Hospitality & Tourism Development Internship

Nagano - Japan

Hospitality & Tourism Development Internship

Nagano - Japan

Only 900€ per week!

Help out in a local restaurant, campsite or hotel and support a local initiative to develop more sustainable tourism.

Otaki village, about 6 hours from Tokyo, offers an idyllic setting and an abundance of nature. Work with the locals to service Japanese guests, learn about tasks and routines in tourism and lend a hand to a group of locals who try to grow Otaki into a place for learning about sustainability and self-sufficiency.

Community Engagement
Physical Demand


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Program Description

Otaki village and the surrounding area are a known spot for regional outdoor tourism. For a few weeks in summer and a few weeks in winter, Japanese tourists are flowing in to enjoy hiking, canoeing, camping in summer and a variety of winter sports in the cold time of the year.

In international tourism though, Otaki is still in its early steps.

Some of the villagers have formed a strong initiative, seeking to develop the tourism in the area further. One of the leaders of the initiative helped out in Fukushima after the nuclear disaster in 2011 and since is pursuing a more sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle. This has influenced their view on tourism as well, aiming to revive traditional crafts such as making charcoal and recreate traditional housing, to offer tourists not just an outdoor attraction but rather a long lasting learning experience.

During this internship you will either help out in a local restaurant, at a campsite, a local hotel or another tourism related facility. Besides taking care of guests, you may be asked to support development projects, often involving light construction work. That way you can learn not only about the daily routine in tourism but also get involved in developing the area, allowing you to learn even more.

In summer most activities will be outdoors and could be some of the following:

  • Serving guests
  • Dish washing
  • Preparing firewood
  • Gardening / Farming
  • Light construction work

In winter you would rather:

  • Serve guests
  • Scrap snow

Expect about 2-4 hours of work per day. Besides, you will join other participants in Otaki to learn about local culture and explore the surroundings.

Aims & Objectives

  • Assist the local staff and develop your skills through hands on activity
  • Create cultural exchange opportunities through your efforts with the locals
  • Gain a greater appreciation of natural surroundings


Monday to Friday

  • Breakfast
  • Perform a variety of tasks related to the internship
  • Lunch
  • Cultural or outdoor activities together will all participants in Otaki
  • Complete additional tasks related to the internship
  • Dinner
  • Cultural or outdoor activities together will all participants in Otaki

   Note:   This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:

Maximum age:

Minimum English level: Basic

CRB required: On Signup

Passport copy required: No

Resume copy required: No

Required qualification: None

Additional Requirements

There are no further requirements for this program.

Additional Equipment

There are no further requirements for this program.


Your time in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan will be spent in a small village, amid spectacular mountains, with just about 800 residents. Otaki is a wonderland of nature that hosts many guests, especially during the winter months when there is a nice coat of snow on Mt. Ontake. Japan’s second highest volcano not only is home to a ski resort, but also attracts many spiritual groups and forms of Buddhism. Mt. Ontake is surrounded by an array of different shrines and sacred places and a popular destination for pilgrims.

About the Accommodation

While in Otaki, Nagano, Japan you will be staying in a local Homestay or at our participant accommodation (possibility for some amazing camping in a tent during warmer months)10-25 minutes outside of the village by car. Please keep in mind the toilet and shower for the Green House location near the restaurant and campsite are separate from the    sleeping accommodation. The homestay at the house provides toilet and shower inside. There may also be a pet dog around the Green House location.

Food Arrangements

Weekdays you will enjoy three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and two on weekends, during your stay. Meals will be local cuisine and you can expect that they will include rice and vegetables.


The village of Otaki features an ATM, two convenience stores and a post office. These may not be in walking distance from your accommodation, but you’ll have the chance to stop by there several times during the week.

Activities & Events

Monday to Friday

Besides your program you will join some cultural or outdoor activities every day. These depend on the season and local circumstances. Some examples:

  • Visit typical local neighborhood house
  • Learn about Japanese bathing culture and how Japanese shower
  • Visit a natural hot spring
  • Take a traditional bath over a fire
  • Learn about local plants and flowers
  • Go to the river and cool down
  • Learn how to make origami
  • Join a Matcha tea ceremony
  • Trek up a hill to a viewpoint. Spot animal traces on the way.
  • Learn how to make sushi
  • Dye textiles with natural colors
  • Go to Otaki’s convenience store and ATM
  • Climb up to a sacred shrine above Otaki
  • Trek on the pilgrims trail leading up into the mountains
  • Join a traditional purification ceremony under a sacred waterfall
  • Make Japanese paper
  • Practice Kendo (Japanese sword fighting)

Sights & Surroundings

Otaki is a nature lover’s paradise with many outdoor activities possible year round. Great place for skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking and kayaking on the lake. Major points of interest include: Mt. Ontake, Shintaki Waterfall and Tanoharatenen Park.


From this location we do not provide free transport to other locations.


Hospitality & Tourism Development Internship

English Exchange

Community Agriculture

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