Thursday, September 16

Tokyo: what is omotenashi, the key to gracious Japanese hospitality that is “in every corner” of the Olympic Games

  • Tamara Gil – @ _tamaragil *
  • BBC World Special Envoy to Tokyo 2020

Japanese hospitality.

Image source, Tamara Gil / BBC Mundo


We didn’t know why they were following us, but we found out that they just wanted to give us a nice welcome to their country.

Next to some Olympic rings next to the Tokyo National Stadium, three women followed in our footsteps.

– “Omotenashi, omotenashi!”, Repeated the three women, apparently giving us a drink and some unintelligible documents.

While Marek Polaszewski, our cameraman, was a bit suspicious and tried to kindly explain to them that we were in a hurry to shoot, I couldn’t stop thinking about the word they repeated (“omotenashi”) and in China, where I used to see many petitioners trying to give you similar papers with their complaints.

It was late and it was getting dark, but I decided to stop and talk with them and try to understand what exactly they were offering us.

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