Asia Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Kyoto, Japan: How to reward a concierge?

Jump to last reply

We don't leave for Japan until next month, but the concierge of our hotel in Kyoto (the Granvia) has already performed marvels for us. She (I think the name "Ayaka" is female--let me know if I'm wrong) has not only made dinner reservations for most nights of our two-week stay, including one extremely hard-to-get reservation, but she's gotten reservations for us to visit the Katsura Imperial Villa (she's sending a taxi to pick up the necessary papers) and tickets for the Kamagawa Odori in Gion. Some guidebooks say that in cases of special service, you should enclose money in a white envelope and slip it quietly to the concierge (but I'm not sure of an appropriate amount). My husband (who lived in Japan for a year or so decades ago) says I should buy a gift and present it beautifully wrapped. Great, but what gift? It needs to be American, but most red, white, and blue things are tacky. The Smithsonian (which is near us) has a nice scarf (Tiffany's View of Oyster Bay) and the Met in New York has a small (12 inch) umbrella with a stained glass butterfly design (also Tiffany-inspired). I think they're attractive, but the umbrella is a bit heavy for travel and not everyone wears scarves. And then there's the issue of wrapping--I can find nice paper, but I can't wrap to Japanese standards and if I could, it probably wouldn't survive a plane trip.

In short, I'd rather do cash, and a fairly decent amount (I was thinking ¥5,000 or so, more than either gift would cost; maybe that's still too low? After all, she'll be doing more for us during our stay.) But what do you think? And if you think I really should give a gift, does anyone have better ideas than mine?

People on this board know far more about Japanese culture than I do, so any advice would be appreciated.

Carolyn

18 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

View all Asia activity »
  1. 1 Trip Report Belated 2012 Trip Report - Two Weeks in South Korea
  2. 2 Feedback on India Tour specifics
  3. 3 India adaptors
  4. 4 Trip Report RHKKMKs---Just to be copy cats
  5. 5 From Pushkar to delhi
  6. 6 Jogyakarta & - Bali?
  7. 7 Help re. Visa.
  8. 8 What to pack? For Burma and Thailand
  9. 9 Thailand - a few more details: phones, and driving map
  10. 10 Bangkok and Manila
  11. 11 Bagan Entry Fee to Rise by One-Third
  12. 12 Thailand - what to wear in November, and, cosmetics
  13. 13 Elephants and Tigers (no bears), oh my.
  14. 14 Visa
  15. 15 6-7 months in SE Asia (majority in Thailand) - visa, weather, meet-up ?s
  16. 16 Gluten free in Japan?
  17. 17 Angkor Wat tour guide recommedations
  18. 18 Xian - Make your own warriors?
  19. 19 Bangkok's JW vs. Marriott Resort and Spa
  20. 20 Trip Report Kyoto and beyond - 9 days trip in April 2014
  21. 21 Need a guide in Burma?
  22. 22 Bangkok/Phuket hotel and suggestions to do?
  23. 23 Yikes! How to get a Visa to India??
  24. 24 Trip Report Japan and Hong Kong, September 2014
  25. 25 Trip Report We recommend our Seoul serviced apartment
View next 25 » Back to the top