Omotenashi - The Art of Hospitality

Japanese hospitality, or what we call omotenashi, has developed a reputation outside of Japan as being a benchmark for exceptional service, it can be very difficult to define. It's as intangible as it is palpable, something to be felt rather than explained," says Watanabe. "To me, [it is] hospitality that's extended with the utmost sincerity, grace and respect, however big or small the gesture or the task. Not to be mistaken with the other, perhaps more commonly experienced version of service, which is superficial service delivered out of a sense of obligation and with an expectation of reward."

omoiyari. "It means the active sensitivity to other people," she tells me. "It anticipates the needs and desires of other people. It's not broad-brush, it's fine-tuned."

from fast co

Anticipation of the other's needs: The host should respond to guest's needs before the latter feels such need himself. Flexibility to the situation: Refers to the appropriate amount of formality or casualness respectively. Understatement: The host should not display his efforts, in order to create a natural feeling for the guest.

Shitsurai, or "preparations for the guest," describes structures that put the guest at ease

Furumai, or "the attitude of the host and guest," extends this idea of mutual attunement. A good host knows when interactions ought to be formal and when they ought to be casual, and can adjust flexibly along the spectrum between the two over time.

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Omotenashi - The Art of Hospitality