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2019/11/18 18:10:00 Community Engagement Program: Kinosaki Report

  • Categoryお知らせ
  • Posted byStudent Reporter
Hello, my name is Nanami Shimaoka, a second-year student in the Department of Global Tourism Studies. During the summer vacation, I participated in the Community Engagement Program. I went to Kinosaki Onsen (hot spring town) in Hyogo, Japan, and I worked there and researched tourism from the perspective of SDGs(Sustainable Development Goals). Now I will report on the CEP in Kinosaki.

Kinosaki Onsen is a hot spring town located in Toyooka, Hyogo. The town is famous for seven public hotsprings, or “onsens” where you can visit wearing Yukata and Geta. (Japanese style clothes and shoes). Kinosaki Onsen has cherished the concept of coexistence and coprosperity, and it is seen that the whole town symbolizes a “ryokan” (Japanese-style hotel). For example, the station is considered as the entrance of the ryokan, and the ryokan represents a guest room while the road is a passage way. The public hot spring bathhouse is seen as a bathroom. This idea gives Kinosaki full energy.

I stayed at a Japanese-style inn called Nishimuraya. Nishimuraya had two accommodations. One is a a Japanese traditional “ryokan” named “honkan,”which means a main building in Japanese, the other is a hotel named “Shogetsutei.” I worked at both places. The main activity of CEP in Kinosaki is mainly experiencing hotel customer service, and I work as a room clerk and a front desk receptionist in Nishimuraya. We usually worked for eight hours a day, from two to four days a week. On our days off, we strolled around in Kinosaki or prepared the final report. As A summer festival was held, and the fireworks were seen almost every day. There were street stalls, and on the last day of the summer festival, we were excited about floating lanterns on the water. Moreover, I enjoyed nice cafés and shops in Kinosaki. For a month, I stayed in a single guest room in Shogetutei, Nishimuraya. There were a TV and a refrigerator in the room, and the washing machine was also available for use. I was satisfied with the life in Kinosaki.

I was able to experience two types of work. One is a room clerk. The room clerk had two sub-categories: the room clerk staff and the staff who helps the room clerk. The room clerk staff takes charge of one or two guest rooms. The morning jobs include putting away futon mattresses, serving the breakfast, and sending the guests off. After the guests left, the room clerk staff cleans the room and sets up amenities for the next guests. After all that, they can take a rest. In the evening, the room clerk serves dinner and lays out futon, or Japanese-style bedding. The staff who helps the room clerk cleans rooms and prepares tea and snacks in the morning. Unlike the room clerk, there are no rooms that they take charge of, and they move around rooms to provide assistance. In the evening, they escort guests to their rooms, serve tea and snacks, and explain about the hotel. They also have some other responsibilities.

The other position I experienced was a front desk receptionist. A receptionist is an important job which mainly deals with check-in and check-out procedures as well as taking care of guests’ shoes and room keys. In the morning, the receptionist takes care of the check-outs of guests, helps guests to carry their luggage, and seeing them off. After the lunch break, we assisted new guestswith their checking-in, showed them their rooms, served tea, snacks, and so on. When it was not busy, we cleaned around the reception desk or dealt with guests who needed assistance. How the front desk is perceived by guests is important because it is the first and last place where guests come to during their hotel stay. It was hard until I got used to dealing with a lot of customers toward the end of the check-out time. It was also challenging to know when guests would show up for checking-in. We needed to be prepared at any time because of that. It was difficult to have a wide field of vision, but I was satisfied with meeting various kinds of people.

What I experienced as a room clerk and receptionist were both rewarding and challenging. However, I think that both positions enabled me to become a part of “customer’s memory,” and this is an appealing point of working for ryokans and hotels. In addition to working at the ryokan, we conducted a survey on the working environment of employees working for Nishimuraya in relation to the No.8 of SDGs. Before we went to Kinosaki, we learned in class that the hotel and service industries had a high rate of turnover. So we researched the current situation in Kinosaki, and based on the research, we proposed a few things to make better working environments.

I was able to experience a variety of things for a month I stayed in Kinosaki. There were hard times, but also there were many things that I could learn, so I thought I had a good time in Kinosaki. I highly recommend the CEP in Kinosaki!!
  • Welcome to Kinosaki Onsen
  • Floating lanterns on the water
  • We received a certificate of program completion!

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