The Suginoi Hotel in Beppu Photo: WIKIPEDIA

Oita hotel to close for 10 days in a row to give employees time off


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One of those "Only in Japan" pieces. Essentially, the same thinking behind everyone only ever taking vacations at Shougatsu, the ever longer Golden Week and O-bon.

"But we have decided to take the hit (to revenue) to improve working conditions and ensure high-quality services." Sheesh. Can't possibly let people pick their own holiday time.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

"It is difficult to take consecutive days off if you work in the hotel industry," 

The rest of the world manages this "difficult" act. They actually make it look easy.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Rotating holiday times are standard practice elsewhere. Senior staff members are scheduled first and others follow. Spread over the year everyone gets to enjoy a break from work without the company having to sacrifice revenue.

However, in a culture where tradition dictates that everyone must do everything together at the same time--shoganai.

On the surface it seems rather noble of the company, but having taken the forced holiday time the staff is now obligated (giri) to do whatever is necessary for the other 355 days. Their holidays (equated with working conditions) are "so good" that no one will risk raising any other issues which might need to be addressed.

9 ( +11 / -2 )


Giving staff a holiday after new year.


3 ( +5 / -2 )

Wait. So 800 people get a holiday at the expanse of 1200 something people who could’ve used the hotel to stay by paying money. A bit rich, don’t you think? As someone said here, the rest of the world manages this wonderfully well!!!

5 ( +8 / -3 )


0 ( +2 / -2 )

There must be a terrible hotel management to allow themselves to shut down the hotel for 10 days and yet do not hire enough staff to get the coverage. Never heard of this happening in any international hotel chain though.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Its really no big deal ~ If you work in USA you get 4 weeks a year paid holiday and in Europe you get 8 finally Japanese actually get 10 days off? Gee that is lousy considering its the national minimum!

Orix is big multinational real estate company. I had a friend whom worked there and he reckoned he could never even use 5 days holiday as peer pressure in the company was so heavy despite poor pay compared to foreign firms in similar businesses. He also said overtime was insane too and a company Orix like many big Japanese firms gets employees in on the big name sell ~ straight from University graduates and then its a living hell for employees until the day they either quit or retire.

He quit and joined Morgan Stanley and was amazed that his bonuses were actually like 4 times his entire pay at ORIX due to him working overtime and been counted in as a project team member for recognition.

This "stunt" done by Orix is nothing more than a stunt done to force employees to do as told and force them work more unpaid overtime the rest of the year.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

This sounds good, but that's because it falls into the realm of grand gestures. Arguably its passive aggressive. "Look at what we are doing for you".

As other posters have stated, other businesses (mostly in other countries) manage to give staff time off with some consideration to when they actually want it. If staff are supposed to go and observe other hotels, this should be done on company time and at company expense. It would also make sense to do it when other hotels are likely to be busy. Hospitality is easy when you have few customers.

I also find it highly dubious that the hotel would have 20 million a day revenue in that period. That's 1,000 guests every day paying 20,000 yen each. That's way overbudget for mass package trips from China etc. They generally pay closer to half that. They will not have 1000 Japanese guests paying that on a weekday either.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

How about these "managers" actually do their jobs and perform some adequate staff rostering and workforce planning. It's a basic managerial skill. Leave is a part of normal working life no matter what it's used for. There's no way that adequate rostering and workforce planning can't account for people taking leave when they request it.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Its really no big deal ~ If you work in USA you get 4 weeks a year paid holiday...

Nope. PT jobs usually have zero paid vacation and sick time, and often no paid holidays.

Low level FT jobs like working in a hotel may have some PTO (paid time off), but it's generally only two weeks, if they're lucky.

And, in some states, companies are allowed to take your PTO balance away at the end of the year. Luckily, there are some states who value workers' rights, like California, that have outlawed "use it or lose it", so that when you leave a job, you are collect pay for unused vacation time.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

And these clowns wonder why they can't secure and retain adequate human resources anymore, and why the marriage and birth rates in Japan keep falling...

2 ( +6 / -4 )

thats really horrible , so they basically force people to holidays which most likely wont be spent since their significant others cant possibly take january off... just a pr trick on people expense.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

my god, did all of you get lumps of coals in your stockings? japanese companies don't give vacation days, and they are criticized for overworking their employees. a company decides to give their employees extra days off, and they are criticized every which way but loose.  damned if you do, and damned if you don't. it's the holiday season, go out and spread some cheer instead of hate.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

This hotel needs to fire and then replace the clown in charge of its HR affairs.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

When you plan your schedule this tightly, it leaves no room for employees to take time for family emergencies, weddings, and god forbid contagious illness. The cardinal sin of Japanese firms.

They could have easily used the money forgone by this 10 day block to hire and train contingency staff to allow full-time staff year-round flexibility in their holidays.

Going forward, companies like this have a lot to learn about managing personnel if they want to keep young employees, let alone luring foreign employees.

As the labor force grows smaller, employees will realize they hold the bargaining power. Don't believe me? Just watch (the employee retention numbers)!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If it was a hotel that I stayed at annually at this time of year, I would be disappointed. It isn't so I could care less. There are plenty of onsen hotels in Beppu.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What a load of crap, the hotel is the winner because it means all staff can not take any other day off because they already used them. Perhaps the hotel should think of the staff before their profits.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

As some posts note, there are other and more profitable ways to give employees time off, but maybe only closing the whole place is possible here.

It is 'biting the bullet' I suppose.

Managers do deserve some credit I think.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's surpassing they have any business at all, coz that management is pretty awful. After all those many years running the hotel, you'd think they've figured out employees vacation but nope.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A lot of naysayers here. I wonder how many have worked in the hotel industry.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Fair enough Risky. It's nice to hear an opinion from someone who has worked in the hotel industry and has seen this done in a more effective way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hotel staff in Japan are amongst the most efficient, welcoming and courteous in the world.

They deserve to be treated with respect for the job they do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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