INTERN BLOG

Our internship program first began in 2011. We have hosted quite a number of interns over the years and we are grateful for having met each and every one. Interns have come from a diverse range of backgrounds and skill-sets from all over the world. It's our goal to one day have an intern from each country around the globe. 


 

Check out the blogs below which highlight some of our previous interns' experiences here at Kannonyama Fruit Garden.

Greetings!

Jul 15

Hello everyone!
My name is Caroline from Germany, and even though I am introducing myself for the first time here, it is already my 5th of 6 month here at the beautiful Kannonyama Farm. As a rather long-term intern, I was happy to experience and be part of the whole process with every little stage or step that happens in this company before the product arrives at the costumer. Starting from planting the trees, preparing the watering system, over picking the fruits, preparing them for customers or the farther process of making them into jelly, juice, dry fruits etc., to packing and arrange them before the package is closed and ready to get picked up.
Next to all the amazing work experience, the chances to explore the culture and different places around are given very, very often. So let me tell you about our last trip:
In the end of June, beginning of July, we had the chance to take a little break from cutting grasses and visit one of Osaka’s famous summer festivals: The Aizen Festival. Therefore, the mother of a boy we are teaching English at the moment in our house, invited us to show us around there and, the best part, to dress us in a real yukata. (Yukata are traditional, Japanese cloths, kind of like the summer version of a kimono.) It was a first experience for all of us and we were more than excited. Even our hair was done, so that in the end we all looked very traditional and ready for the festival.
After arriving, we were pretty overwhelmed by so many food carts with pretty much every Japanese food you could imagine. We even tried the “Hashimaki”, Okonomiyaki rolled around chopsticks. Everything was so full of colours and people having fun, it was a very nice atmosphere. I even had the chance to ride a Japanese palanquin, or better I was hopping around. J I am not sure what it was for, but it was very fun and quite an experience, even though the men needed a little break after lifting me. 😀

After running around and taking pictured we finished our day at an “Izakaya”, a Japanese restaurant where you can also order a variety of different food.
It was a wonderful day with the best surprise at the end:

we received the yukatas as a present to take home! 🙂

 

 

Jul 05

Hello everyone, I’m the new intern who just arrived last Friday.
My name is Lea, I’m from France but I’m studying in Beijing, China, which I arrived from last Friday.
I will be staying at Kannonyama until the end of August. My hometown in France is called Saint-Tropez, it’s in the south of France more exactly in the Cote d’Azur

My trip to Kannonyama was supposed to be easy since from Beijing, it only takes 3 hours by plane but not everything went like planned so I spent my day in the airport and arrived at 9pm in Osaka. But even after day in the airport, Kaichou came to pick me up and was so nice with me that I forgot that my day had been tiring.

Since I arrived, I worked in different places and had to do different types of jobs : selecting fruit, taking care of the kaki trees or now introducing myself on the blog. I have learned already so many things since I arrived and I can’t wait to do all the different type of jobs so I can have a full experience of Kannonyama and go back to China with my knowledge.

I thought I was only going to work and see how working in Japan is but I also met really nice people who always try their best to help, the staff and also all the other interns always help and make me feel comfortable since my level in Japanese is really low. I just arrived few days ago and Kaichou already took me and the other interns to eat some delicious food: ramen, gyozas…

No let’s be honest: I can’t talk Japanese but I hope to learn a lot from my working experience here. I was scared before coming because I can’t talk Japanese and I didn’t know how was going to be my experience but after few days, I can already say that it’s going to awesome with new experiences, fun and happiness.

After that little introduction, I will finish by saying that I’m glad to have the opportunity to experience working in Kannonyama and I’m impatient to learn and experience new things !

*En francais*

Bonjour à tous, je suis la nouvelle stagiaire qui vient d’arriver vendredi dernier.
Je m’appelle Léa, je suis française mais j’étudie à Pékin, Chine d’où je suis arrivée vendredi dernier.
Je vais rester à Kannonyama jusqu’à fin Août. Ma ville natale en France est Saint-Tropez, cela se trouve dans le sud de la France plus précisément en Côte d’Azur.

