On this page, I will explain the spirit of Japanese hospitality. In Japan, hospitality is called "Omotenashi". Its spirit is said to come from the tea ceremony. However, I am not going to tell you an abstract story here. I would like to introduce examples of Japanese hospitality through some YouTube videos. I think that if you come to Japan, you will actually see and hear it.
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Examples of Japanese hospitality
First of all, please see the following videos. With these videos, you can see examples of Japanese hospitality in various situations.
Many people in Japan work with a heart of hospitality
At a restaurant
In Japan, a lot of employees are hospitable with smiles at restaurants and hotels. Even when working according to the customer service manual, they will try to satisfy their customers even a little.
Of course, some of the employees will have no motivation. However, in Japan, I think that there are quite a lot of people trying to serve with a smile no matter how hard it is.
This trend is not limited to restaurants and hotels. Next, let's see the video of the gas station.
At a gas station
In Japan, there are many people in various industries who have the feeling of hospitality that they want to serve customers.
Even in Japan, self service type gas stations are on the rise recently. With those types of gas stations, you will not be able to expect customer service like this one. However, at gas stations that are not self-service, such services are widely being done for free. If you plan to borrow rental cars, stop by a gas station that does not have a "self" sign when refueling, really look at these services!
At an airport
Employees who inspected the airplane for the customer at the airport waved their hands towards the departing plane. Perhaps there are few passengers to notice them. However, employees do not mind whether passengers are noticed or not, and voluntarily shake hands.
I think that there is a big characteristic of the spirit of Japanese hospitality here. In other words, it is not important for them whether they can be evaluated by customers. The important thing for them is that they do what they can do for their customers.
At a McDonald's shop
Even in American style shops, Japanese staff service smily as seen in this movie.
I think that the spirit of hospitality is quite similar in every country. I have received excellent service many times in Western hotels and so on. From these experiences, I feel a very deep spirituality in Western hospitality. However, in Japan, there are so many industries, so many staff are striving to entertain customers. I think this point is the characteristic of Japan.
However, I think there is a weak point in Japanese hospitality. When serving customers, Japanese people emphasize that they are bright and smiling. However, no matter how smiling they are, it is not certain whether the customer will be satisfied or not. For example, when a customer in the hotel asks the way to the restaurant, if the staff did not properly tell the way, the customer would be dissatisfied. Some travelers coming from abroad actually have such complaints occasionally.
Why do Japanese people service in the spirit of hospitality?
I have been asked by a foreign tourist before, "Why are Japanese people able to service customers with such a smile?" At that time, I could not answer him well. I still can not answer clearly. However, I feel that many Japanese value the harmony with the surrounding people. I think that it is certain that many Japanese people are trying to make people around them feel comfortable at all.
Japanese have been taught that it is precious to serve the people around us since elementary school. In elementary school, for example, we have been cleaning our classrooms and toilets by ourselves. Perhaps, such a thing may be considered as a background. The following video introduces the work that Japanese children usually do at school. Well, for us it is commonplace, how do you feel when you watch this video?
I appreciate you reading to the end.
Bon KUROSAWA I have long worked as a senior editor for Nihon Keizai Shimbun (NIKKEI) and currently work as an independent web writer. At NIKKEI, I was the editor-in-chief of the media on Japanese culture. Let me introduce a lot of fun and interesting things about Japan. Please refer to this article for more details.