Megumi considers herself very lucky that she was born in Hokkaido. When she was small, her world consisted just of her hometown. Every day she could see the surrounding mountain ranges (“Sometimes there was snow on the top of the mountains” Megumi reminisces) and feel the nature. There were always horses running around. As a child Megumi thought that everyone was having that kind of life. When she got older, she realized that this was not the case. Megumi liked to learn new things and to meet new people, including foreigners. She loved to communicate with people outside of her home town.
Megumi decided to study abroad. She first lived in California because she wanted to learn to speak English. Then she decided to move to Australia because she wanted to experience the life in the Southern Hemisphere. After her experiences abroad, Megumi decided to return to Hokkaido because at that point she had already realized that her previous lifestyle in Hokkaido wasn’t something taken for granted, but actually something quite special. “I simply wanted to let more people know about Hokkaido and wanted to let people in Hokkaido to be proud of their home. In 2014 I found Hokkaido Treasure Island Travel, and here I feel I can make those dreams come true.”
“I was born and raised in a small town called Niikappu, in Hokkaido”, Megumi tells. Niikappu faces the Pacific Ocean, and you can see the Hidaka mountain range (“Also called the backbone of Hokkaido!” Megumi adds) everywhere you go. Niikappu is famous for green pepper, rice, watermelon, and racehorses. Megumi notes that Hokkaido has also many other small towns and villages whose primary industries remind those of Niikappu. The staff of Hokkaido Treasure Island Travel, including the travel consultants like Megumi, constantly visit those small towns and villages to build trusting relationships and to work together with the locals to create new programs to attract travelers. “Not only can you try out picking fruits and vegetable, milking cows and fishing, but you can actually see how the locals work, what kind of super machines they use, and how they spend wintertime or their day off” Megumi explains enthusiastically. “I would like to show you our real Hokkaido lifestyle.”
● Her favorites: The diversity of Hokkaido
Megumi tells, that she loves the diversity of Hokkaido. “Hokkaido is a huge island and the public transportation is not as convenient like in a metropolis like Tokyo, which I guess is only natural. This means that you need to drive on your own even on windy days, rainy days and snowy days. However, when you just drive just 1 hour from Sapporo, you can enjoy variety of sceneries from beautiful blue ocean and stunning mountain range views, to vast agricultural land. There are many mountains to hike, many rivers to canoe, many lakes to fish and more.” On the top of the overall diversity, Megumi argues that the food in Hokkaido is the best in the world. She explains that this is partly related to the the drift ice that arrives to Hokkaido every February. The ice makes the ocean very mineral rich and volcanos on the other hand are good for the soil, water and snow. “Also, Hokkaido has most “onsen” hot springs in whole Japan. Well… it is hard to pick what is my favorite, but I like all the diversity which Hokkaido has to offer.”
● WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN TRAVEL?
“When I lived in USA and Australia, I enjoyed traveling around and getting to know local cultures. I have realized that my home, Hokkaido is also one of the most beautiful islands in the world to experience nature, culture, and delicious food. After my adventures abroad I decided to come back and live in Hokkaido to introduce this great island to more people. Fortunately, I met Hokkaido Treasure Island Travel Inc. and I am very happy to work as a travel consultant because I can show this beautiful island to people of the world.”