After a long summer in the U.S., I was really looking forward to having a haircut. I got to May’s Garden Spa in Roppongi Hills. I’m sure I’ve posted a description of the joys of a Japanese haircut – the massage, the hot tea, the massage, the quiet atmosphere, the massage…anyway, you get the picture. This time, because my kids had only half days of school last week, I scheduled myself for a 9am haircut – just enough time to drop the darlings at school before scooting to the salon. (Please bear in mind that scooting is a relative term – we do not hop in the car and go to the salon here. We walk over.)
Well, it turns out that I was the first customer of the day. When I walked toward the entrance from the escalator, which is on the second floor of a very open building, the door was closed and I could see about 25 people standing in the front lobby. I retreated from the door, figuring that since I was about 3 minutes early, I would wait until they opened it. But one of the hostesses of the place hurried out to get me and bring me in.
So I walked into the lobby with about 25 people all bowing to me, saying – somewhat singing – “Irashaemasse!” Loosely
translated it means welcome and please spend money here.
There were literally 25 aestheticians, beauticians, hostesses, masseurs, everything – greeting me. Apparently they do this for the first customer of the day every single day. They gather at the front, have a brief morning meeting and wait for the first customer.
What a country.