On the 13th, the annual meeting of the Nagano Junior Innkeepers Association was held. Hakuba Hifumi's Tomohiko Maruyama became our new leader. The keynote address was by Yahoo Japan's chairperson, Manabu Miyasaka.
The theme: Boiled Frog.
If you boil a frog in a pot of water, at first the frog enjoys the slowly raising temperature. But before he can do anything about it, the water reaches the deadly boiling point.
As a company, even if the numbers look comfortably good, it's imperative to always be on the lookout for danger.
One theory he uses is having each individual employee constantly remind his or herself who their customer is. Who would be inconvenienced if they were gone?
If applied to Nagano Prefecture, Miyasaka-san thinks it would be people who love mountains. For him, Nagano's biggest attraction is its mountains. And Japan's mountains are unique in that the distance between people and the mountains is minimal. Japan has a phrase "Satoyama", with 'sato' meaning 'home town', or 'my backyard', and 'yama' being mountain. I'm not sure how to exress that sentiment in English, perhaps because in English speaking countries mountains are considered wilderness.
Miyasaka-san's speech has me thinking who Kamesei Ryokan's customers are -- who would be inconvenienced if our inn were to go away...
Our new leader: Maruyama-san from Hakuba Hifumi