Closing Time In Takashimaya Department Store (2004-12-17)
At eight o'clock at night amid store-closing announcement staff put
a barricade near the escalators on each floor. One employee will
stand at the foot of each escalator and bids farewell to all the
leaving customers with a bow and thank you. When you reach the
first floor, you will have collected a series of bows if you start from
a high floor taking the escalator. But it doesn't end
there. On your way to the entrance of the store, a row of
employees also say thank you and goodbye to people with bows.
However the best bows of the night are performed by two female staff
right at the entrance. One on each side of the door, they will
bow at a full 90 degrees and their hands carefully placed on their
abdomen. Every bow lasts about five seconds and these ladies will
start another one soon after the previous one is finished. Upon
leaving the store, we felt obligated in returning a bow to those ladies.
This kind of farewell ritual in department stores will only be seen in Japan I'm sure.
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