Tag Archives: Omotenashi

Practice “Omotenashi”: Provide an unique “service experience” and show gratitude & respect towards your customers !!

Japanese bow

The Japanese spirit of hospitality

Of all the memories they take home with them, visitors to Japan cherish and appreciate the ‘Japanese way of hospitality and customer service’ — Omotenashi in Japanese.

Translated simply, Omotenashi means the Japanese way of treating a guest. It blends a welcoming spirit with warmth, understanding, and above all respect.

Interestingly, the Japanese language makes no distinction between ‘guest’ and ‘customer.’

To practice Omotenashi, the host pays close attention to detail and is committed to anticipating the needs of the guest, smiling sincerely and setting a happy, relaxed mood. When authentic, Japanese hospitality and service exceed the expectations of the guests. At its most exquisite, Omotenashi offers a guest a once-in-a-life-time experience. The idea resonates with Ichigo-ichie, the tea master’s belief that every encounter is single and unique.”  (Kanebo website)


So what are you waiting for to implement it in your business? In a more and more competitive business world, “service engineering” is a differentiating and winning factor!

Read more from:   The Japanese spirit of hospitality

If you need help, you can also contact us (at info@gbmc.biz) for support or 

check our website at:  http://www.gbmc.biz/Japan_Training.php





Japan: Does “Kokusaika” mean two types of “Omotenashi”?

"Kokusaika" OR 2 types of "Omotenashi"

“Kokusaika” OR 2 types of “Omotenashi”


Japan firms face hurdles as ‘service’ culture taken overseas:

” ….  At Uniqlo stores worldwide, staff greet every customer with “Welcome to Uniqlo!”

They briskly walk around on a clean, white sales floor, refolding and restacking clothes, rarely talking to customers or each other unless approached.

It’s a Japanese style of customer service based on a strict manual and which is praised for its politeness and efficiency. But as Japanese companies increasingly branch out overseas, they are faced with the dilemma of staying true to this retail philosophy while adapting to local service habits.

JETRO’s Nakajima said there are two types of omotenashi, or Japanese hospitality, seen in outgoing Japanese businesses.

One is to treat every single customer with thorough care, as seen in traditional Japanese ryokan hotels. The other is to provide quality homogeneous service in a quick and inexpensive way …..” (The Japan Times)

Our Point:

In their Internationalisation Process (or “Kokusaika” in Japanese),  Japanese companies should probably think more of adapting the Japan Domestic “Omotenashi” (hopitality) practices abroad by taking into account the local culture specificities, rather than replicating it as it is. One feature to definitely carry over would be excellent dedicated service and full attention to the customer at any time, before/during and after the sales process. What do you think?

More to read from:

Does “Kokusaika” mean two types of “Omotenashi”?

By the way, WELCOME TO GBMC’s BLOG !!!!

About “Doing Business in Japan” or “Doing Business with the Japanese”

Japan in spring 6

Doing Business in Japan

Many articles and books have been written about the subjects of “Doing Business in Japan” or “Doing Business with the Japanese”.

Some of them focus on Cross-cultural Management issues, others on Sales & Marketing issues and, finally, some others on Entry Strategy issues.

At GBMC, we cover all fields:

1) “Doing Business with the Japanese” in Japan:

In 2012, the EU-Japan Centre carried out a Survey of EU SMEs on their Internationalisation towards Japan (Source: In Search for Growth: Towards a New Role for SMEs in EU-Japan Relations, EU-JAPAN CENTRE FOR INDUSTRIAL COOPERATION 2013).   The obstacles most often mentioned by respondents (126 European SMEs) were:

  1. Language barriers (55%),
  2. Difficulty to grasp business practices,
  3.  Costs,
  4. Difficulty in understanding the local laws or regulations,
  5. Conforming to Japanese standards.

So, you have a “Homework” to do when approaching one of the most dynamic and challenging market in the world!

In our book “The Ultimate Survival Guide for Business in Japan”, we cover the following Cross-cultural Management issues:

[ Part I – Cross-cultural Management 

Chapter I – Culture Basics in Japan

Chapter II – Group Spirit and « Nemawashi »

Chapter III – An Innovative Country

Chapter IV – « Omotenashi »: the Customer Service Mindset

Chapter V – The Sumo-way of Negotiating ]

For availability, please check the GBMC’s eBooks section at: http://www.gbmc.biz/GBMC_eBooks.html

You will also find links to many other articles from us.

