Working with her horse by her side. An Urakawa "workation"

Kotake pets her horse, who came all the way from Nagano Prefecture to Urakawa

Last year, Tokyo resident and translator Kotake Mariko (58) participated in programs such as temporary residence housing in the horse breeding town of Urakawa in the Central Hokkaido region, and experienced living in areas away from home. She recently started a “workation” in Urakawa, which allows her to continue working while enjoying tourist spots in the town on her days off. She is the first “workation” worker in Urakawa. Kotake has moved here, bringing her dearly loved horse with her. She plans to work at translation and interpretation work while enjoying horse riding.

“Ramy, are you okay?” It’s about 21 hours from the town of Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture. Kotake speaks gently to former racehorse “Yukino Ramses”, who finally reached Urakawa after being bustled about in a horse transport vehicle.

Kotake originally worked as a translator and on-site interpreter in Tokyo and lived in the resort town of Karuizawa on the weekends, where she spent time horse riding. However, last year she started working from home due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Online interpretation work gradually started to increase, and she began to think, “I could actually do this work from anywhere.” She took part in temporary residence programs in the town of Shinhidaka and Urakawa for about three weeks starting in October of last year.

In Urakawa, she used a house near a ranch area, and was impressed by the view of horses and the ocean. She said that she regularly used a horse riding facility, and started to think, “I want to work here.” One of the deciding factors was when an Urakawa racehorse training ranch said it would take in the horse she had been keeping at a horse riding club in Karuizawa.

Kotake moved to a temporary residence toward the end of January and plans to look for a permanent home up through April while utilizing a long-term residence plan at the Urakawa tourist lodging facility “Urakawa Yushun Village AERU”. She reported her satisfaction, saying, “I can gaze out at horses and the mountains in between work tasks, so I feel soothed by that every day. I even get to enjoy riding my horse, so I am living a very satisfying life here.”

In August of last year, Urakawa established the new “Relocation and Interaction Telework Attraction and Promotion Office” and has focused on providing workation opportunities through efforts such as creating a portal website for people interested in telework and workation.


Urakawa Yushun Village AERU