A True & Unique Way of Life
Thinking of Japan you probably imagine or recall its people as thoughtful, helpful, friendly, kind,… What we could call Japanese hospitality is actually much more than that, it’s a true and unique way of life. Below we tried our best to explain what Japanese call Omotenashi and how we deliver Omotenashi to you.
Omotenashi’s definition is ambiguous. “Omote” is your public face (“Ura” being your private face). Omote would be the fake personality or fake smile that you might find in tourist traps. “Nashi” means “without” so Omotenashi means that people are not putting on a fake mask of politeness, they are showing you their authentic selves. Omotenashi could be defined as someone’s authentic self desire for someone’s happiness.
One of the best ways to experience Omotenashi is without a doubt to stay in a Japanese Ryokan and appreciate a Kaiseki style dinner. This is an experience in Japanese hospitality that you will remember for the rest of your life. At Rediscover Tours, our team of travel experts works with the best providers all over Japan. Your tour will be personally handled with great care and attention to detail by your travel expert. Using our service you will already have a first taste of Omotenashi . To learn more about Japan and Japanese hospitality download Our Brochure.
Another good plan to discover Omotenashi is to witness a tea ceremony, especially in Kyoto or Uji. The Japanese tea ceremony is a Japanese tradition steeped in history. One of the main purposes of the tea ceremony is for the guests to enjoy the hospitality of the host in an atmosphere distinct from the fast pace of everyday life. Nowadays, the tea ceremony is practiced as a hobby, and there are places where tourists can experience it, particularly in Kyoto or Uji. Tea ceremonies of varying degrees of formality and authenticity are offered by many organizations across Japan, including at some traditional gardens, culture centers and hotels. Join a small group authentic tea ceremony led by an English speaking kimono clad tea master. Focus completely on the present and to make every movement on purpose without wasted effort. It is beautiful to watch a skilled tea master perform this art.
Another unique opportunity to discover Omotenashi is to enjoy a home-stay with a Japanese family. They will provide you with a variety of experiences that only they can give. They will cook traditional Japanese dishes for you and tell you the fascinating story of their family and ancestors. A home-stay will introduce you the Japanese traditions, the strength of the Japanese people, the dedication to excellence… In fact you will also learn about yourself and how to enjoy life in a traditional Japanese way.
For a good example of Omotenashi, you will find below the review that Hivy wrote after his stay at Yomoshiro in Ainokura:
“Yomoshiro family provides exquisite hospitality that was hard to beat. Every reviews mentioned by previous guests are accurate and they keep their standard up high. 1. They cater to our different dietary meals: vegetarians, no beef meals, no raw fish meals. Yet they prepared such delicious meals for us. Even the most picky eaters in our group finished all the dish provided! 2. It was raining the day we arrived. Our shoes were wet and we had so many luggage. They helped to unload all our luggage, and clean them before put in our rooms. Moreover they took all our wet shoes and dry them so that the following morning they would be all ready to be worn again. When we wanted to have a walk before dinner, they lent us boots and umbrellas. Their services are beyond expectations!!! We had a wonderful stay at Yomoshiro’s great house and their extraordinary hospitality.”
Omotenashi wasn’t a worldwide expression until 2013 when Krystel Takigawa, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Bid Ambassador gave her famous speech explaining that Japan would be the best destination to welcome due to its culture of O-Mo-Te-Na-Shi.
If you stay longer in Japan you might be surprised to see Japanese planning to meet their friends or even family members several months in advance. It’s not really because their agenda is overbooked it’s more because they like to try everything they can to make the event perfect. For example when kids visit their friend’s home, mothers will schedule a specific day, prepare sweets or bake cakes while children will write cards,…Again this is Omotenashi. Japanese want to show their appreciation and care to others.
Note that each culture and country has a different definition of good hospitality. For example, in restaurants in the US people are friendly and personal. Attention is placed on the food’s taste, less on presentation. While in Japanese restaurants, hospitality is less intrusive and great attention is placed on presentation. Staff won’t necessarily stay around you during your meal like in western gourmet restaurants. Here they want you to peacefully cherish your Kaiseki.
Contact us once you are ready to discover Japanese hospitality or if you have questions about your trip to Japan.
Rediscover Tours arranges amazing trips whether you are traveling with your family, on your honeymoon, as a couple or as a group of friends. We work with you to make sure everything is exactly as you want it.
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It was our first trip to Japan. Working with Jeff was a pleasure. His knowledge of the country and local contacts were very helpful. Choice...
Working with Jeff at Rediscover Tours was a wonderful experience. He helped me plan a 10 day trip of a lifetime to Japan with my mother...
I would like to take this opportunity to commend and thank you for the marvelous vacation we recently enjoyed in Japan. The entire experience exceeded...
Our team of Japan experts have all lived in Japan for years and know its the hidden treasures. Our team is here to answer all your questions and to build your tour just the way you want it.
Jeff was born in a south suburb of Chicago named South Holland and lived in Japan for 14 years. He now lives in Commerce Township, Michigan with his wife Yoshimi, son Shota, and daughter Mina. He enjoys playing with his kids, volunteering with his daughter’s marching band, cycling and training and teaching Aikido.
Michiyo was born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture though currently lives in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. Her main passions in life is traveling all around the world and enjoying their cultures.
Izumi has spent most of her life in the Kansai region, except for the 10 years that she enjoyed in the UK. Living abroad has made her appreciate her own culture and local beauty even more. She currently lives in Osaka with her family, including two cats and two dogs.
Great trips don't just happen; it takes expert knowledge and years of experience to create a truly memorable holiday. You can rely on Rediscover Tours to make your perfect Japanese experience. Our dedication to excellence makes the difference.
Your Japan travel expert will create your trip just for you
Your interests and travel style will be front and center when designing your tour
Accommodations will be selected based on your style and we will inform them of all your special meal and physical requirements
Your Japan expert has lived in Japan or is Japanese
They know the hidden treasures of Japan that you will love and most tourists miss
Most of our team lives in Japan giving them first hand knowledge of the latest trends and experiences for you to enjoy
Private local guides add a whole new depth to your Japanese tour
We only hire the best guides and review each trip with them insuring excellent experience
Your private guide will listen to you, show you sights of interest and will make on the fly changes to match the weather and crowds
Our office in Japan is here to assist and support you
Rediscover Tours has been organizing travel to Japan since 2000
You will arrive comfortable in the knowledge that all details are taken care of and that our Japan office is just a call away