Finally, as part of our consulting offer, we also provide (more details from: http://www.gbmc.biz/Japan_Training_Lecturing.html)

Cross cultural training for European staff in Japanese companies                
Training for European companies who work with Japanese companies (Japanese customers, clients or partners): Japanese business etiquette, Japanese business culture, doing business with Japan ….     

2) “Doing Business with the Japanese” in Europe or abroad:

Japanese companies have been major long-term investors in Europe and other parts of the world.

In the following Publications written for the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, we have interviewed the executives of

14 Japanese companies and public/trade associations about the EU as a Destination for Japanese Investments.

Title: “An assessment of key EU industrial sectors open to Japanese technological cooperation and investment”

This publication will help Japanese researchers, companies and other organisations take advantage of the considerable opportunities to establish and develop industrial activities or relationships in the EU. It begins with an explanation of how EU industry is expected to change, the impact and benefits the EU Single Market offers, how IPR protection is simplifying and strengthening, and new opportunities under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. Then, it identifies key industrial sectors and sub-sectors likely to be of potential interest to Japan, including brief mention of some of the countless recent examples demonstrating the already-close industrial ties. Finally, its case studies outline the experience of 14 Japanese companies and business federations which have established activities in Europe.

Direct Link:  http://www.eu-japan.eu/sites/eu-japan.eu/files/AnAssessmentOfKeyEUIndustrialSectors_FINAL.pdf

> Title: “Destination Europe – The EU Single Market: an attractive destination for Japanese FDI”

This publication is an information material on the European Union as an attractive destination for Japanese investments. The European Union has historically been a major destination for foreign direct investment, offering Japanese companies the benefits of a Single Market of more than 500 million people. At the same time, there is still a considerable potential for further expansion of Japanese investment activity in the EU Member States now that the economies of Japan and the EU are on the way to becoming even more integrated as a result of the ongoing Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Japanese companies and investors will find useful information about the benefits of the EU Single Market that will encourage them to invest in one or several of our 28 Member States.

Direct Link: http://www.eu-japan.eu/sites/eu-japan.eu/files/DestinationEurope_1.pdf

Finally, as part of our consulting offer, we also provide (more details from: http://www.gbmc.biz/Japan_Training_Lecturing.html);

– Cross cultural training for Japanese expatriates working in Europe

3) “Doing Business in Japan”:

In our book “The Ultimate Survival Guide for Business in Japan”, we also cover the following Sales & Marketing/Entry Strategy issues:

[ Part II – Sales & Marketing Strategies

Chapter VI – Business Basics in Japan

Chapter VII – B2C Marketing

Chapter VIII – B2B Marketing

Chapter IX – Long-term B2B Sales Strategies

Part III – Japan Entry Stratégies 

Chapter X – Indirect Sales

Chapter XI – Direct Sales

Chapter XII – Strategic Alliances and Partnerships ]

For availability, please check the GBMC’s eBooks section at: http://www.gbmc.biz/GBMC_eBooks.html

As the more you know about Japan, the better it is, you might as well:

– follow our Blog: http://gbmc-blog.biz

– register to our Mailing List on: http://www.gbmc.biz/Home_Page.php

– follow our company page on Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/company/2420671

– check out our book (in French) about the History of the Japanese Economy:

“Lecture Economique de l’Histoire du Japon” (for availability, please also check http://www.gbmc.biz/GBMC_eBooks.html)

Finally, as part of our consulting offer, we also provide (more details from:http://www.gbmc.biz/EU-Japan_Consulting.html)

– EU-Japan Market Entry and Development Consultancy

– Japan Executive/Business Coaching Service

– Foreign Trade/Exhibition/Event Support Business Services

– Translation/ Interpreter Services & Language Courses

For more information, questions, comments or requests, you can also contact us at info@gbmc.biz

Delighting your customers, rather than pleasing them!

Japanese bridge in garden

“Delighting the customer creates a bridge between seller and buyer. If they are delighted with the service, the customer will pay a price commensurate with their satisfaction”.

Good point from Mikitani-san (Rakuten)! This is where the “Omotenashi” concept gets into action …

Check the post on Linked In hereunder:





“OMOTENASHI”: Get the Japanese Service Mindset !!

Japanese bow

“OMOTENASHI”: Get the Japanese Service Mindset !!



More details about this concept in the following Post from Mikitani-san (Rakuten):




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