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  • Toyoko Inn opens “exclusively Chinese” hotel in Susukino Sapporo, refuses Japanese and other NJ; media ignores questionable legality

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on June 10th, 2010

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    Hi Blog.  Dovetailing with the recent Debito.org posts showing China’s increasing domestic influence over Japan’s economics (here and here), below we have some newspaper articles (Japanese, couldn’t find English anywhere) noting that Toyoko Inn has opened a new hotel complex in Sapporo Susukino that caters exclusively to Chinese.  The Nikkei and the Yomiuri call it “Chuugokujin sen’you hoteru” below, smacking of the “Nihonjin Sen’you Ten” wording used for signs in Russian excluding all foreigners entry from businesses in Monbetsu, Hokkaido (i.e. only Chinese are allowed to stay in this hotel).  Local Doshin only mildly mentions they are “Chuugokujin muke” (catering to Chinese).

    I’m pretty torn by this development.  On one hand, here is an unusually progressive business initiative in hiring and catering to NJ (with nary a mention of  all the “different culture resulting in the inevitable frictions” that was a undercurrent of much domestic reporting about, say, Australians investing in Niseko).  Supply and demand, you might say, who cares if the money is from Chinese.  Fine.

    On the other hand, however, we have the Balkanization of the hotel industry, with NJ being assigned their own special gated community (in violation of Japanese law; choosing customers by nationality is unlawful under the Hotel Management Law), with again nary a question about the legality.

    And again, this is the Toyoko Inn, with its history of special policies for racial profiling and declining hotel rooms (or threatening to) to “foreigners”, including residents and naturalized citizens, who do not show their Gaijin Cards.  Not to mention embezzling GOJ funds earmarked for handicapped facilities.

    In short, I smell a rat.  Yet more opportunism and questionable legal practices by Toyoko Inn.  I’d recommend you not patronize them, but then again, unless you’re a Chinese reading this, you probably can’t stay at the hotel in question anyway.   Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    ///////////////////////////////////////////

    東横イン、札幌に中国人専用ホテル 来月開業 :日本経済新聞
    http://www.nikkei.com/news/local/article/g=96958A9C93819491E0E4E2E2E38DE0E4E2E7E0E2E3E29EE6E3E2E2E2

    ///////////////////////////////////////

    - 中国人客専用ホテル…札幌にきょう開業 -

    開業を前に接客の練習をする中国人スタッフら(31日午後、札幌市中央区で)=三浦邦彦撮影
    (2010年6月1日 読売新聞)

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/hokkaido/news/20100601-OYT8T00026.htm

    ビジネスホテルチェーンの東横イン(東京)は、道内で増加している中国人観光客に対応するため、札幌市中央区南6東2にある「札幌すすきの南」を1日、中国人客専用の「東横INN札幌薄野南」として改装オープンする。フロント係やレストランのスタッフに中国人を採用したほか、施設内の案内表示を中国語に変え、全客室で中国のテレビ番組が見られるようにした。

    札幌市内の5店舗を含め、国内などで約220店舗を展開する同社で初の試み。

    道内を訪れる中国人観光客は、道のまとめで08年度が4万7400人と、98年度の1900人の約25倍と大幅に増えている。今年7月には、個人観光ビザの発給要件が緩和され、さらに中国からの団体ツアーなどの増加が見込めるため、集中的に受け入れサービスの充実を図る。

    客室は家族連れらを見越し、既存のトリプル(2室)以外はツインに統一し、朝食に中華がゆも提供する。今後は支配人に中国人が就き、銀聯(ぎんれん)カードでの決済も検討していく。

    31日はオープンを控え、フロントに新規採用された男女4人の中国人従業員が、チェックイン時の応対などについて、日本人従業員から指導を受けた。1日は、既に団体ツアーの予約が入っているという。

    ENDS

    //////////////////////////////////////////

    東横イン 札幌に「中国人向け」6月開業 接客、食事に工夫(05/28 06:40)
    http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/economic/233803.html

    ビジネスホテル運営の東横イン(東京)は6月1日、中国人観光客に照準を合わせたホテルを札幌市内に開業する。増加傾向にある中国人客の受け入れ態勢を整備するとともに、中国語対応の人材や設備を一つのホテルに集約して経費削減を目指す。

    ビジネスホテルとして現在運営している札幌すすきの南店(中央区南6東2)を改装。4人の中国人従業員を配置するほか、約200の全客室で中国国営放送を視聴できるようにし、朝食に中華がゆも用意する。

    東横インは札幌市内に5ホテルを展開。各ホテルに分宿している中国人客をすすきの南店に集める。中国人客向けの施設整備や中国人従業員の配置を集約でき、経費節減効果も期待できる。

    昨年の中国人の道内宿泊者数は前年比7割増の18万3千人で、今年2月の春節(中国の旧正月)以降、増加傾向に加速が付いている。7月から個人観光ビザ発給対象が中間層まで拡大される予定のため、中国人来道者の増加期待が高まっている。
    ENDS
    ———————————-
    UPDATE JUNE 10 4:15 PM

    I called Toyoko Inn Susukino Minami at 011-551-1045 and got a very friendly female clerk. Our conversation went something like this:

    “Hi there. I heard about your place in the newspaper. Just wanted to ask: Does your hotel accept only Chinese guests?”

