Otasuke, a unique izakaya restaurant that recently opened in Akasaka, Tokyo in April has been a center of conversation. The shop itself might be quite normal, but the discount service they feature really sets Otasuke apart. Their shop concept is “We want to support the exhausted Japanese salaryman!”, and with this in mind they offer a special “hage-wari” discount. “Hage” means “bald” and “thinning hair” in Japanese, and “wari” is a shortened form for “waribiki”(=discount). Yes! In short, Otasuke offers a discount especially for men currently experiencing hair loss. They adopt the self-reporting system, so a patron just has to state that he is “hage”. And once this statement is approved, the customer can get ¥500 (US$4.88) off his bill, ¥750 (US$7.32) off when there are two “hage” in the group, and a one-person-free coupon when there are five “hage” at one table. This “hage-wari” can be applied only for the buffet & all-you-can-drink floor (the 2nd floor).
Well… it might sound like Otasuke is making fun of “hage”, but really it is a gesture of affection. In Japan, “hage” comes to mind when we hear “exhausted salaryman”. And salarymen are usually exhausted because they work very hard for their families. So, Izakaya Otasuke just wants to cheer up those tired salaryman who work such long hours!
Among Twitter users as well, this service is quite topical and many favorable comments fly. No matter if you are “hage” or not, it must be worth just seeing the restaurant full of “hage”!
This is JAPAN Style!