Monday, January 17, 2011

Omotenashi-spirit, hospitality at Japanese hotel


I’ll introduce some omotenashi (hospitality) that I found at the ryokan (Japanese-style Hotel).

When we checked in the hotel and got in our room, the maid put our shoes away into the shoebox. She arranged the slippers. Slippers are not allowed in the room. You do not wear any slippers or shoes in a tatami room. The slippers are to walk around in the hotel. In the morning we checked out, without noticing, the maid has already prepared our shoes and returned the slippers in the shoe box.

They have light cotton kimono called yukata for guests. Many guests wear yukata and hang around in the hotel. It can also be a nightwear. They are usually average sized. When we arrived, the maid asked us our height and changed the youkata size for the ones needed. At many ryokan, the sizes you can choose from are limited to S, M and L But at this ryokan, they also have median sizes available. I thought it was a good service.

They also had socks for guest. This service was only for the high-grade rooms, not for the regular rooms. Do you notice the interesting design of the socks? The big toe is separated. This is similar to Japanese traditional socks and I guess it’s to fit Japanese sandals or wooden clogs.

They had a new year’s gift for us. It was a sake cup that is a white porcelain vessel with a golden kanji character. The meaning of character is rabbit, the animal of the year.

The breakfast for the regular room was buffet meal at the hotel’s restaurant. There are not only western meals but also Japanese dishes. What I liked about it was that a chef was making omelet on the demand of guests. I loved the hot and nice omelet. I thought this is a kind of omotenashi of the hotel.

The breakfast for the high-grade rooms was brought and served at our room. Before breakfast, sencha green tea and umeboshi (pickled plum) were served. I don’t know the reason why pickled plum is served with tea. Anyway we waited for breakfast preparation over tea. It was nice omotenashi.


  1. This brings back so many good memories... Thanks !

  2. Oh, so you have stayed at a ryokan.
    ☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆

  3. Oh yes, I usually prefer ryokan if I can when I am in Japan, rather than western style hotels. So much comfort. And food is always great :-)