Cheque, please! -The etiquette of paying the bill in Japan-

First things first, in most restaurants in Japan, you do not pay the bill at your table; you bring the bill (denpyou 伝票) that was discreetly slipped onto the corner of your table to the cashier and pay it there.


the bill

Japanese men may be the luckiest men around the world – not only are the Japanese women demure, mostly slim, well-dressed, good at cooking, conscious about being feminine… the list goes on… they also do not expect their men to pay for their dinners during dates! This is especially true if both of them are still students. The Japanese women usually insist on going dutch, which for your information is called warikan (割り勘) in Japanese. The few exceptions when the men foot the whole bill are limited to special occasions like the first date or anniversaries, or if the boyfriend happens to be a lot older and already working.


However the Japanese are expected to foot the bill in outings with people younger than themselves. The same goes to if you are working and the rest are still students. If the group is large and paying the whole bill seems impractical, the older ones will at least pay a bigger portion of the bill.

Nobody likes to have to foot the bill because they are expected to. So if you ever find yourself in an occasion where you know the senior is going to pay for your meal in Japan, at least have the courtesy to take out your wallet at the cashier and wait for the other generous soul to say ‘It’s on me’.

Did you know?
Most Japanese women are also not shy to make the first move and to ask men they are interested in out. Lucky Japanese men!


About Teng

Teng from Malaysia, is a graduate student studying in Aichi-ken.

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