Category Archives: How To

Hospitality insights from “Houshi”

Houshi (english) from Fritz Schumann on Vimeo.

The Houshi family has run a ryokan (traditional hotel) in Japan for about 1,300 years. But their highest priority isn’t taking care of guests. Instead, it’s two-fold:

  1. “Passing on our long history for future generations”
  2. Protecting their hot spring

That’s why they have to “bear with” and “endure” the work of hospitality. Day to day, this means they put their guests’ needs ahead of their own. Quintessential long game.

Adding further evidence to the shared heritage of hotels and prostitution, they used to have parties–every day–with “many hostesses and geisha.”

But that’s not their true beginning–their roots go back to a religious sense of duty. Their ancestral founder was a Buddhist monk.

Hospitality is a business with “many unimaginable responsibilities“, which create a “heavy burden” on the mind.

It needs to be clear who’s in charge–now and tomorrow. The Houshi family had been confused and worried about who would run the ryokan next, until they bent the old rules and accepted their daughter as the next owner.

New ebook about innkeeping on the Camino de Santiago …or anywhere else

Check it out…

How to be an Innkeeper (Hospitalero) on the Camino de Santiago cover

The Blurb: On Spain’s ancient Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail, volunteer innkeepers — hospitaleros — take care of pilgrims and manage the inns along the route.

This is a quick book that explores the spirit of innkeeping and the countless tiny choices that every innkeeper must make. It’s not just for innkeepers — hopefully anyone involved in hospitality will find it useful.

9,282 words

You may have seen the old version on this site — I wrote it after working as a hospitalero in 2007 in Viana, Nájera, and Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Spain. Now it’s revised, updated, and available on Amazon here.