Monitoring tour for telecommuting at herring fisherman lodging house (banya) in Otaru

Wi-fi equipped tatami mat rooms at the banya

An Otaru city-planning NPO will offer a free “workation” (work + vacation) monitoring tour this autumn. In the tour, the organization will provide a late-Meiji-era herring fisherman lodging house (banya) as a telecommuting location and let participants enjoy the ocean and mountains during their days off.
According to Japan Telework Association (Tokyo), it is rare to use a lodging house (banya) as a workation place. These lodgings were originally used to make sleeping over and working more convenient for fishermen. The NPO organization extoled the appeal of this project, saying, “Participants can enjoy nature while working, and can learn firsthand about the history of the area.”
The lodge is the Ibaragike Nakadebari Banya that was left by one of the great three fishermen’s bosses in Shukutsu, Otaru. It is a precious building that shows how herring fishery used to flourish in the past. The building was restored in 2010 by the city of Otaru, and is open to the public mainly on the weekends. The monitoring tours will be available from mid-September until the end of October. Each tour lasts three nights and four days and is limited to two families (four-person maximum per family). Families can stay at “Hotel Neuschloss Otaru” in Shukutsu and “commute to work” at the banya when they work. Applications are no longer being accepted.
During the tour period, there will be nearby natural exploration route tours and activity programs at Otaru Aquarium, as well as “Cooking classes taught by seashore moms” to learn about Shukutsu food.


Ibaragike Nakadebari Banya