Welcome to part 2 of the 3 part Awaji Learning Holiday Program. In this part we’ll learn about how the participants explored more about Pasona’s activities on the island and Awaji’s deep history, culture and local people.

Day 3 (August 30, 2023)

Preparation for Action Learning

As part of learning Japanese through real activities, the ALH program participants have Japanese lessons every morning focussing on communication strategies for the day’s missions. On this day, they prepared for an information exchange about Hong Kong and Awaji culture with the local people. They practiced the questions they wish to ask about Awaji Island, and also prepared to promote the charms of Hong Kong.

“Pasona Workation Hub”

On the way to Sumoto City, where they had the cultural exchange event with local people, they visited several “Pasona Workation Hubs” on the eastern coast of Awaji Island. Staff can work in an environment designed for comfort, facing beautiful views of the ocean.

Cultural exchange with local people

The participants visited “Awaji Bunka Shiryo Kan (Awajishima Museum)“ in Sumoto City. 8 people from the city welcomed the ALH participants and they enjoyed exchanging information about their cities. The participants asked questions such as why onions produced on Awaji Island were so big and sweet, which sightseeing spots they recommend and why, etc. One of the Japanese participants introduced the story of the wild boar guardians of Senkoji temple on Mt. Sensan using a picture story show. After the one-hour exchange, the Japanese participants took them on a short tour of the museum. It was a very heartwarming and educational exchange.

Visiting Izanagi Shrine

They had a chance to visit Japan’s oldest shrine “Izanagi Jingu” on the way back to Awaji City. It is a shrine that appears in “Kuniumi Shinwa (birth of the nation myth)” at the beginning of “Kojiki” and “Nihon Shoki” (both are historical books compiled in the early 8th century). It enshrines the two gods, Izanagi and Izanami, who were the origins of the country’s birth.

Dinner at Miele the Diner

After a long day, the participants enjoyed a western style dinner at Pasona Group’s newest restaurant called “Miele the Diner” which opened in March 2023. The restaurant features a complimentary salad bar with tasty Awaji local vegetables with various homemade dressings. After enjoying a big meal with fresh salad, all the participants looked very happy and satisfied with the day.

Day 4 (August 31, 2023)

Zenbo Seinei

The program participants visited several places before working on their Action Learning on this day. The first location was “Zenbo Seinei”, which is Pasona Group’s featured facility on Awaji Island. It was completed in April 2022, and since its opening, has attracted worldwide attention for its design and luxurious retreats. The facility offers various programs such as a 4-hour Yoga Wellness Program and an overnight stay to regulate mind and body. However, as ALH program’s focus was on Japanese communication skills, the participants just had a 45-minute facility tour conducted in only Japanese. During the tour, they had a chance to sit on a comfortable retreat chair and experience meditating on the dedicated Zen platform overlooking the peaceful landscape. Although it was only for a few minutes, they felt refreshed and calm.

Lunch at Farmer’s Restaurant “Haru San San”

Then they had lunch at the farm-to-table restaurant called “Haru San San”, which was built in October 2021, utilizing environmentally friendly and renewable materials. It offers dishes that are locally produced for local consumption using vegetables grown in the Pasona Group’s agricultural fields of “Awaji Nature Lab & Resort”. While having lunch, we could also enjoy “Music Island” staff playing Marinba.

Composting in Awaji Nature Lab & Resort

Researching the farm-to-table and sustainability philosophy, the participants visited “compost” after lunch. Raw garbage from “Haru San San” is composted and used as fertilizer to grow new vegetables. A staff from Pasona Nouentai (a member of Pasona Group that specializes in the human resource development business in the agricultural field) explained in Japanese how compost works and what they are growing in their fields.

Pasona’s work-life balance goals and relocating core functions to Awaji

Next on the agenda, was action learning at Pasona Global Hub Square. The participants were divided into 4 groups and they interviewed Pasona staff under different themes.
One group asked about the employment situation on Awaji Island and how successful foreign human resources are on the Island. Two groups asked about the changes in their life after moving to Awaji Island and what support, in terms of living, Pasona Group provides. Another group asked about the pros and cons of moving some of the head quarter’s functions to Awaji Island as well as Pasona Group’s future goal.

After the group interviews, they all sat together and listened to Pasona Group’s recruiting business on Awaji Island, and essential Japanese culture and business practices that people should know when working in Japan or with Japanese companies.

Dinner at Aman no Shokutaku

Opposite to Pasona Global Hub Square is “Aman no Shokutaku” which consists of two restaurants, “Utage”, the modern Japanese style izakaya on the 1st floor and “Sajiki”, the Teppanyaki and Sukiyaki restaurant on the 2nd floor. Some enjoyed food such as the specialty Aman’s Gozen Set Meal, Whole Awaji Onion Soup or simple Nabeyaki (Clay pot) Udon in “Utage” and some enjoyed luxurious Teppanyaki grill course in “Sajiki”.

To be continued …