In the Mountains, Again – Photos from Kumakōgen

Howdy, folks! Ethan here again with another exciting installment of AirE&E, AKA Bad Idea 2k17, AKA Ethan and Emily’s Team-Building Exercise 2k17, AKA “If I have to see one more goddamn temple… – Emily Cardoza” 2k17.

After 10 days of vacuuming and laundry folding and so much social activity in Osaka, Emily and I set out on July 4 for Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. Our final destination was Kumakōgen Furusato Ryokō Mura, a “tourist village” nestled in a valley an hour outside the prefecture’s largest city of Matsuyama.

Now…what is a “tourist village,” you may ask? This question loomed ever larger in our minds as we sped away from Osaka’s metropolis and into the (literally) misty mountains of Shikoku. The Workaway was billed as a “resort” where we would volunteer 4 hours a day in exchange for a place to sleep and 3 meals. Our work would run the gamut from construction to repairs to gardening to cleaning to working with guests to…you name it.

And what did we do for two weeks, deep in the forest amidst the cicadas and rain Vacuuming, laundry folding, and so much social activity. *insert party popper emoji*

Which wasn’t the worst thing in the world, really! But it also wasn’t the backpacker’s paradise the Workaway listing made it out to be. Lesson learned once more – the best things in life are always [hit-or-miss].

But please, enjoy some photos of our two weeks in the middle of nowhere. Within you’ll find steamy forests, castles new and old, ducks, sweaty volunteers, and (Emily’s favorite)…temples!




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