Japan: Reactions to the Japanese tourist rip-off in Italy

Japanese tourists in Rome are said to have diminished in the last period. Not only the economic crisis but also the bad service that Italian restaurants and hotels provide to the tourists as well as the fear to have their wallet or mobile phone ripped off, have made the Japanese choose other safer destinations.

Just of few weeks ago the news that a Japanese couple was cheated by a famous restaurant in the center of Rome who presented them a 700 euro bill for an ordinary lunch. Japanese people, though, have started to be fed up with being considered the well-off, easily-cheatable tourist to milk.

By Flickr user id: Norte_it [Dario J Laganà].

Moshimoshi, the Japanese manager of the B&B in Rome that hosted the unlucky couple, explains what happened and titles the post “There is no way I can tolerate it” (絶対に許せない!!).



Today I went to the police.
Some of my customers recently were victims of a rip off and I went there for verification.
To explain in simple words what the fraud consisted of, the two were exaggeratedly overcharged and made pay 700 Euro (100.000 Yen) for a lunch.


Can you believe it? 700 Euro!!!
I can't tolerate it! So I went to the police to draw up a report. What's more, that restaurant is on the guidebook with the commenting words ‘Japanese menu included, fair prices!’. It's true that those customers didn't check the menu and asked to bring them what the restaurant suggested but 700 euro…
Italian people told me “Why did they pay?”
But try to imagine, could you walk off a restaurant without paying what you ate? Also if I had personally complained, eventually I would haven't been able to go away without paying.


And so what they told me is “That's why Japanese people get ripped off!!”
But, can you tolerate that? Is it ok for people in this country to think that “since they are not complaining I can cheat them”? I will absolutely fight such mentality because I believe it's impossible to tolerate such things. Also the policeman who called me today swore that the restaurant will have to pay a very heavy fine. “I, as Italian, cannot tolerate that those tourists will have such a terrible memory of Italy! Those people are the shame of Italy!!”.

However, a Japanese blogger points his finger against those Japanese tourists who think to find abroad the same quality service that in Japan they give for granted.


I'm not that surprised.
In this period of recession it's not strange if the number of Japanese tourists has decreased and what the Japanese attribute to “bad Italian service” is nothing new or recent…
However, “bad service” is not only [a problem] in Italy.



Besides… I believe that there is something fundamentally wrong to believe that “when going abroad, we'll have the same service as in Japan.”
In this regard, it's absolutely obvious that there are differences between Japan and the other countries.
In Japan service is considered “having everything done without saying a word.” (According to the saying, “the customer is God”…)
But abroad (some think that) service is “having something done after I requested what I want”.
And although there are many points of difference, going to those countries without taking it into account…
[…]And those who go abroad with such [superficial] understanding are a shame for us Japanese!

Ripping off foreign travelers is nothing new to the Italian people, unfortunately. Especially to those who come from cities that partly lives on tourism, like Rome.
Not for this, Italians are less ashamed of what is being considered around the world as the umpteenth cheat in the home of Colosseo.

An Italian blogger at L'isola dei riottosi expresses his disappointment on the matter.

Ci stiamo rovinando con le nostre stesse mani. Come dico spesso, la meschinità sta diventando uno dei capisaldi del nostro popolo. Tanto che il turismo rischia di sentirne. E parecchio. In particolare, il numero di turisti giapponesi che si recano a Roma si è dimezzato rispetto al 1997. Motivi? Le strade dell'Urbe sono sporche, e specialmente c'è un ricchissimo business delle Truffe! […]E giustamente queste cose non passano inosservate, dato che ne parlano pubblicamente all'estero, in questo caso il Giappone, dove adesso Roma viene vista come una bellissima città d'arte ma anche come un “macchina succhia soldi”.

We are ruining ourselves with our own hands. As I use to say, meanness is becoming commonplace for our people. To the extent that tourism risks suffering from it. A lot.
In particular, the number of Japanese tourists who go to Rome halved from 1997. Why? Because the streets of Rome are dirty and ripping off is a very profitable business![…] And obviously such things cannot be ignored, as they talk about it abroad. In Japan in this case, Rome is not only seen as a beautiful city of art but also as a “money-sucking machine”.

Another Italian blogger, id: dragor, makes clear how a tourist is often regarded by some Roman shopkeepers.

PER GLI ITALIANI gli stranieri sono una massa d’imbecilli che aspettano soltanto di farsi fregare. Si considerano molto furbi e credono che tutti gli altri siano ingenui. La loro fantasia per tirare la botta è incredibile. […] Ma il massimo della fantasia si esercita nella fregatura individuale, che in molti casi si manifesta con il prezzo ad hoc. In un bar di Roma, mia moglie ha ordinato un caffè in francese. Le è stato fatturato 5 euro. Quando ho fatto notare nella lingua di Dante che era un furto, ho ricevuto questa risposta: “Dovevi dirlo subito che sei italiano. Quello è il prezzo per gli stranieri.”

FOR THE ITALIANS foreigners are a bunch of idiots waiting to be cheated. They consider themselves very cunning and think that the others are naive. The ideas they come up with to take someone for a ride are incredible. […] But the best idea they come up with is the one-to-one rip off, that often results in an ad hoc price.
In a bar in Rome, my wife ordered a coffee in french. They gave here a 5 euro check. So when I made them notice, in Dante's language, that that was a fraud I got this answer: “You should have immediately told us you were Italian. That is the price for foreigners”.


  • Isa Macharia

    fraudulent businesses and scammers cause havoc to economies. Fraud is deceit for financial profit and has cost economies billionof money. We can fight fraud together if we join hands!

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