Tipping: General

Tipping in Japan is not mandatory. It could be said that, œtipping is not a common practice in Japan. 

In most cases tips may be refused.

If you do attempt to tip someone there may be some confusion. You can make this less confusing if you put it in an envelope or wrap in paper, and say 'Kore-ha chippu desu' (here is your tip).

 

Tipping at ryokan (Japanese-style inn)

Tipping is rarely seen in Japan; however, in Japanese-style inns (Ryokans) you can put a money bill (Y1000) in a small envelope and  hand it to the person who you think deserves it. 

Here taking out a money bill from your pocket and handing it directly is considered rude.

When you stay in a hotel, things are quite different. They are trained to politely reciprocate your offer with an outright "No, thank you." which will be accompanied with a slight bow.

 

Tipping on a tour 

Some professionals involved in inbound tourism in Japan would not mind accepting tips, or even deeply appreciate your kindness.

For example: If you join a tour or hire a professional tour guide, it is very common for tourists to give tips to their tour guides for their hard work. You do not need to find an envelope to do this, just give cash as you do back home and show your gratitude. You may also tip to your bus drivers and taxi drivers, if they are allowed to accept tips.

Wages/ fees for drivers and pro tour guides are not as high as you may consider, so it will also help them keep up their good work.