    “That’s correct. Only Chinese.”

    “You mean Japanese customers are refused too?”

    “That’s right.”

    “And all other foreigners other than Chinese are not allowed to stay?”

    “That’s right.”

    “Er, isn’t that against the Hotel Management Law?”

    “Yes, it probably is.”

    We started laughing, and I said, “This is the first hotel I’ve heard of in Japan where even Japanese guests are refused.”

    “Yes, quite. It’s a funny situation, isn’t it.”

    I appreciated the candor, but the question still remains: What the hell is going on, and why is nobody calling Toyoko Inn on the unlawfulness of the situation? Instead, we have newspapers promoting them as such without any analysis?

    What a bent hotel chain the Toyoko Inn Group is.
    ENDS

    50 Responses to “Toyoko Inn opens “exclusively Chinese” hotel in Susukino Sapporo, refuses Japanese and other NJ; media ignores questionable legality”

    1. Walle Says:

      Whatever degree of racisme that might be involved in these decisions, its the business angle that baffles me.
      I mean how does an establishment that depends on customers justifie saying:
      “yeah we’re going to cater only to this slice of the pie, the rest of you can take your money elsewhere”
      Surly someone working there gets the idea that the more customers you have the more money you’ll make.

    2. Joe Says:

      I don’t see what the problem is here.

      フロント係やレストランのスタッフに中国人を採用したほか、施設内の案内表示を中国語に変え、全客室で中国のテレビ番組が見られるようにした。

      “The front and restaurant will be staffed with Chinese, the facility explanations have be changed to Chinese, and Chinese programming can be viewed from televisions in all rooms.”

      They are actively catering to Chinese patrons, not specifically forbidding Japanese (or any other) patrons from staying. Nor is it mentioned anywhere that Chinese (or any other) patrons are forbidden from seeking lodging at other hotels that may not offer the same level of Chinese language service.

      Or is this just a matter of Toyoko Hotel’s previous discriminatory practices causing you to look at this with a jaded eye?

      – Quite possibly. But I can’t find this particular hotel at the address mentioned in the article on Toyoko Inn’s main page for reservations. See for yourself: http://www.toyoko-inn.com/hotel/index2.html#hokkaido

    3. Romain Says:

      if this story is indeed true, I hope somebody will sue this hotel for violating the hotel management law… these kind of law are only enforced if somebody properly and regularely sues the violators.

      It is so obvious that this is wrong. The hotel just needs to indicate clearly that Chinese service and manners will prevail in this hotel. Why the need to exclude??

      - So will people who were born Chinese but became another nationality (no double nationality in China) be excluded ?
      - what about foreign residents of China ? will they be excluded ?
      that is so ridiculous.

    4. norik Says:

      Debito-san, could you please rephrase the word “Balkanization”. Right now on the Balkans hotels are open to anyone who can pay for a room, no matter of their nationality. The guests are given equal treatment.
      During socialist times it was different, but it was different in Russia and other non-Balkan socialist countries.BTW, lets not forget that China is still ruled by the Communist party.
      I’d offer the words “Asian Iron Curtain”,because it is exactly how it was when there was an Iron Curtain in Europe. Balkanization isn’t actual word any more, it is more of offensive and discriminative one (like Ishihara’s “Sankokujin”!).

      – Sorry, Balkanization is a word used in policy circles describing the walling off and gating of communities into camps, generally hostile. I doubt it’s now an un-word, however. We still use “Finlandization” too even when it is unconnected to Finland. Back on point.

    5. Allen Says:

      Hmm……this is reminding me of that “No Japanese Allowed” bar. Its nice that the Chinese have a place to go, but it would just be better if there was no discriminating hotels and just let customers be customers.

    6. Rei Says:

      The next time that I am in Susukino I will try to stay there.
      I took a bit of Chinese in college and am out of practice, but will try: 你好。我是美國人。我打算住3夜。
      If that does not work, I could have a Chinese friend book me a reservation.

      – Please do. Tell us how it goes.

