Translated by MATCHA
10 Things You Should Know About Eating Out In Japan
Japan's restaurants have some unique rules and manners that you won't find in other countries. We introduce some rules that will make your Japan trip smoother.
Written by Hiromasa Uematsu
The best thing about travel is, without a doubt, the local food. If you come to Japan, we encourage you to try the cuisine.
However, Japanese restaurants can have some unusual rules, services and manners that you don't see in other countries. If you go without knowing the rules, you might make a rather unfortunate mistake. In this article, we will introduce some things that might come in handy on your trip in Japan.
1. Tipping is Not Required
Image courtesy of Basic Information Regarding Japanese Currency
Japan's no tip policy often confuses visitors from Western cultures. In general in Japan, staff don't accept tips and might even return them to you. But there are some exceptions. Nowadays, some high-end restaurants may add a service charge to your bill instead.
Please remember that if you insist on giving tips to the staff, he or she might get in trouble afterwards.
2. Otoshi Will be Served
Otoshi or tsukidashi is a small dish served at izakaya, or Japanese taverns. Some people say that it is a sign the first order was taken while others say it just gives customers something to eat while waiting for the rest of their food to arrive.
Otoshi is usually served without you asking for it and of course is added to your check. It's understandable that travelers who don't know about this custom might feel like they were being ripped off by being asked to pay for something they didn't order.