"One thing made clear from (our) survey is that the wholehearted looking after guests is not necessarily appreciated."

— From "The lie of omotenashi," cover story, Nikkei Business magazine

In its 18-page cover story on Jan. 22, Nikkei Business magazine sent reporters to interview bosses at two vastly different parts of the nation's vaunted service industry: the Kagaya inn in Ishikawa Prefecture — rated the nation's top ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) for 36 consecutive years — and the Yoshino beef-over-rice snack chain favored by salarymen, which has been experimenting with further ways to cut operating costs by adding self-service coffee dispensers.