Japan seeks volunteers to live without paying in a luxury hotel

In Japan, a start-up offers to stay in a luxury hotel, in exchange for a few hours of work.

Japan seeks volunteers to live without paying in a luxury hotel

In Japan, a start-up offers to stay in a luxury hotel, in exchange for a few hours of work.

Staying in a luxury hotel in Japan, you thought you couldn't afford it? Think again. In the land of the rising sun, the government has been facing a demographic decline for several decades. The cause is a declining birth rate and therefore an inevitably aging population. In addition to the retirements of the ever-increasing number of seniors to be financed, there is a shortage of labor in many service professions, such as hotels and restaurants.

A problem that pushes Japanese companies to work on different solutions to try to bring back staff. Which can be a huge good deal for French people wanting to go to Japan, but not necessarily having the financial means, as the trip is very expensive - sometimes up to 1,200 euros for a round trip from Paris. It is with this in mind that a Japanese company came up with an idea that could well benefit more than one worker.

The Japanese start-up Otetsutabi has developed a concept similar to Wwoofing - being hosted, often on a farm, in exchange for small jobs, a very popular practice for example in Australia with "work passport" holders. The concept is very simple: work for a few days in a sumptuous setting, whether at the beach, in the mountains or in the great outdoors, while enjoying the advantages of high-end accommodation for free, of course.

The Japanese company Otetsutabi is responsible for connecting workers wanting to escape their daily lives with hotels, restaurants and even ski resorts needing additional staff in their teams. Several tasks are offered, from cleaning in a luxury hotel, to maintenance in public places or selling ski passes in Japanese resorts. And that's not all ! You would be paid the minimum hourly wage, which depends on the region in Japan – in Tokyo it is around 1,200 yen per hour, or 7.50 euros – with accommodation and meals included. All in regions that are sometimes little-known - and therefore far from mass tourism in certain sublime corners of Japan.

The Otetsutabi company's initiative is not new, but demand is exploding with five times more volunteers in 2024 than in 2021. With the reopening of Japan's borders after the Covid-19 pandemic around the world, many are the adventurers to let themselves be tempted by the experience. And you ?

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