Banya Base for Both Work and Vacation

A Sapporo couple has spent a 3-night 4-day “workation” on a free hands-on monitor tour in which a late Meiji-period herring banya (fishing crew lodgings) in the Shukutsu district of Otaru is used as a base for both work and vacation. The couple got to experience the atmosphere of the town by means of visits to local historical structures, such as the Former Aoyama Villa, while at the same time managing to concentrate on deskwork in the quiet environment away from the city.
 The program is organized by an urban development group in the city of Otaru. The couple – an American husband and Japanese wife – who run a website and video production company, applied to take part in the tour that was recommended by an acquaintance. The experience was limited to two families, and the couple were selected along with a family of three from Kanagawa prefecture, from a total of 12 applicants. The tour lasted from October 7 to 10.
 Participants were able to experience a sightseeing menu that included exploring the area while staying at Hotel Neuschloss Otaru. Work involved “commuting” on foot to the nearby Ibaragi-ke Nakadebari Banya newly equipped with desks and public Wi-Wi. According to the couple. “It was good as Internet speeds were fast when sending and receiving videos, and we could concentrate on our writing in the quiet environment.” “Part of the appeal is that it’s only 40 minutes away from Sapporo but we were able to refresh ourselves in an atmosphere that’s completely different to the city.”

The couple enjoying a visit to the Former Aoyama Villa
The couple doing deskwork in the Ibaragi-ke Nakadebari Banya


Ibaragi-ke Nakadebari Banya