One way Japan is welcoming international guests

Greetings from Tokyo! We just had a handover inspection of newly renovated hotel rooms after completing final inspections with all OS&E items set up in place.

As always, working on a project in Japan allows us to save a lot of effort in spotting out substandard workmanship or punching out a defects list, as it doesn’t exist or is usually spotted out and taken care of by the contractor before anyone else. 

Today, perhaps, my ‘biggest’ finding, extremely minor but quite interesting, may not be noticeable to the 100% Japanese owner/operation team. I saw this brand new remote control for the waterproof television sitting on the vanity counter in the bathroom.

What do you notice? As a person with Chinese literacy, I can manage to navigate through some texts on the controller, such as the on-off button, as a lot of Japanese Kanji characters overlap with Chinese characters. 

Most Japanese hotel brands have a long history and reputation for providing excellent service, exquisitely trained staff and extremely refined manners, which is also one of the main reasons millions of foreign tourists visit the country every year. 

The big players in the international luxury sector woke up the local big players when they began entering the market a little more than a decade ago. While these international players always pay the highest tribute to the local culture to ensure a great sense of place, the combination of the best parts in the East and West jointly created by the top notch of international interior designers are prevalent. 

Tokyo’s selection to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, 56 years after the first time in 1964, also has awoken many local operators. Also, Japan has a highly sophisticated domestic market, and local hotel brands never have been short of loyal patrons.

This initiative prompted them to ensure that their portfolio is ready to accommodate the large influx of international guests in the next three years through arrangement of hardware – and more important, through revving up software and service to host everyone. This is already changing the hospitality landscape in Japan; we are very much looking forward to the coming of this big party in our beloved neighbour city.