Tipping in Japan.
Visiting Japan for business or leisure? Read our guide about who to tip in Japan, when to tip - and how much to hand over. Then avoid any tipping missteps with our handy tip calculator. We’ll also cover how to save on currency exchange with Wise, so you can tip generously and still have more to spend on yourself!
Save with Wise when tipping in Japan.
If you love to explore new places, meet new people and head out on new adventures, you need Wise. Get a Wise travel card to save on both holidays and business travel. Open an account online to spend and send money around the world at the real exchange rate, with no hidden fees.
- Tip amount:
Do you tip in Japan?
It’s not a local practise to tip in Japan. Unlike in many Western countries where tipping waiters, taxi drivers, and hotel staff is so common it’s almost automatic, in Japan tipping can be considered rude. Tips may be turned down or cause embarrassment if they’re offered.
That said, there are still occasions when tipping may be appropriate. As a traveler visiting Japan you’re likely to run into a few of these situations - so doing some advance research is a smart way to avoid cultural missteps. Read on for more about when to tip in Japan.
Tipping in Japan might not be customary, but you will still need some local currency to move freely around the country. For the best exchange rates, always use the Wise travel money card.
Tip in local currency with Wise Japanese yen travel card.
No matter where you are, it makes sense to tip in local currency. Want to save money on currency exchange so you can tip generously and still have more to spend on yourself? Get the Wise debit card!
With the Wise Japanese yen travel money card it’s easy to top up in your local currency, and switch to Japanese yen whenever you need to pay for your day to day expenses in Japan.
With Wise you’ll always get the real exchange rate with no hidden costs. There’s just a low, transparent conversion fee - and then it’s free to spend any currency you hold. Simply top up your card and convert to the currency you need in real time using the Wise app.
No matter where your adventures take you, Wise has you covered. Hold and spend 50+ currencies with the same card, make ATM withdrawals and manage your account on the go using the Wise app.
Get your Wise debit card online in just a few simple steps and start saving on foreign transactions now.
Tipping in Japan in restaurants & bars
Tipping in bars and restaurants is not expected in Japan, unlike in most countries in Europe and in the United States. The general rule is the service should be exceptional at all times, and with no expectation of extra pay. Tipping in Japan can be considered rude and frowned upon.
Unless you notice a tip jar, or you visit a venue that is clearly adhering to the Western standards - don’t tip. Thanking your server politely when you leave is all that’s expected.
Eating out in Japan? You can save on currency conversion fees when paying with our Wise travel money card
Tipping in hotels in Japan
It is not customary to tip in hotels in Japan. Much like in restaurants in Japan, you’ll find that hotel staff work with an unspoken rule of providing excellent service at no extra charge.
Unless you’re staying in a traditional Japanese style hotel, where hospitality and room-service is taken to another level you can refrain from tipping.
If you decide to tip, remember to do so gracefully to avoid any embarrassment. Prepare a clean envelope with Japanese yens banknotes and leave it for the hotel staff at the front desk when checking out.
Staying in a hotel in Japan? You can save on currency conversion fees when checking out with our Wise travel money card.
Tipping taxi drivers in Japan
Taxi drivers in Japan won’t expect you to tip them, even when they help you with your luggage. As tipping taxi drivers in Japan is not customary, trying to pay more than your agreed fare may cause confusion and embarrassment.
Don’t forget - if you’re using a regular taxi rather than a ride-hailing service like Uber, you’ll need to agree on the fare before your journey.
Hopping on a cab from the airport in Japan? You can save on currency conversion fees when traveling with Wise travel money card
Tipping at a spa in Japan
Time for a massage to soothe those weary muscles? Although in many places around the world it is appropriate to leave a small tip to your therapist, in Japan there will be no such expectation.
Instead, be polite and respectful to the staff, and thank them at the end of the session. This acknowledgement will be appreciated more than a few Japanese yens.
Tipping tour guides in Japan
Because tour guides and interpreters in Japan work predominantly with foreign customers, tipping customs here may vary from the local norm. It’s now much more common for visitors to pay tips to tour guides to thank them for an exceptional experience. Your guide will understand it’s your own preference to tip, and won’t consider it a rude gesture.
Feel free to approach your tour guide at the end of the tour to reward them with a tip that feels right to you.
Going for a tour in Japan? You can save on currency conversion fees when traveling with Wise travel money card
Tips for tipping in Japan
- In Japan tipping is not customary. If you insist on leaving a tip this may be seen as rude - and can cause acute embarrassment even if you think someone should be rewarded extra for their work. Instead, thank your hosts politely, and be respectful. In Japan dignity always comes first!
Don’t insist on tipping
- If you decide it is appropriate to tip someone on your trip to Japan it is important you do it in the local currency, that is in Japanese yens. This way you help your service providers avoid high fees on currency exchange. Get free ATM withdrawals with a travel money card
Tip only in the local currency
- There are exceptions to every rule - and even in Japan where tips are not commonplace, there may be some situations in which tipping is appropriate. If you think tipping will be expected, prepare ahead - withdraw some JPY from a local ATM, and put it into a clean envelope. Hand it over politely, as is culturally sensitive in Japan.
Hand over money in an envelope
- Don’t get caught out in an embarrassing situation at a business dinner. As tipping etiquette varies by country, it’s important you familiarise yourself with international tipping standards, to avoid doubt and awkward moments! Manage business multi-currency banking from your phone with Wise
Tipping on a business trip
Tipping in other countries:
Tipping in Japan FAQ
Save on trip to Japan with your Wise Travel Card
Tip and spend in local currency with Wise Japanese yen travel card.