I was born in Kyoto in 1977 and have been thinking of "how to be the real Japanese". I am proud of being raised in this beautiful city, Kyoto, but could not feel I knew everything. I just loved the city because it was my home town, but I would like to be the real one who really knows about it.
My choice for the high school was the course for International and Cultural Studies. Here, I have learned about the world in English, and experienced overseas education just for 1 month in Boston. However, looking back, I might have wasted the time to learn "English". Simply, I just missed my family in Japan, and I was weak.
After the stay, I decided not to continue just studying languages, but wanted to be proud of myself, as a Japanese. So, I abandoned the entitlement of the entrance to Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. I challenged the entrance examination of Doshisha University.
Fortunately, I passed the examination, and could learn Japanese Literature. I was not smart enough to choose deeply what I can start learning. The major was easy to choose. Anyway, around when I was in the 2nd year, I suddenly felt that I would like to brush up my English skill. Even I have learned for 3 years in an International course, I could not even speak English very well. But during my university life, I suddenly could understand it.
When I was 20 years old, I was thinking what I would like to do. Vaguely, I wanted to continue to work in my entire life even I marry, or be pregnant. Then, I met a perfect job, which was the "Interpreter Guide". This is the guide for foreigners, traveling to Japan. I had been interested in "Japanese Culture" and "English", and would like to "Continue Working". However, the level of the guides in Japan was so high, so it would not be possible to get jobs easily without experiences for tour management, knowledge, and lifetime experiences as a lady.
So, I decided to be a tour leader, as the first step of the preparation. (Of course, to be a guide, I need to take the National Liscense.) I entered a travel agency to be a tour leader who takes the Japanese clients to all over the world. I visited so many countries, with the high-end clients in Japan. The company was great enough to learn how to take care of them. However, a tour leader and a guide are different, so I decided to be a guide.
The next step was filled in Tahiti, French Polynesia. I applied to be a guide in Tahiti. There, not only guiding, but I learned how a tour operator was doing. My daily routine was guiding, and arrangements of hotels & cars, and optional tours.
Suddenly, I felt that I did not know enough about "travel industry" so I came back to Japan after 2 years.
In Japan, I entered a travel agency in Kyoto, I worked as an operator of selling airline tickets, hotels, package tours, and so on. The greatest thing was I could learn what a travel industry was, in general. After 3 years, I began to think that I can challenge to the next step, which I was interested in the most. It was "Inbound" travel industry, which was for the travels from overseas to Japan.
Luckily, I could enter another company and could be an operator at the inbound section. In the years, I could meet many people who were taking care of high-end clients all over the world, and I enjoyed very much working with those professional
travel agents. Here, I felt that I found my lifework as "inbound tour operator", not an interpreter guide. Of course, a guide is still attractive, but I would like to support as a backseat role.
To be the real professional, I decided to establish a company, Small Japan which can be trust-worth.