The pride of Japan’s Omotenashi Hospitality

There’s a shop near here that is (was) famous for their pumpkin pies. The pies were small, like those fruit mince pies you get at Christmas, and they were very good indeed. The shop was really cool too, it had a Kura or old school storehouse, right next to it and the shop was always busy. Until it wasn’t.

Sometime last year, the oven that bakes the pumpkin pies broke. So you’d think they’d fix it, or get a new one, right? Apparently not. Apparently there’s no one in the direct family, so instead they’re just going to finish up the business.

I’m not sure how long this business has been running, I’m sure it’s a long time because the buildings were at least somewhat old (I’m not sure whether the Kura was there at the start or not), and they certainly had a loyal following, but I can’t believe they’d be so selfish as to close for such a petty reason.

A lot of the time Japanese Omotenashi (Japanese term for hospitality) is self-serving. I love Japan and think people should be able to do what they want, but things like this really make me think about whether they are doing things for the people (so-called Omotenashi) , or for their own pride or selfish reasons. Of course this isn’t always the case, but sometimes it is.



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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan

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