Community engagement


Physical demand


  • All meals included Yes
  • Free beverages Yes
  • Persons per room 2 - 4
  • Wifi in public areas Yes
  • Laundry facilities No
  • Safety box No
  • Lockable rooms Yes
  • Hot shower Yes
  • Private bathroom No
  • Western toilet Yes
  • Bed linen Yes
  • Towels No
  • Air conditioning No
  • Heating No
  • Fan No
  • Mosquito protection No

Program & Schedule

This program is a great choice for anyone who would like to meet warm and friendly people, as they commune with nature. As a true fan of natural beauty, you will be swayed by this mountain village, with its access to a lake and a serene waterfall area. If you are there at the right time of the year, you will be right in the heart of mountain hiking, skiing and snowboarding heaven. In the warmer months there is still plenty to do. You can enjoy a bevy of fabulous activities from hiking to walking, camping to horse riding tours. During your experience you will join with the team that makes it possible for local and foreign visitors alike, to enjoy the majesty of nature all year long. You will find yourself fully engaged and captivated by this location and its residents from the onset. The best part of this program is that you get to learn new things and enjoy all the perks of your bucolic surroundings, while you assist with tasks within the horse riding center, the noodle soup restaurant and camping site. Daily tasks may vary depending upon the season, weather conditions and specific needs at that time.

Aims & Objectives

  • Assist the local staff and develop your skills through hands on activity
  • Create cultural exchange opportunities through your efforts with the locals
  • Gain a greater appreciation of natural surroundings


Monday to Friday

  • Breakfast
  • Perform a variety of tasks related to internship at the horse riding, restaurant, or camping site
  • Lunch
  • Complete additional tasks related to internship at any of the designated sites
  • Dinner
  • ( Participants will complete weekly program evaluations on Friday evenings)
This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:                -

Maximum age:                -

Minimum English level:        Basic

CRB required:                On Signup

Passport copy required:        No

Resume copy required:        No

Required qualification:        None

Additional Requirements

There are no further requirements for this program.

Living & Location

After your arrival in the big city you will be headed to a much more tranquil and relaxed setting. Your time in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan will be spent in a small village, amid spectacular mountains, with just over 800 residents. Otaki is wonderland of nature that hosts many guests, especially during the winter months when there is a nice coat of snow on Mt. Ontake. This village is just lovely, because it is always wrapped in the colors of the season. Nature lovers will enjoy the oranges and reds in autumn, greens and yellows in spring and summer and crisp white in the cold of winter.

While in Otaki, Nagano, Japan you will be staying in a local Homestay. This will enable you to get a real feel for the people and community. You may share your room with other participants, will have access to standard amenities like hot shower, western toilet in a shared bathroom, and  will have access to wifi in common areas.

Food Arrangements

Weekdays you will enjoy three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and two on weekends, during your homestay. Meals will be local cuisine and you can expect that they will include rice and vegetables.


Homestay is located within walking distance of mini mart, supermarket and other facilities.

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

As previously mentioned, Otaki is a nature lover’s paradise with many outdoor activities possible year round. Great place for skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking and kayaking on the lake. Major points of interest include: Mt. Ontake, Shintaki Waterfall and Tanoharatenen Park.


From this location we do not provide free transport to other locations.

Quick Facts

Name:                Japan

Population:        127 mil

Capital:        Tokyo

Language:        Japanese

Currency:        Japanese Yen (JPY)

Time zone:        JST (UTC +9)

Country Information

Japan is an East Asian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean. It is made up of 6852 islands, but the vast majority of its size and population are made up of only 4. Neighboring countries include the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, North and South Korea, the Philippines, Russia and the Northern Mariana Islands. Japan is an extremely homogenous nation with 98.5% of its 127 million person population being of Japanese descent. That being the case, Japan is a country steeped in tradition and cultural heritage. They have great respect for the past, and honor their elders. At the same time, modern Japan is a powerhouse in the region and the world. They have one of the highest levels of education in the world and many of their companies are leaders in technology. Japan’s economy is strong and they import and export goods globally, which makes them a great presence around the world.


When visiting Japan pay attention to the time of the year, because it has all four seasons. You can expect the winter to be cold, but not frigid and the summer to be really hot. Temperatures average between 5 degrees celsius in winter and 25 degrees celsius in the summer, but there can be some days that expand beyond that scope greatly. Spring and autumn are fairly mild and bring gifts of cherry blossoms and gentle breezes.


Embracing the old and the new, Japan culture is as much Geisha and it is Anime. As much Samurai and Kabuki and it is Nintendo and Karaoke. There seems to be a continued reverence for the traditions of the past and an eager expectation for things of the future. Technology is in the forefront and guiding the throngs of residents in this country, as they embrace things they appreciate about U.S. and European culture and expand it to fit their own Asian culture and lifestyles.


The tastes of Japan never cease to amaze and delight. Here you can find whatever you like, as international cuisine is everywhere. But if your goal is to sample what’s cooking in the Japanese kitchen then get your palate and your chopsticks ready. What you eat may vary by region or season, but expect everything to be fresh and delicious. Street foods like the charcoal grilled chicken skewers called Yakitori, or Okonomiyaki which are thin pancakes which come with savory fillings, can satisfy a craving or two. You also might want to check out some of the best noodles around, Soba are hearty buckwheat noodles and of course the world famous Ramen are egg noodles on a whole other level. With both, the real game changer is the broth ,which take these dishes to a whole other level. Who can visit Japan and not try Sushi? It may be rice and raw fish, but it sure is delish! If you are more of a carnivore then maybe a bit of the decadent Shabu-Shabu (meat cooked in boiling liquid) or Tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlets) will tickle your fancy! Whatever your tastes, there is something for you here!