We have a bicycle tour company, building bespoke adventures in the Japanese countryside, 2 hours northwest of Tokyo. Our business is about building unique and unforgettable experiences for our guests while promoting an eco-friendly, healthy, and authentic mode to explore and understand the real Japan that few people get to experience. Come experience Japan with a small group of people who are trying to create a life of fun, challenge, and service. Traveling couples and friends welcome!
Our Base Camp is located in a small town at the foothills of Japan's North Alps. If you are looking for the busy city streets of Tokyo or Kyoto, this is not the place. We are a direct train from Tokyo, so it is easy to go to the city if you want, but it is still about 2 hours (15$ USD ticket each way) by train.
Individuals who love outdoor activities or creative people seeking tranquility--you will be immersed in natural beauty and serenity here in Gunma! And don't worry, we are not so secluded that you can't find daily conveniences. We are just minutes away from Kiryu, a lively town with grocery stores, local restaurants, cafes, and shops. If you take bike or train to Ota (about 15 mins), you'll find a small city with a thriving expat community, social scene, bars, late-night ramen shops, movie theater, and of course: McDonald's & Starbucks.
*️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️PLEASE READ*️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️ Currently looking for people with one or more of these skills:
-Data Entry: experience with excel, detail-oriented and able to input financial information. If you are interested in this, please tell us about any previous experience with excel or data entry.
-Photography & Photo Editing: we are always looking to share new photos and images with our guests on social media, email newsletters, and in real life! Prefer individuals who have a lot of experience with landscape and/or sports photography. Bring your camera! We'll go on hikes, bike rides, and day trips to take photos of the beautiful Japanese countryside. If interested, please show us your previous work (can be on a photography website, instagram, flickr, etc). Looking for someone who can take photos better than we can! You can check out a general idea of what we are going for on instagram:
-Video Editing: bring your camera and capture videos of the gorgeous countryside. We also have a drone, and can teach you to use it if you're interested. Prefer individuals who have experience creating videos for the purpose of selling a product/service. Create short or long-form videos of the landscape, tours stops, etc. If interested, please send some videos you've created in the past (youtube, vimeo, etc)
-Copywriting/Blogging/EmailOutreach/Linking: we would love to put more written content on our website, and would appreciate workawayers who enjoy writing/blogging to create some articles on these topics: Japanese food options, different types of temples, cycling in Japan, wildlife in the Japanese countryside, important volcanoes, the best roads to bike, etc. Of course, we'd love if you can also suggest topics, and we're happy to brainstorm other interesting topics together. If interested, please send us a link to your blog, social media, or provide some writing samples. Prefer individuals who have been through the process of emailing blogs & online mags with updates on their old articles to spread the word on our services.
-SEO: we are working on making our website more visible through organic search. If this is something you're interested in, please send a message with the top 3-5 steps you would implement to make this happen, and describe relevant projects you've worked on in the past.
We would appreciate 20 hours/week from our workawayers. We only accept workawayers with references.
In addition to introducing yourself and showing us some sample work, it would be great if you could provide the following info in your message to us:
1. Previous work or co-living references. If you don't have any references on your workaway profile, please send a link to a platform where you have references (couchsurfing, airbnb, linkedin, facebook personal business page, etc).
2. Confirm you understand there is absolutely no smoking or drugs permitted on this property.
3. Will you have a working holiday visa or a tourist visa in Japan?
4. Do you have an international driver's license?
5. What time period would you like to live/work with us in Kiryu?
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
This opportunity truly is what you want to make of it, so please let us know what skills you want to develop and grow, as well as what excites you about being in Japan! We'll do our best to fulfill what you're looking for here, but please remember that we are new to all of this, and are working with humble resources. Your honest feedback is always appreciated. Hard-working, conscientious, and communicative folks, please reach out and we'll do everything we can to give you a home here in Japan.
What we offer:
-flexible hours. We expect 20 hours of work per week, but you are welcome to set your hours.
-opportunities to go on day trips in the beautiful Japanese countryside.
-access to a bicycle to explore local temples, shrines, restaurants, and other fun activities
-immersive experience in small-town Japan.
