Unveiling The Art Of Gift-Giving In Japanese Business: A Guide To Etiquette And Success

Gift-giving Etiquette in Japan Business

Attending a business meeting in Japan? Make sure you’re well-versed in the country’s gift-giving etiquette. Exchanging presents is an important part of Japanese culture, and it’s essential to follow the proper protocols to avoid any faux pas. Here’s a quick guide to help you navigate the nuances of gift-giving in Japan:

When to Give a Gift

  • At the first meeting
  • When visiting a company or organization
  • As a thank-you for a favor or service

What to Give

  • Traditional Japanese gifts, such as tea sets, fans, or calligraphy
  • Business-related items, such as pens, notepads, or briefcases
  • Small edible treats, such as chocolates or wagashi

How to Give a Gift

  • Present the gift with both hands.
  • Bow slightly as you hand it over.
  • Say “どうぞ” (どうぞ, “どうぞ”, “Please accept this”).

What Not to Give

  • Gifts that are too expensive or personal.
  • Gifts that are sharp or pointed.
  • Gifts that are associated with death or mourning.


Q: Do I have to give a gift at every business meeting?
A: No, but it’s always appreciated.

Q: What if I don’t know what to give?
A: You can always ask your Japanese colleagues for suggestions.

Q: Can I give a gift to an individual or does it have to be to the whole company?
A: It’s best to give a gift to the whole company.


Remember, gift-giving in Japan is about more than just the present itself. It’s a way to show respect and appreciation. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your gift-giving gestures are well-received and strengthen your business relationships in Japan.

gift giving etiquette in japan business

gift giving etiquette in japan business

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