Useful information for foreign tourists who are sightseeing in Sapporo: A cup of water and paying the bill at restaurants.

Cold water & wet hand towels

At some restaurants in Japan, after you are seated, a staff member might bring you a cup of cold water, “ohiya” in Japanese, to drink and a moistened hand towel, called “oshibori”, used to clean your hands. These are both free of charge. In Japan, leaving a tip is not necessary. Part of a restaurant’s hospitality is to provide these services that allow their guests to feel refreshed and ready to enjoy their meal.

Paying your bill at restaurants

When paying for your meal, bring the check from your table to the cash register. If you cannot find your check, ask a nearby staff member. Your check may already be prepared for you at the cash register, or you may be able to pay your bill at the table. Some establishments do not accept credit cards, so it is always a good rule of thumb to come prepared with cash. If you are satisfied with the exceptional service, instead of leaving a tip (as tips are not a custom in Japan), simply express your satisfaction to the staff on your way out.

Useful Information