Tipping Restaurant Servers In Japan Is An Insult

The number one rule of tipping in Japan is short and simple: don’t tip while you’re in Japan. It sounds crazy, right? Most people are used to tipping service workers on a daily basis for many different things, but receiving tips in Japan is an almost nonexistent occurrence. Most of the time, if a foreigner tries to tip their waitstaff, hotel maid, masseuse or taxi driver, the employee will politely refuse the tip. Even if you try to leave money on the table of a restaurant and walk out the door, you’ll more than likely have one of the waitstaff run outside to return the money to you. It may be hard to believe, but 99% of the Japanese workers you encounter in Japan don't expect a tip from anyone for any reason, and that’s because they're paid a fair wage. By trying to give an employee a tip, you're basically saying through your actions that you don’t think the employee is getting paid fairly and are thereby disrespecting the company. A small bow and a smile go a long way, and are often more appreciated than extra cash.