What Japanese Culture Teaches Hosts

What Japanese Culture Teaches Hosts

5 Takeaways From Japan’s Art of Hospitality

Treating travelers properly is a staple in Japanese culture. Doing so improves the guest experience and makes them feel more welcomed.

Japan’s art of hospitality is one we must admire and learn from. Mimicking it will make your guests feel more embraced upon their arrival, which starts their vacation off right.

Remember, you are providing them more than just a place to stay. You are providing them an experience.

Modern Innkeeper identified five Japanese customs you can adopt to enhance guests’ time spent at your property.


Tea Ceremony

Japanese hosts traditionally go above and beyond preparing a tea ceremony for their guests. They decorate the space with seasonal flowers and utensils that fit the theme of the occasion.

Like several other hosts, you may not be present when your guests arrive, so enjoying tea with them is out of the question. Nonetheless, you can still lay out the essentials prior to them coming. Learn what you need from this blog, and place them in your living-room-turned-lobby.

See about leaving some tasty goodies out if supplying tea is not possible. Just make sure they stay fresh!

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Anticipate Their Needs

The Japanese word for this is Omotenashi. For our purposes, it means being prepared.

The less guests have to think about bringing or shopping for during their trip, the better! Here are some items to remain stocked up on:

●     Bathroom amenities

●     Hair dryer

●     Cleaning supplies

●     Towels

●     And more found here

But material items are not all Omotenashi refers to. It includes having empathy and concern as it relates to guests’ well-being.

Address this by having plants and a hammock on your property, as both possess mental health benefits.


Create Harmony

Wa is the concept of harmony: the balance of everything in and around us.

The Japanese aspire to find harmony every day. Because a multitude of factors affect it, such as architecture and how food lies on a plate, Japan’s hospitality industry does everything in its power to help guests achieve it.

Remodeling your property on account of finding harmony is an unreasonable ask, but there are ways to encourage guests to find it:

●     Incorporate the right colors

●     Design your interior based on a trend

●     Maintain the perfect temperature

●     Build a Japanese Zen garden

All of these steps promote a harmonious atmosphere guests will find peace in.



Japanese culture states guests are responsible for giving a gift to their host. While that is customary in Japan, do not ask this of your guests!

But be sure to provide one for them.

The gesture is much bigger than what the gift is: it represents how much you appreciate their decision to stay at your property. Whatever you decide to bestow does not have to be exorbitant, but make it thoughtful. A souvenir from a local shop or bottle of wine (know your audience) from a local winery are good places to start.

Receiving a gift will make guests feel valued and think fondly of you.



Japanese exchange their shoes for slippers inside wherever they are guests, including hospitality establishments. Enforcing a “no shoes” policy may be unpopular, but guests will appreciate a pair of slippers to have for when they lounge.

Slippers will increase their comfortability and ability to find Wa.


Bowing Out

Part of the reason guests choose to stay at a vacation rental over a hotel is because they favor the environment: the one you are in charge of creating.

Adding these Japanese customs to your hosting style will benefit your property’s atmosphere. Learn how you can incorporate them before your next guests arrive, and notice how gracious they will be.