    7. Banker Cat Says:

      I live near a hotel run by APA Group that clearly caters to Chinese-speaking tourists. The hotel was built to absorb the excess demand, especially for Chinese-speaking tourists looking for a cheap hotel not too far from the Tokyo Disney Resort. The media or press-reports may have pointed out that the hotel can accommodate, or ‘caters to’ Chinese, but at no point was it made to seem that the hotel was excluding anyone, Japanese or non-Japanese.

      My guess is that this hotel aims to do the same.

      – Then why the 中国人専用? That’s not how the nuance works in Japanese.

      Don’t guess. I’d call and find out, but I still can’t find a telephone number for them. Anyone game to find one?

    8. (株)飛日空 Says:

      Well that was quick wasn’t it? So where have the discriminating Japanese staff gone to? The “Japanese Only” signs? Asking for and taking copies of your passport at the counter? Why this sudden change of heart I wonder?

      This arrangement makes perfect business sense. The Chinese are targeted because they spend the most, there are a lot of them and the number of Chinese tourists will only grow for the foreseeable future. They require a way different kind of 接客, meals etc. than Japanese tourists and it only makes sense to separate the two, especially if you want to handle them in volume. You don’t want to keep apologizing to your Japanese customers because the last bus load were noisy and ate the entire buffet. Plus you want to streamline things as much as possible for them so that they will spend more and come back in the future. Due to the volume of Chinese tourists and the way most of them spend, it is economically worth it to change your facilities and staff to focus on them instead of trying to cover all bases, requiring staff with greater skills and able to handle many different types of customers. Here, they just have to hire native Chinese staff and pay them cheap. Japanese tourists wouldn’t want to stay in hotels where bus loads of Chinese tourists come in anyway. The 中国人専用 part in the article is to discourage Japanese tourists from trying to stay in those hotels so that Toyoko Inn doesn’t become associated loud Chinese tourists.

      And I doubt that they would turn tourists away from those hotels. They would probably just apologize that they cannot give good customer service in anything other than Chinese and offer only Chinese food but would let you stay if you wanted to. It would be interesting to know the price differences between the 中国人専用 hotels and the regular hotels of Toyoko Inn in the same city though…

      Now hopefully some forward thinking enterprising Chinese investors will buy off Toyoko Inn.

    9. Joe Says:

      Google seems to bring up a phone number for the place:
      http://www.google.co.jp/search?q=%8ED%96y%82%B7%82%B7%82%AB%82%CC%93%EC

      〒060-0056 北海道札幌市中央区南6条東2丁目1番1号
      011-551-1045

      And a map:
      http://maps.google.co.jp/maps/place?um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=%E6%9C%AD%E5%B9%8C%E3%81%99%E3%81%99%E3%81%8D%E3%81%AE%E5%8D%97&fb=1&gl=jp&hq=%E6%9C%AD%E5%B9%8C%E3%81%99%E3%81%99%E3%81%8D%E3%81%AE%E5%8D%97&hnear=%E6%9C%AD%E5%B9%8C%E3%81%99%E3%81%99%E3%81%8D%E3%81%AE%E5%8D%97&cid=10069338085096453348&ei=JnUQTM_fGJCTkAW2p-iLDQ&sa=X&oi=local_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQnQIwAA

      – Thanks. Give them a call. I will too later on today. Wonder why it’s not on the Toyoko Inn reservation site.

    10. Joe Says:

      This article users the more benign 札幌に中国人向けホテル開業 to describe the hotel, and also features a picture of the front desk area.

      http://www.47news.jp/CN/201006/CN2010060701000476.html

      And here is the hotel on Toyoko website:
      http://www.toyoko-inn.com/hotel/00100/index.html

      It seems that they haven’t gotten around to changing the name of the hotel on the webpage, as it is still called 東横イン札幌すすき I’ll admit that this is pretty lazy on their part, or perhaps catering to Chinese customers was a desperation spur-of-the-moment decision to give them some buzz?

      – Please click on the links yourself. The online reservations do not take you to the hotel in question. The Susukino Kousaten and the Susukino Minami are two different places.

    11. (株)飛日空 Says:

      – “Thanks. Give them a call. I will too later on today. Wonder why it’s not on the Toyoko Inn reservation site.”

      Toyoko Inn doesn’t want Japanese tourists to stay in those hotels only to find it noisy, serving substandard Chinese food and service only in Chinese. They’re probably all pre-booked from tours created in China and can only be reserved through Chinese agencies and/or web sites. They don’t allow reserving from the Japanese site to avoid confusion. It doesn’t make sense to offer reservations for the Chinese hotels on Japanese sites. Why would they take the trouble to modify the company web site to allow for reservations if the whole point is to avoid having your Japanese customers offended when bus loads of Chinese arrive in their bathing suits splashing into their onsen? But Toyoko Inn still wants to make mint from the Chinese so this is the result.

