Trainees in Japan often have the opportunity to go out with their Japanese office mates as a form of team building.
Before the pandemic, trainees would be regularly invited to dinners, hikes, and other activities. Although there are still precautions taken in order to avoid COVID infection, trainees are now able to go on some leisure time together with their colleagues.
Leisure Time in Awaji
In Osaka, the trainees of JFE Sekkei Kansai office were invited to a road trip off to Awaji Island, located in Hyogo prefecture and is connected to Kobe City through the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge.
After almost two hours of traveling, the first stop is the “Uzu no Michi” walkway, an enclosed path that extends under the Onaruto Bridge, where the famous Naruto whirlpools can be seen from. The next stop is the Otsuka Museum of Art, one of the largest museums in Japan. It showcases life-sized replicas of well-known masterpieces of Western art from antiquity to the 20th century, including the works of Michaelangelo, Vincent Van Gogh, and many other renowned artists.
Various souvenirs and treats are also available around the area such as the tako senbei, a type of Japanese rice cracker that has octopus mixed into it and has plenty of varieties in flavor.
Overall, the trainees had a memorable and fun experience during the trip, appreciating the sights Awaji has to offer, and were able to skill up their Nihongo as they conversed with their officemates.
A Day in Yahiko
Niigata prefecture has a lot of places to relax and keep in touch with nature depending on the season. This time, the Fujiki Business Unit trainees had an opportunity to travel to Yahiko mountain to witness the peak of the autumn season. The trip has become a tradition for the locals as they travel every year to Yahiko with their families and friends to see the beautiful maple leaves or “Momiji” during autumn.
Many locals hiked to the top as it is a considerably safe and easy trail, but as first timers, the trainees rode a gondola to climb up. At the top, the trainees enjoyed a stunning view of the plains of Niigata, Sado Island and the Sea of Japan.
The trainees also went to stroll around Yahiko Park and see the vibrant colors of maple leaves. Various local shops are also located near the park that offer handmade goods like accessories, stationery, pottery, and souvenirs. Many restaurants and cafes also surround the area that serve good food that are perfect for the season.
On their way home, they went to the Northern Culture Museum, a farm house of the Ito family turned into a museum after World War II. It showcases eight generations’ worth of tradition, art and culture. The vast garden that can be seen from the 100-mat tatami reception room was designed by the well-known gardener, Taiami Tanaka. The museum houses antique collections and furniture, some of which date back to the Edo Period.
The trainees had an enjoyable time immersing themselves in nature, appreciating traditional arts and learning more about the culture in various places in Niigata.