Sometimes my job is pretty cool. My wife, Kazuyo, and I have been running our company for about 14 years now here in Shikoku, and we love it. Our primary work is with kids and getting them bilingual enough so they can use English to broaden and deepen their future careers or pursue whatever dream they have all over the world. It’s great work, and we feel it is very important work too.
Another thing about our work, in the capacity of Inbound Tourism Consultants, is that once in while I get asked to come out for a “monitoring tour”. This time was with JR Shikoku, and I did this one time before with them with a Brompton bicycle tour in Tokushima. That was a blast (check that out here: https://cometokagawa.com/2019/06/07/your-brompton-bicycle-adventure-in-tokushima/)
This time I was with a couple of other “monitors”, one gentleman from America and a nice lady from Australia. We have all been living in Japan for a goodly amount of time, and our work was to help JR Shikoku and this tour to evaluate some of the places they would like to introduce to Western tourists, to try the local food, and to get a sense of the local environment. We were in deep Ehime and spent time in Ozu and Uwajima. Posts for these places, and what we saw and did there will be peppering this page shortly.
One thing that really occured to me about this experience was about how important first impressions really are. For newcomers to Japan the hosts we met were so sincere and serious about how they could welcome and make great experiences for people coming here from overseas. There is a really strong spirit of hospitality and kindness that was palpable. I don’t know if I have ever felt that before when I traveled to other countries. This might be something that is really unique and special to Japan, and even much more keenly felt here in Shikoku.
Updates will be coming in a flurry. We really did and saw a lot of great things in Ehime Prefecture, and I will do my best to share that here with you.