      The 中国人専用 part is meant to appeal to Japanese tourists. This is like a way for Toyoko Inn to say “Don’t worry guys. We’ve got the Chinese tourists corralled off in their own hotels so you can visit our hotels and know that we still keep our regular hotels focused on quality for our most honorable Japanese customers. There won’t be bus loads of foreigners in our regular hotels, rest assured.” The only people that may be offended by this are us non-Chinese NJ but we don’t exist anyway.

    12. Ryan Says:

      It sounds like Toyoko Inn figured out that they financially can’t ignore the Chinese money, but aren’t willing to take a hit to their reputation among local Japanese for actually having the guts to be somewhat international.

      It’s a bummer for them. Unless Japan’s economy turns around tomorrow, Chinese elite will have a foothold in the nice recreational areas in Japan. It’s the same thing with Niseko.

    13. debito Says:

      UPDATE JUNE 10 4:15 PM

      I called Toyoko Inn Susukino Minami and got a very friendly female clerk. Our conversation went something like this:

      “Hi there. I heard about your place in the newspaper. Just wanted to ask: Does your hotel accept only Chinese guests?”

      “That’s correct. Only Chinese.”

      “You mean Japanese customers are refused too?”

      “That’s right.”

      “And all other foreigners other than Chinese are not allowed to stay?”

      “That’s right.”

      “Er, isn’t that against the Hotel Management Law?”

      “Yes, it probably is.”

      We started laughing, and I said, “This is the first hotel I’ve heard of in Japan where even Japanese guests are refused.”

      “Yes, quite. It’s a funny situation, isn’t it.”

      I appreciated the candor, but the question still remains: What the hell is going on, and why is nobody calling Toyoko Inn on the unlawfulness of the situation? Instead, we have newspapers promoting them as such without any analysis?

      What a bent hotel chain the Toyoko Inn Group is.

    14. Joe Says:

      Sorry about that, that’s what I get for posting in a rush…

      http://www.toyoko-inn.com/e_hotel/00014/index.html (English)
      http://www.toyoko-inn.com/c_hotel/00014/index.html (Chinese)

      Try as I might, I couldn’t find a Japanese page for this hotel anywhere. Maybe they really are trying to exclude Japanese???

      – Um, yep.

      Note that there is no word on the restrictions on guests by nationality anywhere.

    15. Justin Says:

      I wonder if my wife could stay there. She was born in China but became a Japanese citizen as an adult.

      Would they kick her out because of her status as a Japanese citizen, or would they deem her ethnicity to trump her citizenship?

      And would they let me and our daughter stay with her?

      – Go for it! You have their number!

    16. jon Says:

      What if a Caucasian is staying with his Chinese partner? what then?

      If the price of the room is low enough, I might have to give it a try.

    17. Justin Says:

      Their reservation page lets you make a reservation for the Chinese-only hotel even if you list your nationality as American or some other country besides China. (The on-screen text appears only in Chinese, but if you can figure out the instructions, it does not block you from making a reservation.)

      I wonder if they wait until you show up at the hotel to tell you you’re not welcome there?

    18. Joe Says:

      Just checked the Chinese index site:

      http://www.toyoko-inn.com/china_cn/index.html#toyoko

      The link to the Chinese only hotel is listed seventh link from the top in Hokkaido section. This link is not available from the Japanese language site (or from the English language site…guess they forget to scrub that out)

      Amazing. I wouldn’t have believed that a national hotel chain would do something like this so brazenly out in the open if I didn’t see it for myself. I wonder if the next step is to make Susukino Kousaten an All Japanese hotel, and then defend this by saying that there is no discrimination, because they are segregating equally?

      – Now you’re getting it.

      What I don’t get is, who’s doing these kuchikomi online feedbacks for the hotel in Japanese if Japanese can’t stay there?

      http://reserve.4travel.jp/domestic/hotel/each/10034692/tips/

      What are these, sakura? Again, something stinks.

    19. (株)飛日空 Says:

      I believe the hotel conversions by Toyoko Inn were planned and in the works anticipating the demand and money they would make by streamlining their services for the Chinese. They get to make money hand over fist while still keeping, I would even say, improving their reputation with the locals. And they were one of the first local chains to do it. As domestic tourist volume declines, expect more hotel conversions to meet Chinese demand.

