Tipping in Japan

Sep 11th, 2014, 05:16 PM
  #1  
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Tipping in Japan

I am wondering what the accepted practice is for tipping in Tokyo, Osaka & Kyoto.

Thanks for any direction.
whitecloudorillia is offline  
Sep 11th, 2014, 05:24 PM
  #2  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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No tips! It would completely embarrass the recipient, invoking Japan's tradition of EXCHANGING gifts. The only exception that I have read about is at VERY high end ryokan, but then the tip would given in an envelope - and honestly I'm not sure tips should be given even at such establishments. Since I didn't stay in any high-end ryokan, I can't speak to whether tipping at high end ryokan is considered appropriate or not.
kja is offline  
Sep 11th, 2014, 06:16 PM
  #3  
 
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If you're staying in a Ryokan then a token amount, not a percentage tip like in the US, in an envelope given discretely to your hostess (geisha) will be appreciated.
Hanuman is offline  
Sep 11th, 2014, 08:51 PM
  #4  
kja
 
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Hmm ... I wouldn't have thought that geisha would serve as ryokan hostesses. If they do, I would guess that they must be VERY high end ryokan.
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Sep 11th, 2014, 10:31 PM
  #5  
 
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No tips. We are there now. The bellman at the Hyatt actually refused. People here believe in service and are very polite BTW. Really enjoying the hospitality!
jacketwatch is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 12:04 AM
  #6  
 
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I called them Geisha but I guess the proper word to use is "hostesses" and yes my stay were at the very high end ryokan(s) in Kyoto.
Hanuman is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 12:53 AM
  #7  
kja
 
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Yes, I would think it more likely that they were hostesses, rather than geisha. Here's some info about geisha:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2102.html

As Hanuman suggested, it seems that SMALL tips (not percentage based) are sometimes given at very high-end ryokan - but not always. I'm providing a link to a japan-guide.com thread on the issue; note that "Uji" is an expert on Japan:
http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/que...ay.html?0+6974

Per Frommer's, "Japanese nouns do not have plural forms; thus, for example, ryokan .. can be both singular and plural, as can kimono."

Guidebooks prove useful for all sorts of things!
kja is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 01:26 AM
  #8  
 
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That is why I put the "s" in brackets and only to show that my experiences with ryokan were from more than a stay at one place.
Hanuman is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 08:37 PM
  #9  
 
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Don't do it.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 09:27 PM
  #10  
 
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Geisha do not run ryokan.

Of that, I am certain. The rest of this post is "as I understand it to be".

I would refer to the ryokan hostess, correctly I think, as okamisan. We can talk about her role as "hostess", but I would not call her hostess to her face. I think the Japanese word hosutesu (hostess) refers specifically to a bar hostess (picture a young, attractive, woman getting paid to have a conversation with a man who is getting goofy drunk).

A geisha is an "art person" and acts as a hostess (at a tea house) but is not a hosutesu.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Sep 20th, 2014, 08:14 AM
  #11  
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Since I'm not going to any high end ryokan ( notice , no "s")! I'll take it as a NO. Thanks everyone.
whitecloudorillia is offline  
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