.

Why a fine service presented without tips?

A spirit of “omotenashi”

Many visitors are dismayed by extremely polite manners and services, almost feels like excessive, when using hotels and restaurants. You may think it would not pay to offer such services without receiving any tip.

It is generally accepted to have the idea of “customer first” with “omotenashi” spirit. Also, the reputation shall be higher if a customer is truly satisfied which will lead to an increase in repeaters and new customers which then will produce profits.

It is not to earn money personally by tips but to give satisfaction to customers who will favor the place for long years to come that many establishments offer good services. Isn’t this a reasonable account why no tipping exists in Japan?

How to show gratitude without tipping?

Many places don’t accept tips.

There are some service establishments where employees are not allowed to accept payments other than the price for goods and services. Tips will not be received at most of these placed. When refused, you should not press on but try to express your gratitude by some other means such as in words or in writings.

A thanking word or note is highly appreciated.

When you are very pleased with a cordial service, Japanese employees will be happy to see your satisfactory smile or hear a thank-you-words. If you feel too timid to express in words, you may want to leave a thank-you word or two.

There also are some establishments who ask customers to fill out questionnaire. Your favorable comments there will be an encouragement for employees and will help improve their service level. It will be even better to note the employee’s name you will find on the name tag. He/she may receive higher evaluation by a boss.

There are other ways to convey your gratitude or comments such as writing on the ‘contact us’ page on the places’ home page or sending e-mails. Why don’t you express your gratitude in some method of your liking.

You will receive a same degree of service with/without tips.

Now that you have reads this, you understand that you don’t have to worry about being unfairly treated with a lower service level if you don’t pay tips. When you treat workers in the service industry with a thankful attitude, they shall gladly serve you with the “omotenashi” spirit.  We hope you’d enjoy your pleasure trip to Japan with these hints above in your mind!