      And this is only the beginning. As Chinese buying power grows and the domestic tourist spending stagnates from 少子化 etc., so will the Japanese scramble and trip all over themselves to get a piece of this huge and growing pie that lives just next door. Racism towards the Chinese, at least on the surface when they’re visiting, will just melt away. Hopefully this will lead to better relations deep down due to mutual benefit from trade. The better the local merchants are able to attract and cater to Chinese customers, the more money they will make. They see their friends doing so and want a piece of the action. Expect to see more of this and not just in hotels. Stores and restaurants will scramble to get their piece of the pie. Problem is not everyone will be able to have separate facilities to cater to foreign guests. I wouldn’t doubt that the Japanese won’t want to build apartheid-like infrastructure if it was financially feasible and adequate space was available.

      I just hope to god that the tourists don’t just spend money and leave but also start want to buy businesses and property here. Once they start to have a sizable influence over the local economy, racism in the local government will become less and less tolerated, especially from the local owners who blow laochu from their noses when they laugh at how much yuan they make.

      I also hope that the ultra-rightists and other racists will lose their cool and try to make huge gaffs at the sudden rise in Chinese presence. Maybe even getting their sound trucks to do some drive-bys in front of their hotels. The PR circus that blows up from that will be hella fun to watch.

      @Ryan

      I think it’s safe to say that the Japanese economy will not recover and that it is only a matter of time. Toyoko Inn isn’t interested in “becoming international”. It is interested in making money in the most efficient and fastest way possible which means catering to customers who have the highest numbers and buying power. Up until a few years ago, this demographic was the local Japanese population. Now it is changing to include Chinese tourists. Notice that small groups of trouble making, penny pinching tourists from the Americas and Europe who upset our #1 demographic, the Japanese, do not fit in either demographic.

    20. (株)飛日空 Says:

      “I appreciated the candor, but the question still remains: What the hell is going on, and why is nobody calling Toyoko Inn on the unlawfulness of the situation? Instead, we have newspapers promoting them as such without any analysis?”

      I’ll just go ahead and quote from my first comment in this thread:

      “The 中国人専用 part in the article is to discourage Japanese tourists from trying to stay in those hotels so that Toyoko Inn doesn’t become associated with loud Chinese tourists.”

      You should have also asked for information on rates and what accomodations, food plans etc. they had and then compare them with the regular hotels in the area.

      Toyoko is going the extra mile for their Chinese customers by denying all other customers to make them as comfortable as possible. I’m guessing they want to avoid conflict with customers of other nationalities especially when they want to use only cheap native Chinese staff in these hotels. Like the end of the 1st article linked above alludes to:

      1日は、既に団体ツアーの予約が入っているという。

      They probably have tour groups booked through that they don’t need other customers to slow their quick turnaround.

      “What I don’t get is, who’s doing these kuchikomi online feedbacks for the hotel in Japanese if Japanese can’t stay there? ”

      From http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=astroturf :

      astroturf

      August 9, 2006 Urban Word of the Day

      Creating the impression of public support by paying people in the public to pretend to be supportive.

      The false support can take the form of letters to the editor, postings on message boards in response to criticism, and writing to politicians in support of the cause.

      Astroturfing is the opposite of “grassroots”, genuine public support of an issue.
      Mike, admit you just got caught astroturfing. You’re just pimping your own blog.

      Microsoft didn’t have grassroots support, so they created astroturf support.

      The hotel discrimination law is tatemae to the international community and when even small time hotels ignore it I doubt that the likes of Toyoko gave any thought to its enforcement before they started their hotel conversions.

      – Point of Order 飛日空: “You should have also asked for information on rates and what accomodations (sic)…” Curb your attitude. You have the phone number. Call them yourself. I’m not your bellhop. Knock off the continuous (and often nasty, in many of your posts) assumptions and do some research.

    21. Kimberly Says:

      I see nothing wrong with a hotel OFFERING THESE SERVICES existing. The primary language spoken in the hotel is Chinese. The food is Chinese, or Japanese food designed to cater to Chinese tastes. You can watch Chinese TV…. given that information, the chance that an average non-Chinese who has no knowledge of or interest in Chine would WANT to stay there is pretty low. I wouldn’t choose to stay there if there were rooms available elsewhere… I don’t speak Chinese, and if I went to Sapporo it would be to taste Hokkaido’s many delicacies, not Chinese food.

      But it’s absolutely unforgivable that they’re answering that they WOULD NOT allow anyone other than Chinese to stay there, if they wanted to. There are just too many exceptions to the rule to consider… what about an international family in which some family members are Chinese and some are not? What about a Caucasian who has lived his or her whole life in China and speaks more Chinese than any other language? What about a Chinese-American? It’s ridiculous to draw that kind of line… make it clear that Chinese is the primary language spoken and that accomodations will be catering to Chinese, not Japanese, standards… and that will probably eliminate anyone who isn’t familiar and comfortable with Chinese culture from staying there anyway. I don’t see any reason that they need to discriminate based on passport and/or skin color on top of that… and the law is a pretty good reason NOT to.