-basic cooking supplies and foods will be stocked in our house (rice, noodles, oil, spices, coffee, tea etc). You are welcome to it! We do not guarantee meals, but we try to cook and share food with our guests as much as we can.
-build your creative or technology portfolio (writing, blogging, photography, videos, website design, seo, etc)
-resources to succeed and references for your professional future. If you show us work ethic, humility, and results, we are going to be your loudest cheerleader!
-engl-jp exchange. We are studying Japanese and some other languages, too. All levels welcome.
-enjoy the good life, and be a part of each other's journeys!
As a small growing company, we have many roles that a new team member can take on, based on your skills and passions. Our priority tasks are listed in the first part of our profile, but a bigger list of things we might need help with:
-social media marketing
-search engine optimization
-copywriting or blogging
-website design and optimization
-photography (mostly nature, wildlife, and people cycling!)
-video editing (hand-held and drone shots)
-logistics/porterage (must have international drivers license)
-client relationships (must have proficient English)
-ryokan booking (must have conversational Japanese)
-cooking & home maintenance
-thrift-shopping and interior design (we are moving into a new space in March 2019, so the space will be mostly unfurnished except for the basics, and we really want to make it a home!)
-japanese language practice (All languages are welcome, and we are learning Japanese. If you're interested, come learn with us!)
If you are not a Japanese citizen and want to work for pay, you need "working holiday visa". If you are in Japan with a WHV, we can provide pay. You cannot be paid with a tourist visa, due to legal issues.
Working holiday countries are as follows:
Australia, Argentina, Austria , Denmark, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Korea, New Zealand, Norway,Taiwan, Hong Kong (SAR), Ireland, Slovakia, Poland, Portugal, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom between the ages of 18 and 30 can apply for a WHV at your country's Japanese embassy/consulate.
This host offers accommodation and payment.
English (fluent), 中文 (proficient), 日本語 (learning), Italiano (un po!), Deutsch/German (ein bischen!), Spanish (un poquito)
Our home is a traditional Japanese house with tatami floors, sliding doors, and futon bedding. You will most likely be sharing a room with another team member, but we will do our best to provide everyone with a private space. We have one full-size kitchen, refrigerator, and washer to share as well. We anticipate that there will be 2-6 people sharing this home at a time, but it just depends on the time of year! It is a quiet neighborhood with lots of older folks and families, so we ask that you agree to not disturb our neighbors or other house guests, especially after 9pm. Absolutely NO smoking or drug use is permitted on this property.
While we have several rooms in the house, we must all share ONE bathroom! So it is VERY important that we keep it clean for each other, and don't spend too much time in there doing hair, makeup, or instagram. ;)
For food, there are many affordable options nearby, including convenience stores, grocery/supermarkets, and local restaurants. Since we are running multi-day cycling tours, one or two of us might be out of the house for several consecutive days depending on the time of year, so you will be expected to cover your own meals. However, we always love sharing meals together (at the house or at the restaurant) whenever possible.
For anyone with dietary restrictions or allergies: Vegetarians & Vegans welcome, but please be ok with the fact that we sometimes choose to eat meat! Vegans, please be aware that many Japanese dishes are cooked with dashi (fish broth) and you won't be able to find as many options in the country as you can in a massive city like Tokyo. We are happy to help you navigate the restaurant scene here, but they may have limited vegan options, and you will likely have to take responsibility of preparing most of your meals. No problem with finding gluten-free and lactose-free options around here--you can always choose rice or soy!
Recommendations during your time off:
-go on a bike ride in town or in the local mountains (especially if you love challenging elevation!) we can come with you or give you some good routes.
-explore Ota library: books in all languages around the world!
-ramen tour: there are famous ramen shops within 20km of us--eat your heart out!
-Nikko National Park: amazing sights and incredible history.
-meditate outdoors: lots of great spots just a walk or bike ride away.
-hang out with us and our friends: we have a great little community of friends (locals and expats) here in Gunma, and we are excited to introduce you to them.
-hiking: get a great view of the neighboring volcanoes and the town below!
-gunma insect world: Japan's biggest collection of insects, for you bug-lovers out there!
-onsen time: we live next to a cluster of volcanoes that power the local hot-spring baths here. Do as the locals do: take a soak, and relieve stress!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two