All Year: No
Host ID: 90605
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Last Updated: February 14, 2019
We are a company that creates bespoke cycling adventures in the Japanese countryside, 2 hours northwest of Tokyo. We build unique and unforgettable experiences for travelers 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 few young people who are trying to create a life of fun, challenge, and service. Traveling couples and friends welcome!
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.
-Email/Phone Outreach: reaching out to travel bloggers and writers to try to get our trips featured on their websites. We absolutely love cycling in the Japanese countryside, and want to get the word out there on how amazing it truly is. If you are interested in this, please send us a "sample email" of how you would ask someone to feature a guided cycling tour.
-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! If you love taking pictures of landscapes, people, nature, bicycles, etc, this could be a great gig for you. 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).
-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. 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: we would love to put more written content on our website, and would appreciate helpers 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.
-SEO: we are working on making our website more visible through organic search platforms. 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.
IMPORTANT! We will not accept any guests who do not have references from previous work or home-sharing experiences (linkedin, couchsurfing, airbnb, helpx, etc). Please send a link to your profile with references.
We would appreciate 20 hours/week from our helpers.
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 drugs are permitted on this property.
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!
What to do with 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!
If all this sounds good to you, please let us know:
1. a bit about you (hobbies, sleep schedule, food preferences, etc)
2. the projects that you would be interested in working on while you're in Japan, personal and work goals
3. any samples of work you have completed in the past (website, social media, or photos)
4. what excites you about spending time in the Japanese countryside
Thank you so so much for reading, and we hope to welcome you to Kiryu!