    22. Mike Says:

      I dont think most Japanese will pay it much attention, most would laugh about it. They want the Chinese coming here for the economy but dont want to share hotels, onsens etc. with them. There was a news bit dedicated to this a week or so ago about the bad manners of the Chinese in the sentos etc. So not to offend them they give them their own hotel avoiding them at the other places. Its like we dont want you to stay here but down the road they have a hotel just for you.

    23. norik Says:

      Actually, in my university (Nagoya Uni there are sometimes activities (trips for example) or 就職セミナーfor Chinese only. I made some fuss few years ago (2005, I think) when I first encountered such stuff (it was one such seminar, it was advertised as for留学生but it was conducted 90% in Chinese), and they answered me that the seminar was opened with the cooperation of some local 日中友好会.And so it went-there was always some Japanese -Chinese society, some NGO, some company who is targeting the Chinese market.And they would always find ways to advertise these activities,even though the university disapproved them.We(the other NJ students) realized that nothing’s going to change no matter how we thumbled and rumbled about ti, so finally we began to ignore it.
      Money talk , I think. And where money talk, justice is silent,right?

    24. amro Says:

      I don’t buy this “accommodating Chinese” crap. Hotels in international cities around the world accommodate everyone without excluding anyone, and this includes Chinese tourists. Have Chinese speakers at the ready and a Chinese restaurant if you must, but excluding people for the comfort of a certain group is presumptuous. If the Chinese tourists wanted to stay exclusively with other Chinese, they would not have paid lots of money to go on tour in a foreign country.

      If a clerk answering the phone calls thinks this is illegal, the top brass are clearly aware of it. Callous disregard of the law speaks much of the state of anti-discrimination law in Japan (mostly the fact that it doesn’t really exist).

    25. Allen Says:

      I’m not saying that you should, but I do wonder what would happen if you tried to book a room or two with that Chinese friend you were with during the Otaru Onsen case? Would they just let her in and not you? Like I said, you don’t have to, but it is a interesting thought.

      – Sorry, I don’t mean to make people walk on eggs. I don’t mind suggestions. I do mind people acting like I’m at their beck and call, (thanklessly) demanding I do something they can do themselves.

      Anyway, I have thought about what you suggested. But I think I’ll let somebody out of town try it, thanks.

    26. Chris B Says:

      IMHO this is all wrong and needs firmly nipping in the bud, if this kind of thing is tolerated Japan could end up as a racially and culturally segregated hellhole, which would be more than a shame. Stupidly they have the legislation in place to stop it, it needs enforcing pronto.

    27. Joe Says:

      “What I don’t get is, who’s doing these kuchikomi online feedbacks for the hotel in Japanese if Japanese can’t stay there? ”

      The dates I see for the feedbacks are all from years ago. Didn’t the conversion of this hotel from a regular Toyoko hotel to an all Chinese hotel take place just this month?

      – That’s what the newspaper says. However, Google street view of the premises shows an empty lot, so dunno if the hotel was newly built or not. Anyway, the kuchikomis, if from actual customers, are out of date and inaccurate since 1) the hotel is not the same place as before, by definition, and 2) Japanese customers can’t stay there anyway. Should be deleted.

    28. Joe Says:

      “Anyway, the kuchikomis, if from actual customers, are out of date and inaccurate since 1) the hotel is not the same place as before, by definition, and 2) Japanese customers can’t stay there anyway. Should be deleted.”

      Definitely. But the 4travel site with the kuchikomi is not affliated with the Toyoko Inn, so it’s not really their problem. I’m guessing that the 4travel site operators don’t have the resources to review thousands of old comments on a regular basis to proactively weed out comments that are no longer applicable, just as you probably don’t spend much time going through all of your past articles and correcting information that’s no longer accurate.

      And I thought that you were against the deletion of information? Wouldn’t it be better to instead note that the hotel has changed since the time of these comments?

      – Yes, quite. Point taken. Thanks.

    29. Joe Says:

      On an unrelated hotel note, I recently won a free night’s stay at a hotel (not the one of this article) in an online lottery. Usually, this hotel prints the initials of the winner (ie, Suzuki Tarou would be “S.T.様”), but my initials are not ones that would normally be associated with a Japanese name. Eventually, they just announced that they had a winner without listing any initials at all.

      So it appears that, while that hotel will allow foreigners to stay, they don’t wish to advertise that fact.

    30. Paul Says:

      To be honest, the first thing that came to my mind when I read this was a news-parody article written by The Onion (a fake news publication for those who dont know it) several years ago.

