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The questions `when?` and `how much?` that surround tipping can leave some travelers confused, as the practice varies. This guide attempts to cover most situations that you, as a tourist, will encounter. Hopefully using these `tips` will provide a smooth experience when interacting with locals in restaurants, bars, hotels, tour operators, and taxis.

Tipping is not a common practice in Japan; tips can cause confusion and may be politely refused. Japanese service is some of the best in the world and taking out a bill directly from your pocket and handing it directly to someone can be considered rude.

Currency: Can I pay in U.S. dollars?

The currency in Japan is the yen symbolized with a `Y` with `=` crossing the bottom. US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand and be prepared to exchange your dollars to yen upon arrival. Currency exchange desks can be found at the airport and bank locations throughout the city, ATM`s are widespread. ATM`s are located at Post office`s all over the city, look for a symbol that indicates `International ATM Service` or `Authorized Foreign Exchange` (a green clover) and stickers indicating which cards are accepted.

Restaurants, Cafes, and Bars: When should I tip? How much is customary?

A tip is not expected at a restaurant in Japan and wait staff will not expect you to tip. Service in Japan is some of the best in the world and the outlook is you are paying for good service, so why pay extra. If you do leave a tip the wait staff may be confused and chase you down to return the money.

Hotel Staff: Who should I tip?

In a hotel especially an extremely high class Ryokan (traditional Japanese Inn) you can leave a small tip (5,000 yen $45 for 1 - 2 nights) but make sure to put it in an envelope do not give cash directly to the staff.

Most hotel staff will not expect a tip and it may still be refused, most staff is trained to say `no thank you` if they are offered a tip. .

Taxi Drivers: Should I tip?

You do not need to tip taxi drivers in Japan but you can round to the nearest yen for a short ride.

Tour Guides: Is a tip required?

It is not mandatory or expected to tip a tour guide; you can tip between 2,500 - 5000 yen which is around $22 - $45.

Miscellaneous: Is there anyone I should tip that I would not normally?

You don’t need to tip at a spa in Japan.