When you are walking on a street or having a seat in a restaurant in Japan, you might notice that certain items are delivered for free of charge. Yes indeed, we Japanese love something for free! This guide gives you useful information about how to get free items in Japan without hesitation.
Either in a fancy restaurant or in a casual food cort, you never get charged for drinking water. In a restaurant, as soon as you have a seat, a server comes to your table with cold clean water to start with. This is also same in a Ramen shop or any kind of eatery where there is a server to take order. Recently, it is getting more common to offer help-yourself drinking water at cafe or at canteen. My favourite cold water is the one served in a franchised cafe named Veloce where water is served with lemon. You can drink as much as you want from a help-yourself free drinking pod, of course along with your purchased item/s.
Although there are some places that serves hot tea as a welcome drink, such as Soba restaurant, it is specialised at Izakaya, Japanese-style tavern or at Sushi restaurant, that you can get free hot tea after meal. It is said that this custom is originated from offering tea at Sushi place but the truth is unknown. Even at price-friendly Izakaya such as Watami (和民) or Warawara (笑笑), this hot tea free-service is not an exception. Probably it sounds weird to order hot Japanese tea, usually green tea or hojicha – roasted bancha, especially after having a meal with alcohols. However, it definitely helps your digestion system and reduces another crave for beer or sweets. Or Ramen, typical after-drink food to indulge yourself, as you know.
This is the most exciting item that you may no longer need to buy at a shop. Free giving tissues on streets! This is how it works. You, walking on street, advisably in a morning rush hour near the train station. Once you catch a sight of tissue giver/s, follow the people who are receiving tissues and just take it quickly. There is a flow of people walking towards their offices or schools, so it has to be done in order. Sometimes you are given two sets of tissues. If you need more, don’t hesitate to ask. They would be happy to give you extra so that they can finish their work early. Quality of paper is guaranteed.
For those of you who are addicted to Cup Noodles, hot water is also available without additional payment at convenience stores. You can eat straightaway from purchasing. Also, ice blocks (氷) are free to take away home with you at most supermarkets. It keeps frozen items cold and prevents from melting. Finally, gift-wrapping is another wonderful free-service that you can receive at Japanese retail shops. They would remove price tag before wrapping and would offer several types of paper colour and ribbons over your preference, so the outcome will be pretty professional.
These are what local Japanese appreciate for free now and then. You can try it and get a great benefit of living/visiting Japan.