Mon voyage pour Kannonyama est supposé être facile puisque depuis Pékin, cela ne prend que 3 heures par avion mais tout ne s’est pas passé comme prévu alors j’ai passé ma journée a l’aéroport et je suis arrivée à 21h à Osaka. Mais même après avoir passé ma journée à l’aéroport, Kaichou est venu me récupérer à l’aéroport et il était si gentil avec moi que j’ai oublié que ma journée avait été épuisante.

Depuis que je suis arrivée, j’ai travaillé à différents endroits et fait différents types de travail: sélectionner les fruits, prendre soin des plaqueminiers ou maintenant me présenter sur le blog. J’ai déjà appris tellement de choses depuis que je suis arrivée et je suis impatiente de faire tous les différents jobs au moins j’aurai une expérience complète de Kannonyama et je retournerai en Chine avec ce savoir.

Je pensais que j’aillais seulement travailler et voir comment le travail au Japon était mais j’ai aussi rencontré des gens adorables qui essayent toujours de leur mieux pour m’aider, les employés et aussi les autres stagiaires m’aident toujours et me font me sentir à l’aise puisque mon niveau de Japonais est vraiment bas. Je suis seulement arrivée il y a quelques jours et Kaichou nous a déjà moi et les autres stagiaires amenait manger de la nourriture délicieuse : ramen, gyoza …

Soyons honnêtes, je ne peux pas parler Japonais mais j’espère apprendre beaucoup de mon expérience professionnelle ici. J’étais terrifiée avant de venir ici parce que je ne parle pas Japonais et je ne savais pas comment mon expérience allait être mais après quelques jours, je peux déjà dire que cela va être génial avec de nouvelles expérience, du fun et de la joie.

Apres cette petite introduction, je vais finir en disant que je suis contente d’avoir l’opportunité de travailler à Kannonyama et que je suis impatiente d’apprendre et d’expérimenter de nouvelles choses.

[By Lea Raffin – Kannonyama intern from France]

 

Nathan Lefievre Day 1

Jun 04

おはよございます!

Yesterdqy 3rd June was my first day in Japan at Kannonyama. After a night on the traditional Japanese futon, Mr. Kodama showed me during the morning the different parts of the company. Firstly, the factory, in the city, with many big machines. After the factory we took the car to go to the main office of Kannonyama, to see the IT service and where the fruits are packed for sell. After visiting this part of the company we went to see the future new building of Kannonyama, planned to be finished in October!
For lunch, Mr. Kodama took me to the best ramen restaurant of the city. The ramen were really delicious. We then jumped again into the car to go to the shopping mall. Mr. Kodama let me choose the food I wanted to eat for my first week here.
After all this, I went to Kokawadera Temple, the main temple of the city of Kokawa. It is one of the largest temples in Wakayama prefecture. The journey in the temple starts by a long path right after the entrance, where you can admire several small temples and gardens. It is a very quiet and peaceful place, where you can rest and enjoy tranquility. The Hondo, the main hall of the temple is truly beautiful and is worth the visit.
After leaving the temple, I decided to walk a bit in the city, to discover what a real small Japanese city is. I was astonished by the tranquility of the streets and also the cleanness.
Finally, I went back to my room and rested for the evening.

 

Ce 4 juin marque mon deuxieme jour a Kannonyama, Hier, apres une premiere nuit sur un futon Japonais traditionnel, M. Kodama m’a fait decouvrir les differentes parties de l’entreprise. Premierement, l’usine, ou sont presentes de nombreuses machines qui me sont encore inconnues. Nous sommes ensuite alles au batiment principal de Kannonyama pour decouvrir les bureaux et le lieu d’empaquetage des fruits. Nous sommes ensuite alles sur les lieux du futur batiment de l’entreprise, qui sera inaugure en Octobre!    
Pour le dejeuner, M. Kodama m’a emmene chez le meilleur restaurant de ramen de la ville. Les ramen etaient reellement delicieuses. Nous avons  ensuite a nouveau grimpe dans la voiture pour nous rendre au plus grand magasin d’alimentation de la ville. J’ai pu choisir les produits que je souhaitais manger pendant la semaine a venir.            
Apres tout ceci, je me suis rendu au temple Kokawadera, le principal temple de Kokawa. C’est l’un des temples les plus grands de la prefecture de Wakayama, ou nous sommes. Le voyage dans ce temple commence avec un long chemin en pierre depuis lequel on peut admirer plusieurs petits temples et jardins. C’est un endroit tres calme et agreable ou on peut se reposer et profiter de la tranquilite ambiante.  Le Hondo, le principal batiment du temple, est vraiment magnifique.                                          
Apres avoir quitte le temple, j’ai decide de marcher un peu dans la ville, pour decouvrir la vie dans une petite ville Japonaise.J’ai ete fascine par la tranquilite des rues et aussi leur properte, ce qui change beaucoup de la France.                                                                                                          

