Providing “Omotenashi” until late at night throughout Japan
A must-see during the summer night is the traditional Japanese art “Takigi-noh”. It is a Noh performance, which is said to be the oldest performing art in the world and is designated as a World Intangible Heritage, which is performed in the open-air stage along with a bonfire. One of the most popular spots for tourists to see Takigi-noh is Sado Island. This island is known as a place where “Noh” has been popular since around 1600 and has over 30 Noh stages, which account for one third of all the Noh stages in Japan. Noh is performed in many areas on the island from April to December every year, and the graceful and fascinating world of Takigi-noh is popular among visitors to this island from overseas.
Sado Island is the biggest island in the Sea of Japan and is part of Niigata Prefecture. It is a popular tourist spot attracting many people with its rich nature in all four seasons and unique history and culture. Sado Island has as many as 422 cultural assets designated by the national local government including the “Sado Gold and Silver Mine” that was put on the Tentative List of World Heritage Sites in 2010. The island is also home to the Conservation Center of the Japanese crested ibis, “the bird that symbolizes Japan”, where for the first time in 42 years the babies of wild Japanese crested ibis were raised and became healthy enough to leave the nest. Sado Island also has an event held by a Japanese taiko drumming group “Kodo” which is known and respected worldwide. This is an island full of highlights to see.
When you get tired after visiting many sightseeing spots or feel thirsty, stop by at “Matsumoto Kiyoshi”. Sado’s “Omotenashi Station” welcomes tourists late into the night and can help those in need of medicine for a child’s sudden fever, bug bites or unexpected injuries from falling down, but also has cosmetics for souvenirs and items for preparing for the next day’s trip. They offer duty-free procedures for tourists too.
“Omotenashi” in their customers’ languages
There are many firework festivals in Tokyo, which attracts many tourists. Matsumoto Kiyoshi stores (commonly called Matsukiyo) in central Tokyo, which are visited by many tourists from abroad, have English, Chinese and Korean-speaking staff on a regular basis, providing a high-quality service.
The Matsukiyo store in Ginza, a major shopping center in Tokyo, is crowded with many tourists from overseas every day. As the store manager says, “Eliminating the worries customers have about the language barrier is most important”, you can always see smiles on customers’ faces in this store thanks to the foreign language speaking staff. Let us introduce some of them.
Mrs. Zhu Hua (朱 花) (From China/ Speaks Chinese and Korean)
“I constantly study to provide good service. After-sales service such as answering inquiries after purchase and exchanging products is also important. I have been working here for 6 years now and many customers who repeatedly visit here remember me. I was very happy when someone said, ‘I liked your service, so I brought my friends as well.’”
Mrs. Liu Fang (劉 芳) (From Dalian, China/ Speaks Chinese and English)
“It’s been a year since I took up working at Matsukiyo while I study at a graduate school. Chinese customers shop in a very short time, so I always do my best to remember what items are placed on which shelves so I can assist them right away. Customers I met here send me their comments through SNS about products they bought and ask me how to use them. Being able to support them even after purchase makes me feel good.”
“Omotenashi” with a large selection of items
What makes Matsukiyo popular is a large selection of items that satisfy people of all ages, including medicine and cosmetics to buy for souvenirs for their family and friends. What did tourists buy here and what did they think of it? We followed some of them who were shopping there.
Mrs. Sheridan Walsh (from Australia)
“I bought medicine for bug bites, lip balm, mascara and false eyelashes. The shop assistant came to me saying, “May I help you?” and brought a basket to me when I was carrying items. They were very kind and made me feel comfortable. I love Matsukiyo!”
Mrs. Cho (from Shanghai, China)
“Japanese cosmetics are easy to use because they suit the skin color of Chinese people. I bought cosmetics for my mom and me, cold medicine, child toothbrushes and toothpaste this time. I bought my daughter’s yukata (summer kimono) near Senso-ji Temple.”
There were comments from other customers.
“The shop assistant explained the items in detail and provided a very kind service. I bought a lot of insect repellent so my baby won’t get bug bites. The insect repellents for child have gentle ingredients, so I feel safe to use the ones made in Japan”, says a mother with a baby in a stroller.
“I bought sunblock to protect me from UV from the section for sunburn prevention items at the entrance of the store, eye drops, cereal and a lot of medicated patches for my mom who has backache. I’m happy since I was able to buy a lot of items I wanted to buy”, says a young woman. “I stopped by when I was walking past and bought the total of 70,000 yen worth of high-quality skin care products that are popular in China”, says a woman showing the basket full with only cosmetics of original brands.
Shopping at Matsukiyo could be another highlight of a trip in Japan.
“Omotenashi” with a convenient service
Matsumoto Kiyoshi is offering a variety of “Omotenashi” services. For example, about 300 Matsumoto Kiyoshi stores nationwide handle duty-free procedures and they support your trip by opening their stores in downtown areas and tourist spots where many tourists from overseas visit. They are making free Wi-Fi available in more stores so that the tourists can see shopping information on their smartphone more easily.
The drugstore Matsumoto Kiyoshi has a long history of 84 years since its establishment. They have over 1500 stores nationwide and are one of the leaders in the industry. The spirit of Japanese “Omotenashi” of the drugstore loved in Japan will make your trip safer and more comfortable.