Eriko was born and raised in Kitami city in East Hokkaido. She joined HTIT in 2015, 2 years after she had returned from Toronto, Canada. She remembers first learning English at the age of 8. Some American visitors were at her friend’s house and one of them taught her the alphabet and some easy words. This event changed her life. Even as a child Eriko dreamed of going abroad. She started traveling to other countries when she was a university student. Traveling became an important part of her life. Traveling was something that really inspired her and that taught her always something new. Eriko loves especially meeting local people when she travels because she feels this way she can get to know the real culture and the locals’ lifestyle. Eriko says she would love to help her clients to meet many nice people in Hokkaido and thinks that it would be great if they get something new to their lives through HTIT tours.
Eriko considers herself “multi-expertise person” when it comes to Hokkaido travel. “I have planned all sorts of tours in Hokkaido, such as hiking and skiing tours, tours that focus on food, photography tours… I have also personally experienced many kinds of activities during these past 5 years working as a HTIT travel consultant.”
“But if I must choose, I specialize in food”, Eriko says. The reason for this is that as a university student she used to work in restaurants. She has been a barista both in Japan and in Toronto. In the end she left her job in the food business because she hurt her wrist. Food still has a special place in Eriko’s heart: “However, I respect the food industry because it makes people happy. I am discovering new restaurants, new good foods in Hokkaido. The quality ingredients here are very good but there are many good chefs, too. I would like to introduce you the best food here!”
● ERIKO’S FAVORITES: Nature, food and culture
Eriko calls Hokkaido “a miracle island” and explains why the nick name: “Although most part of Hokkaido used to be the marshland, we produce many agricultural products now. Drift Ice brings plankton every winter. It affects wildlife to live in Hokkaido. Can you believe killer whales or birds such as white tailed-eagles come to Hokkaido from around the world every year?” Eriko notes that once you go outside of the urban areas, you can find good places for hiking, horseback riding and camping. Eriko also loves to recommend Hokkaido’s soft serve ice cream for her clients and to ask them to compare different flavors. She finds also the roots of Hokkaido very important: “Our culture is linked with nature. Ainu indigenous people have been living and protecting this island. Most name of cities and towns in Hokkaido come from Ainu Language. It must be interesting to know their culture rooted this island.”
● WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN TRAVEL?
“I love working in HTIT rather than in the Travel industry. I’m proud of what we are doing. Our mission is to contribute to be sustainable development of Hokkaido by tours. We are making our itineraries and programs with local towns. There is nothing that could make me happier than this if you enjoy our itinerary so much.”