Here's a Tip When Traveling in Japan – Don't!May 2nd, 2011 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on Here's a Tip When Traveling in Japan – Don't!
The rest of the world may have gone “tipping mad” but traveling in Japan brings a welcome respite from the tedious (and costly) custom. Upon entering the United States, one is presented with a lengthy list of required tips that should be dispensed to those who wait on us. Does any of this sound familiar?
- Taxi drivers 10%
- Waiters 15-20%
- Bartender $1 per drink
And don’t forget valet parking, that weird old guy in the restroom, the baggage handler, etc. It’s enough to make a person retire to their home, bar the door, and never come out again. Why can’t everything cost the actual stated price? Sure, you can opt to skip handing out the extra cash, but only at the risk of serious repercussion. These people feel entitled to gratuity and take it very seriously when you forget.
What does any of this have to do with traveling in Japan? Are you sitting down? Tipping is verboten there. Whip out an extra bit of cash for the waiter and you’ve just committed a social faux pas the equivalent of accidentally parking on top of someone’s child by accident. We’re not kidding. They don’t want your extra money, unlike their American service industry counterparts, who love to whine and complain about how little they earn.
At the risk of providing an all-too-easy solution to the problem – find a better paying job. The problem is that the incremental nature of tipping has increased over the years, to the point where who can figure when it’s safe NOT to tip? Shall we tip the doctor an extra buck for successful surgery? How about Timmy’s third grade teacher for helping him learn all the state capitals? If you want to spend your life with a roll of one dollar bills the size of a box turtle stuffed in your pocket, tossing them hither and yon to all who cross your path – so be it.
But you’re making the rest of us, the skinflints, look bad. Stop it. The bottom line is this. If you want to get away from tipping, and we mean REALLY get away from tipping, traveling to Japan is a good first step. Heck, you might even want to move there.
Flickr / avlxyz