Many department stores in Japan employ someone at the shop entrance to welcome customers as they come in.
They usually bow as the customer goes past and say
Irasshaimase ( Welcome )
The first time I go to see it was in a Robinsons Dept store in Kasukabe, I was with my Waifu, her Mum and sister and my older brother. My brother and I had never been in Japan before so almost everyday was a new experience.
My wife and the rest of my inlaws headed towards the womens’ clothes section and my self and my bro decided to check out some of the things for sale in the food section in the basement.
It only took about 5 seconds before the first employee noticed us and offered an Irasshaimase. Not being used to this it seemed really rude to just ignore him so we gave a little nod of the head and turned to look at some of the exotic veggies. A second employee had heard the first and seeing two Gaikokujin in his midst he offered his own Irasshaimase.
And from there it just took off in a strange Mexican wave ( in Japanese ) across the store.
Every member of staff who was in hearing distance of an Irasshaimase looked up and offered their own welcome. We tried moving towards a quiet corner but found ourselves the focus of a bowing, greeting circle.
It was just too weird – we turned and fled towards the escalator.