Our participant André has recently completed his Working Holidays at a “Ryokan“, a traditional Japanese Hotel. In our blog, you can read about André’s experience in the land of the rising sun.
I came to Japan through a Working Holiday Visa which gave me the opportunity to work in a Ryokan in Nukabira for around 4 months. Nukabira is a small town in Kamishihoro in Hokkaido, 1 hour North from Obihiro. It is located close to lake Obihiro, surrounded by mountains. The region is famous for its hot springs, as well as for wintersports and it is also a huge conservation area, so that wild animals like deers or foxes could often be seen close to the Hotel.
The Ryokan is a family run hotel and I felt right at home straight from the beginning, thanks to the family’s hospitality and helpfulness. Despite my moderate Japanese skills, they allowed me to help in all areas of the hotel, from house keeping to preparing meals, helping with service and guest relations, for instance welcoming the newly arriving guests. Thanks to this, the work was always different and I have been able to learn a lot.
The owners were very patient and also encouraged me to speak to the guests, who were sometimes surprised about being welcomed by a non-Japanese staff but were usually open and interested. Whenever I needed any assistance, my colleagues would give me a hand.
I will never forget the trips in the surrounding area. The Ryokan serves both local and seasonal dishes, and whenever the weather and the flow of guests would allow it, we went out into the nature and collected a variety of the seasonal ingredients ourselves.
Last but not least I want to mention the centerpiece of the Ryokan, the three Onsen. The first one is a mixed bath outside; and then there is one for women and one for men inside the hotel.
I would also like to mention my accommodation at the Ryokan: Every staff member gets an own room and three meals a day.
There is also a small shop and a post office including an ATM. A bus departs from Nukabira four times a day (via Kamishihoro-shi to Obihiro and back).
I had a wonderful time in Nukabira and will leave Japan with lots of great memories and new friends. I am very happy and thankful to have been give this opportunity.
Would you like to work in a Japanese Ryokan as well? Here you can find all details about this job opportunity.