My husband has been in Japan this past week, thus more posts from me than you probably prefer.
He has this to say today.
It is wonderful to be in Japan. After you go to eat, or visit a store, the people there enthusiastically exclaim “Arigato gozaimas” (thank you!) as you leave. I asked Mr. Asaba yesterday if tipping was common in Japan and he told me it is never done. People expect that when someone uses a service they provide that it is their job to be enthusiastic about doing their job, and it shows in the way that they do things. It is very different from much of what we see in America and perhaps explains why Japanese products are so good. On one side, it is just a face they put on for the world, much as someone might be dour or depressed, but it also says something about Japanese character and their outlook on the world. I think each of us can learn from the Japanese in this way.