Starting Life in Hokkaido

It has been a week since I first arrived in Hokkaido, Biei. I had earlier on liaised for a 2-month work exchange experience at a pension house here.


I arrived on a Saturday, the busiest day of the week for the inn. Immediately, I was asked to help out despite knowing nothing about the place. The female owner of the inn, Nao-san, cleaned my luggage before showing me to my staff room – the attic. I was inundated with lots of information about where things are, what to put on the table, what to clear and what to do next. I had a super busy first day! After the guests arrived at the table, I was asked to sit with them and eat together.

Of course, I felt awkward. Here I am, sitting down with strangers, with me seem to look like a helper yet not knowing anything about this place. However, someone started talking and the conversation started flowing.

IT’S PRETTY FUN. Meeting travellers and exchanging stories, it’s something that makes this line of work meaningful and keeps it going.

I have a colleague, my fellow helper, Mayu-chan, who showed me the ropes of this place. The owners, Nao-san and her husband, Kazu-san, are very friendly people!

I shall describe more about my work exchange experience in later posts.


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