It is 16 years since WAK JAPAN was founded in 1997.
In my twenties, I spent nearly 2 years in France and found it difficult but enjoyable to understand foreign cultures. At the same time I wanted to be involved in a work related with international exchange. But I was too busy raising children and there was no opportunity to work out of my home till I became 40.
After all my children have grown up, I obtained a Japanese language teacher’s license and started teaching at a Japanese language school twice per week. Then my colleagues and I decided to create jobs and show to people that we are a group of responsible women being able to complete works till the end. In order to do this, we founded WAK JAPAN (Women’s Association of Kyoto) in 1997. Being a naive woman, the first thing for me to do was to read “how to make a limited company” , and my role in WAK was to answer incoming calls.
Being naive, I thought that running WAK JAPAN would be rather easy since it is not a manufacturer and it did not require a large amount of cost, and I had as much as 3 million yen. But following continuous difficulties and problems destroyed my easy “anticipation.” I was nearly broke, but with the help of many people, I somehow managed to continue this business as I thought that my drop-out would dissuade other women from establishing their business.
|1998||Introducing culture experiences at a local people’s homes was the 1st program to use people’s homes in travel business and drew attention from 1999 till now: Lectures on “How to explaining Japanese culture in English” has been held twice every year, and it is being held now as well. WAK JAPAN provide various kinds of lectures/seminars on English language and Japanese cultures for WAK’s instructors and attendants so that they can continuously improve their skills.|
|2000||Started getting inquiries on spouse programs. This allowed us to improve our skills to handle groups as well as increase the number of group programs we can handle. We are now able to arrange tea ceremony experience for 150 people and calligraphy experience for 150 people at the same time.|
|2002||Started special programs for VIPs and movie celebrities.|
|2004||Moved the office from my home to a room in a condominium in the city center. We opened a Japanese room inside the office for short experience courses for those wishing to enjoy cultural experiences in a casual manner.|
|2006||Started introducing culture experience at a Machiya (tradtional town house). A lot of Machiya are being taken over by high-rise building and disappear. I made this program as using Machiya as a venue would play an important role in the preservation of a beautiful landscape of Kyoto.|
|2008||Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry designated WAK JAPAN as a honorable business model utilizing local resources.|
|2009||Moved the office to a new location in tradtional “Machiya”(Traditional wooden town house unique to Kyoto. Welknown for its beautiful lattice facade, and the narrow frontage with long depth, our Machiya can let clients enjoy “Culture Experience Short Program” in a more relax yet authentic tradtional atmosphere.|
We will continuously strive to offer absolute satisfaction to people having come to WAK all way from their home country.