      The article was written right after Tiger Woods had just won his first Master’s golf tournament. The headline of The Onion’s article was:

      Augusta National Country Club To Honor Tiger Woods with Own Drinking Fountain. The article went on to detail about how Woods would be provided with his own private entrance at the back of the club house and his own seperate locker room.

      However you dress it up as “providing service” or as a “convenience”, segregation is segregation.

    31. burb Says:

      This only worries me because Japanese people don’t seem to mind!!
      It really hits home that when I try to talk race with Japanese people, I may as well be speaking an entirely different language.
      If they minded, at least i could use this kind of thing as an analogy “see, how do YOU like it?”.
      Maybe the Nikkei and Yomiuri’s understated descriptions doing that clever trick of being inflammatory while appearing objective.
      Still, i’m out of here in 3 months!

    32. Justin Says:

      Debito, how about you reserve some rooms at the hotel for the first annual Debito Reader Convention? We could all show up and see what happens. :-)

      If nothing else, it would give you grounds for a new lawsuit.

    33. AnnaTrouble Says:

      Japanese people don’t seem to mind, because they prefer not to have Chinese guests staying at “their” hotels. Earlier this year I was writing an article about a major Japanese tourist destination for an in-flight magazine. The airline in question is Chinese. Hotel owners in the city we were writing about flat out told me they didn’t want to be mentioned, because “we don’t want the Chinese coming to stay with us.”

      – It would help your argument if you didn’t speak in such absolutes.

    34. AnnaTrouble Says:

      I’ll be happy to provide you with the list of places that didn’t want to be mentioned in an Air Macau in-flight magazine article, because they “don’t want Chinese guests” privately. And I don’t speak in “absolutes”, I simply quoted what was said to me.

      – Please do.

      Meanwhile, don’t say “Japanese like this” and “are like this” etc.. Those are the “absolutes” I’m talking about. Desist please. “They” are not a monolithic whole.

    35. Mark Hunter Says:

      Related discovery – yesterday in Osaka, a shop I was in had a Chinese language educational program playing on the radio. The owner was trying to learn basic Chinese. There were quite a few Chines people around, too. I loved it and hope his business survives and thrives.

    36. Rober barandi Says:

      Frankly, what Toyoko Inn is doing is pretty much what a sensible patron would do by itself if given the choice.

      Rather than let you book and check in for later discovering than the hotel is full of noisy mainlanders, they just prevent you from doing the mistake in the first place. Of course the “prohibiting” Japanese and other non mainland foreigners might certainly go against the law and look politically incorrect, They could just make it clear on the website that the hotel mainly caters for red-china patrons and leave it to your decision. In fact hotels all over the world are already doing this, either by restricting space availability to Chinese travel agents, or simply allocating special floors to mainland tourist.(ie in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao etc)

      Racially discriminating? I don’t think so, it’s just the acknowledgment that the mainland tourist have specific behaviours that might be shocking for other guest, and that both mainlanders and other patrons would be happy by segregating both groups.

      Basically let them enjoy themselves like at home, and avoid upsetting the rest of your customers. I’m sure the mainlanders will feel happy as they have all kinds of services catering for them and a home like atmosphere, as a bonus they will not lose face by being reprimanded by other guests, and the rest of non mainland tourist would feel relaxed knowing that they will not have to suffer behaviours that are normal in China during their stay in the hotel.

      I wonder how many of you people so fiercely criticizing Toyoko -Inn have actually stayed in a budget hotel taken into assault by hordes of mainland tourists? Any of you recently travelled to Taiwan expecting the usual friendly people and calm in the hotels, just to be jumped over the queue by shouting mainlanders? Spent an afternoon at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park trying to teach your kids to follow queues and behave while having your efforts literally bulldozed by mainlanders forcing their way into the attractions.
      Would you enjoy having to bear your neighbours door to door conversation at night, in what sounds and feels more like a gipsy camp than a peaceful hotel. How about shouting, spitting, pyjama showcase, non stop smoking, early morning stampede for the buses. etc.

      We are talking about hotels built and run for mass tourism coming from Mainland China, not for the occasional Chinese business traveller or family traveller. The hotel knows the “particularity” of the patrons, and thus decided to avoid upsetting other guests and devaluating their brand by reserving this hotel for its mainland tourists.

      Toyoko made a good move and I for one will be happy to book on Toyoko hotels knowing that I will not encounter mainlander tours during my stay. If not keeping with their policy, they should extend the practice to other Japanese cities.

      Let’s face it, it might sound racist, it might sound disgusting and stereotypical, but mainland tourist groups are a pain wherever they go. This is not about race, is about manners, hygiene and respect for other people. My experience as a NJ with Toyoko has always been correct and fully satisfactory and having the assurance that I will not encounter mainland groups will only make me more willing to book with them.

