Briefly mentioned this in another post, but decided that it would be beneficial to have an individual more detailed post as well.
Tipping someone for the service they have done is very common, and typically a social must—whether people want to or not—in many nations throughout the world. However, in Japan there is no such custom of tipping for a service.
People simply do not tip in Japan, regardless if it is at a restaurant, a driving service, or a food delivery service. It may come as strange to many foreigners—predominantly due to the fact that Japanese service is notoriously known to be amid the finest in the world.
It may be confusing at first for foreigners when they arrive in Japan, however, once you become accustomed to this you may find it refreshing. The politics of tipping can be stressful for customer and host alike. Without tipping in the equation the service environment is more relaxed. So, when in the nation, remember not to leave some extra change for your driver or waitress—they will most likely run after you to return it instead.
Resist the urge to tip whilst in the country—it is considered rude and demeaning. You shall be insulting your service rather than complimenting it.
If you tip while here in Japan; you are pushing the customs of your own nation to a place where they honestly have no right being in and do not belong.
If you do tip in Japan, the worker most likely shall become confused upon seeing the tip. The most likely thing that will happen afterwards is that they will run after you with your change or softly argue with you to take it back.
If your maître d’ does in fact understand that the change left behind is a tip, then they possibly will not know how to go about paying taxes on it. Two things are likely to happen in this case, usually both. The attendant may feel the necessity to report the incident
the fact that it would be considered an incident in the first place says a lot to their proprietor. The more common occurrence, and worse out of the two in actuality, would be that they take it as an insult.
Tipping is overrated
You shall hastily become adapted to not tipping while in Japan. Honestly, you most likely learn to like or love it. It means that any server in a restaurant or bar may help you, not simply one which takes more time. It also makes paying the bill far simpler.
The only thing that is not positive about this whole concept is for those in Japan that are not simply visiting short-term, if they wish to work in such an establishment that would allow for tips in any other nation. It makes the pay far less than what foreigners may be used to if they get a part-time job here for the long hours and effort they work.