Thursday, July 15, 2010

Won't Miss #202 - "Irasshaimase"

The sign on the step in red says "irasshaimase".

Japan is plagued by noise pollution, and the custom of shouting "irasshaimase" (essentially 'welcome') every time a customer walks into an establishment only makes it worse. At our favorite yakitori place, dining pleasure is constantly undermined by the loud choruses of "irasshaimase" every time a customer walks in the door. It's not even one person saying it one time. Every single employee from the cooks to the waitresses to the bus people have to shout it out so each patron yields up to 6 loud shouts of greeting. As part of the service culture in Japan, people are constantly saying this and when employees aren't saying it, automated recorders are blurting it out.

These welcoming greetings are perfunctory, and simply add to the overall cacophony, and I won't miss them.