      – I think Yunohana Onsen in Otaru is looking for you as their new manager.

    37. Mark Hunter Says:

      Rober Barandi, you are a racist and are hatemongering. Please take it elsewhere.

    38. Allen Says:

      So, there is no chance in hell of those “mainland tourists” being taught proper etiquette? So, in order to save your pride, you must not be seen around or with the mainlanders because they are noisy and loud and impolite? Boy, I’d like to see what would happen if I put you in a room full of mentally challenged children. After all, they ARE noisy, they don’t listen to other people’s rules most of the time, and if you are heartless, then they are an embarrassment. Regardless of your shallow pride, its still against the law. You can’t stretch it around.

    39. Glenski Says:

      I have to agree with Robert. Mainland Chinese tourists are terribly behaved wherever they go.

      A few weeks back I had to stay in Sapporo a night, and the hotel I stayed in had a Chinese tourist group there making a lot of noise.

      I placed them on report with the front desk, but the front desk did nothing, and I had to endure a mostly sleepless night.

      – So just to be clear, you’re saying you support segregation, Glenski? I’m sure your activist colleagues at PALE will be interested to hear.

    40. Allen Says:

      Dang, this happened in Sapporo? Better be careful of talking that way! Debito might be within earshot! XD

      But really, noisy people are noisy people. Its just as possible for a bunch of Japanese to be noisy as it is for mainland chinese. I mean, just imagine the horror of the ryokan when a bunch of highschoolers come for a school trip! Noise has no race, religion, or color. Lets not make it that way.

    41. Mark Hunter Says:

      Glenski, you are also falling into the trap of using stereotypes to brand an entire group. So your one negative experience means all mainlanders are the same. Very lazy thinking, I’d say.

    42. ken44 Says:

      —- What the hell is going on, and why is nobody calling Toyoko Inn on the unlawfulness of the situation? Instead, we have newspapers promoting them as such without any analysis?—-

      The media probably like much of the populace thinks a “Chinese Only” hotel could be a good idea.

    43. Glenski Says:

      I think I’m being unfairly denigrated and vilified here.

      All I did is note some unacceptable behaviour by Chinese tourists.

      – Not in that context. Grow up, Glen. Answer my question and clarify your position.

    44. sendaiben Says:

      Actually, I’m staying in Osaka at the moment, and my hotel is full of Chinese-speaking guests. The only people who I’ve been disturbed by are a bunch of 20-something Japanese people having room parties on my floor ;)

    45. Glenski Says:

      Debito,

      As your peer and senior, I would like to state that I do not agree with segregation, but I do feel it important to point out that Chinese tourists can get pretty boisterous at times.

      Perhaps I am just getting grumpier as I get older.

      – Or perhaps just more bigoted. Definitely more arrogant.

    46. Allen Says:

      Besides, does seniority count? If you are a bigot, you are a bigot. One’s position in life or age has no standing. Perhaps you did not mean to come off the way you have, but if you did not, you had the worst choice of words.

    47. Mark Hunter Says:

      Glenski, until you drop the stereotyping language, you are setting yourself up to be attacked / corrected.

      – Ah, but he’s our peer and senior, y’see. For whatever relevance that has.

    48. Johnny Says:

      This kind of behaviour is typical of Glenski on the numerous Japan based internet forums he frequents.

      Write something arrogant, myopic or misinformative, refuse to back down when call upon it, and then hit the report button to get the thread deleted.
      Unfortunately for him, Debito’s site is not a place where that will work.

    49. James Annan Says:

      In vaguely related news:

      http://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/fujita-kanko-to-offer-50-discount-on-hotel-charges-for-voters


      TOKYO —

      Fujita Kanko Inc said Thursday it will stage a campaign from July 11 through Aug 31 to discount hotel charges by up to 50% for people who cast votes in the July 11 upper house election. The campaign will cover Kyoto Kokusai Hotel in Kyoto, Canal City Fukuoka Washington Hotel in Fukuoka and other hotels as well as restaurants and hot spring facilities operated by Fujita Kanko.

      Guests will have to show ‘‘certificates’’ verifying they have cast votes in the House of Councillors election to benefit from the campaign. Fujita Kanko said it is hoping to raise people’s interest in politics and encourage a higher voter turnout in the election.

      Obviously intended as a marketing gimmick but pretty obviously discriminatory against those who are ineligible to vote…

    50. Glenski Says:

      Frankly, Debito, Johnny and others, you can take any sign of arrogance and shove it.

      – Bye bye Glen Hill. Seek professional help in Obihiro.

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