Four IUJ students and 1 alumni participated in an exciting marketing internship for Isen Co., Ltd held at the well-known hot spring resort, ryugon, from July 16th to July 29th.

Isen Co., Ltd. operates two ryokan inns; ryugon in Minami Uonuma City and Hatago Isen in Echigo Yuzawa. The company also runs a restaurant business and product sales business.

The internship project at ryugon was centered around how to promote the ryokan tourism (Japanese Inns), snow country tourism, and snow country culture to foreigners strategically.

On the first and second days, President of Isen, Mr. Tomohiro Iguchi, explained to the students about the history of ryugon which is a symbol of snow country culture. His talk included insightful information of what ryugon and snow culture should be in the future. He further explained about how he inherited the Japanese Inn just last year, and his hopes for its future. In order to help the students get fully into the spirit of a Japanese Inn, they experienced how to serve customers in Japanese style, call “Omotenashi” from the Landlady of Isen, Ms. Manami Iguchi.

On the 3rd day, the students worked on a proposal, and presented their ideas and plans at ryugon on the last day.

Based on Mr. Iguchi’s request, the students covered 4 areas:

  1. a marketing plan to attract more foreign guests 2. Activities for guests that would increase the experience and salability of the Inn 3. Service improvement based on a balance of Omotenashi and foreigners needs, and 4. Suggested changes for improvements of the overall experience within the Inn.

An example of their ideas from the marketing plan is to work with popular foreign influencers who like Japan and Japanese onsens. They explained the advantages and cost effectiveness if the company were to bring them into the marketing strategy. After the presentation, Mr. Iguchi asked several questions to understand their suggestion thoroughly. They answered his questions, and the internship concluded.

We really appreciate Mr. Iguchi and Isen Company, and all staff of ryugon for giving such a great opportunity to IUJ students. The students were excited and honored to be able to put their skills to the test in the real world, and in support of local businesses.

IUJ welcomes further opportunities from local and distant companies at any time if they consider recruiting from IUJ and offering internships. Please contact us at the following.

International University of Japan (IUJ)
Office of Admissions and Career Support (OACS)
Tel: 025-779-1467 / Email: