Experience “Omotenashi”: What’s Unique About These Umeda Area Hotels?
You may have heard the Japanese word "omotenashi" in a speech given for Tokyo's Olympic bid. It's a concept that's essential to any discussion of Japanese culture, but just what is "omotenashi"? Let's take a look at some of the wonderful hotels in Western Japan's largest shopping area in the center of Osaka, Umeda, and discover some of the secrets of Japan's culture of hospitality, as well as some insider information on what makes these hotels special!
What exactly is "omotenashi"?
"Omotenashi" is translated into English as "hospitality": consideration and care given to guests. In Japan, where giving tips is not standard practice, this kind of service is offered without an expectation of financial compensation.
Hotel Hankyu RESPIRE OSAKA: A hotel perfect for families and group travel
Hotel Hankyu RESPIRE OSAKA aims to offer both vitality (to "inspire") and soothing rest as your travel base ("rest"). This hotel offers a variety of hospitality services perfect for groups, or families visiting Osaka with children.
Feature 1: Services for families with children
Amenities for children can usually be added if you make a request, but in Hotel Hankyu RESPIRE OSAKA, they're provided in every room. Furthermore, in addition to baby strollers and kids' scooters availabel to rent to help ease the difficulty of traveling with luggage, the hotel also provides multilingual picture books, and diapers in case of emergencies. This is just one of the ways you can see the spirit of "omotenashi" in the hotel: the casual and natural way in which they grant guests' wishes.
Feature 2: Seasonal & Culture-related Services
In true that if you're traveling and staying in a hotel, it's difficult to really experience the culture and traditions of the country you're visiting. In Hotel Hankyu RESPIRE OSAKA, guests can get a sense of traditional Japanese culture on holidays like Tanabata, the Star Festival, and New Years', etc., with a card with a message and a small gift in each room. Here you can see a photo of a card guests received on Tanabata.
The hotel also has a host of hidden features to give guests a sense of Japan, and Osaka.
The 12th to 19th floors use a motif of plum blossoms, the prefectural flower of Osaka.
The 20th to 29th floors use a motif of rice fields use a design reminiscient of Japan's rice field scenery.
The 30th to 35th floors are modeled on an image of Osaka Castle, with an color scheme of elegant Osaka gold, and a representation of the castle's stone wall.
In addition to designs in the guest rooms, be sure to take a look at the designs in the lobby, front desk, and bath amenities. Once you've noticed these hidden images, it's sure to make your stay even more enjoyable!
Feature 3: Facilities for Group Trips & Long Stays
There are also secrets to the facilities to make visits more enjoyable and less stressful for large groups or two or more families traveling together. There are a total of 48 so-called "fourth rooms" that make it easy for four people to share a room together without the obstruction of walls. Beds in these rooms are not cots or pull-out beds, and each person instead has a proper bed so they can sleep comfortably.
In addition, the hotel's restaurant, Grigliato CUÓCA, can seat 222 people, making dining here is smooth and easy even for a large group. Another nice feature is that you can enjoy different seating areas of the restaurant depending on the occasion: seats with a grill where you can see the cooking process, seats with a view of the garden, the lounge area, and so on.
The breakfast buffet offers menu items to really enjoy Kansai's "dashi" soup stock culture, as well as energizing food for the day that takes into account the different food sensitivities of various countries. (*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, breakfast is currently being offered as a set menu)
Hotel Hankyu International: For a luxurious trip
With a theme of flowers to calm and soothe the mind, Hotel Hankyu International offers its services of hospitality in an interior inspired by 16th century Europe. Flowers adorn the space in not only the lobby area, but also in the guest rooms. The soft, natural element brought by the flowers is sure to bring a sense of peace, and the antique furnishings and attention to detail in the hotel's services will ensure you'll enjoy an elegant and special travel experience.
Feature 1: Sophisticated and stylish facilities and services
When you step into the lobby, laid back and splendidly decorated, you'll feel almost like you've traveled back in time to 16th century Europe. The detail-oriented bell boys, complimentary seasonal drinks, and the fragrance of the exquisite flowers will make you forget all about the stress of traveling. Authentic "omotenashi" that doesn't come from a manual is the type of service you can feel in these little moments.
Feature 2: The blissful feeling that comes with a relaxing space
Hotel Hankyu International has regular floors, as well as luxury floors above the 32rd.
Of special mention is the spaciousness of these guest rooms. Despite the hotel's location in Osaka, the second largest city in Japan, even the double rooms on the regular floors are a bit larger than most regular hotel rooms across the country. Aside from the spaciousness of the rooms, services to respond to a variety of needs are made available, from room service to surprise gifts, so that guests can feel at ease physically and mentally.
On the luxury floors, even more refined amenities, facilities, and services are provided to give guests a truly special experience. Come experience the highest level of "omotenashi" here for yourself.
Feature 3: Harmony between eastern and western styles
Even amidst the European ambiance that Hotel Hankyu International provides, there are also opportunities to experience Japan through events at the hotel. Guests can casually participate in workshops for traditional Japanese origami, or the painting of daruma, a kind of lucky charm. (*These events are currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
There is also a free photo printing service to commemorate your stay, and you can even purchase a gardenia-scented diffuser to enjoy at your own home, and keep the memories of your time in Umeda with you.
Experience "omotenashi" with shopping or dining, too!
In this article, we've introduced some of the "omotenashi" you might experience in a hotel, where you'll likely spend a lot of your time while traveling. But it doesn't end there: in fact, there are many elements of casual "omotenashi" you might just miss while out shopping or dining in Umeda.
Next time you head out to Umeda, be sure to keep an eye out for these hidden bits of special hospitality. Your enjoyment of your stay in Umeda is sure to double, or even triple!
There are lots of wonderful shops nearby the hotels we've introduced here! After you've had the full "omotenashi" experience at your hotel, go enjoy some shopping in Umeda.
*Information in this article is accurate as of the date of posting. There is a possibility that details regarding these products and services have changed, or that some shops have since closed.
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