As the Japanese government promotes the idea of "workation" in a bid to revitalize the virus-hit tourism industry, various initiatives are emerging to support the concept, which was largely unheard of in Japan before then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga mentioned it during a tourism strategy meeting earlier this year.
One such initiative is SHIGOTABI (a portmanteau of shigoto 仕事, meaning "work" and tabi 旅, meaning "travel"), a project created through a collaboration between the city of Fujiyoshida in Yamanashi Prefecture, creative company Loftwork Inc and Hostel Saruya.
As you can guess from the "Fuji" contained in its name, the city of Fujiyoshida 富士吉田 is situated at the foothills of Japan's most famous mountain, and is located at an elevation of 2,800 feet above sea level. With a population under 49,000 as of 2019, it's a small city with plenty of fresh air, beautiful natural surroundings, and, as you can see from the image above, an incredible view.
In addition, Fujiyoshida has a history of more than 1,000 years as one of Japan's leading textile-producing areas, and is now a local fashion center with each factory promoting its original brand.
Workation in Fujiyoshida
Residents of big cities like Tokyo or Nagoya who are already accustomed to telework, and the companies that employ them, may consider a workation during weekdays as a way to escape not only the bustle of city life but also the crowded trains where maintaining social distance is virtually impossible. As such, SHIGOTABI provides an excellent workation destination.
Hostel Saruya and guest house facilities
In addition to the comfortable accommodations at Hostel Saruya, SHIGOTABI provides workspaces where you can enjoy a change of pace and refresh yourself in the beautiful natural surroundings. Moreover, through various activities and programs that stimulate curiosity and creativity, SHIGOTABI allows participants to connect with members of the community on their own initiative.
The guest house complex comprises old Japanese houses and homes formerly belonging to Oshi 御師, low-level priests who cared for Mt. Fuji pilgrims, renovated and equipped a wide range of workspaces, from coworking to meeting rooms. Special environments such as studios and quiet temples are also available.
More details of the program, which will be offered between November 2020 and March 2021, as well as explanations on how to apply will be listed on SHIGOTABI's website from Nov 2.
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