(Way) beyond customer service.
In 2013, when Japan made a final bid for the 2020 World Games, many non-Japanese speakers first heard the word “omotenashi.” According to the Japan Times, “Omotenashi is hard to define, but Japanese use it to describe what they believe is their unique approach to hospitality. It involves the subjugation of self in service to a guest, without being ‘servile.’ Anticipating needs is at the heart of the concept; and it is certainly fair to say that in Japan, acting on others’ needs without being asked to do so is at the height of savvy.
“If, in the course of a service encounter in Japan, you’ve ever been left thinking ‘How did they think of that,’ you’ve probably been omotenashi’d.”
The Japan National Tourist Office explains further. “In Japan, there is a deep-rooted culture, which comes from sado (tea ceremony), called omotenashi, meaning to wholeheartedly look after guests. The term [represents] the Japanese mindset of hospitality centering around care rather than expectation. You’re bound to feel omotenashi hospitality on your travels to Japan, especially at cultural experiences such as ryokan (Japanese-style inns), kaiseki (Japanese banquet), and sado. Omotenashi goes beyond ‘the customer is always right;’ rather, it is an implicit understanding that there are no menial tasks if the result ensures a great experience for a guest.”
Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? For information about a visit to Japan, contact R. Crusoe travel specialist Rachel Dorsey at email@example.com or 888-490-8004.
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