Bringing out Japan’s hospitality

I am very glad to know that the word “hospitable (omotenashi)” is a very popular topic now in Japan because of television presenter Christel Takigawa’s impressive speech last month to invite the Olympic Games to Tokyo in 2020.

In Japan we perform the Japanese art of tea ceremony, a tradition that respects human closeness. This means that the host meets the guest as if it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. An expert on the tea ceremony, after he has sent off his guest, will then make tea for himself and drink it calmly to remember the guest.

Needless to say, sports will unite the world at the Tokyo Olympic Games. However, I really hope, as a Japanese, that the omotenashi Olympic and Paralympic Games will be truly hospitable ones so that people will know Japanese hospitality and not just the sporting events while visiting Japan.

hiroshi noro
hadano, kanagawa

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

  • tomado

    Tea Ceremony is OK. But, if you want to be hospitable, how about banning smoking in all restaurants and bars? Also, don’t smoke around children. That will be even better than the tea ceremony vis a vis hospitality.

    • Hanten

      I wholeheartedly agree, Tomado. Hundreds of meals I’ve tried to eat in restaurants in Japan have been spoiled by people smoking. Around the modern world, smoking has been banned in all enclosed public places – that includes pubs, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs and bars – and Japan needs to catch up. The health of the staff who work in these places as well as all the customers is being damaged on a daily basis while the government does nothing. Until the official ban comes, I will be sticking to Starbucks and the few other places that already ask their customers to refrain from smoking.
      In some countries it is illegal to smoke in a car with children and people have been discouraged from doing it in front of their children at home. It is important to protect their little lungs!