Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Will Miss #397 - shops that serve tea

My husband and I were walking around Nishi-Ogikubo, one of many little stops that have little of note to offer that we decided to explore, and I decided to peruse a Japanese sweets shop. I found myself waiting to buy a couple of small bean cakes behind a woman who apparently needed a remedial class in how to purchase goods from a shop. In the few minutes that we twiddled our thumbs, one of the two ladies manning the shop scuttled out bearing a tray with two tiny cups of tea and about 1/6 of one of their cakes on little paper doilies. While it isn't as common as it once was, no small number of traditional Japanese shops will greet every customer, regardless of purchase, with cups of tea (and less frequently, accompanying merchandise samples). 

I will miss this way of welcoming customers and how it makes you feel more like a guest than a wallet that the shop wants to extract cash from.