 

Jun 04

Hi everyone and nice to meet you.

I’m Ambrine and I’m gonna stay at the farm until the end of August so this shouldn’t be my first and last post.

I arrived here a week ago and already did a lot!

The very fist day, kaichou treated us to ramen in his favorite restaurant and it was during this evening that I got to be introduced to Larissa, Polina and Caroline. They explained a lot to me during those few days: about how things work in the intern house or work in general.

Everyone here is really nice and very patient. With the language barrier, it is sometimes hard to make myself understood and understand others thanks to my still poor japanese. But we are still able to communicate.

So far the work I had was to start the building of a wall (which was interesting since it was a first for all of us), putting labels on products and relaxing: the temperature is constantly increasing so we had to take breaks often. The rainy season will start soon too so we’ll probably work more regularly inside.

Though I came here to translate the website in french, as a beginner in coding, this could prove to be more difficult than expected. It will be interesting experience and challenge!

In the mean time I get post more diverse pictures, please enjoy these with all the green and mountains that Wakayama has to offer.

[FRENCH]

Salut tout le monde et enchantée.

Je m’appelle Ambrine et je vais rester à Wakayama jusqu’à la fin Août: ce ne devrait alors pas être mon premier et dernier article.

Je suis arrivée ici il y a une semaine et a déjà fait beaucoup de choses.

Le tout premier jour, kaichou (président si on traduit) nous as invités à manger des ramens dans son restaurant favoris et c’est durant cette soirée que j’ai pu faire la connaissance de Larissa, Polina et Caroline. Elles m’ont expliqué beaucoup de choses ces derniers jours: comment les choses fonctionnent dans la maison des internes ou pour le travail en général.

Ici, tout le mode est très gentil et patient. Avec la barrière linguistique, j’ai parfois du mal à me faire comprendre et à comprendre les autres grâce à mon japonais encore pauvre. Mais on arrive quand même à communiquer.

Le travail jusqu’à présent fut de commencer la construction d’un mur (ce qui fut intérressant vu aue c’était une première pour nous tous), coller des étiquettes sur des produits et se relaxer: la température ne fait qu’augmenter ce qui faisait aue nous devions prendre des pauses souvent. La saison des pluies va bientôt commencer aussi; on va donc probablement travailler plus régulièrement à l’intérieur.

Même si je suis venue ici pour traduire le site web en français, en tant que débutante dans la programmation, cela pourrait s’avérer plus difficile que prévu. Ce sera une expérience et un défi intéressant!

En attendant d’avoir des photos plus variées, profitez de celles-ci avec tout le vert et les montagne que Wakayama peut nous offrir.

[By Ambrine Guilbaud – Kannonyama intern from France]

Feb 24

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. So today’s my last day here at Kannonyama. At the end of the month I’ll be returning to Tokyo & Waseda. Its all very bittersweet. & I’m getting ready to go, and will be joining the other interns after lunch for my last day of work & to bid everyone goodbye.
But first off, I’ll recount the fun events that happened the last couple of days.

 

Two fun things happened. Firstly, a tv crew came & did a segment on Kannonyama and secondly, I went to Nara with the other interns.
So the other day, the tv crew came with a local celebrity and filmed us at work, we were also interviewed with kaichou. It was fun and bizarre all at the same time. For lunch we had BBQ atop the mountain, with the spectacular view. Although throughout the day, the weather was on and off, mostly cloudy. And it rained in the afternoon. It was funny, since we were doing the tasting session and the rain was lashing. So we were probably shivering on camera, on top of looking confused.
We finished the day off with BBQ as well, this time having a view of Wakayama in the night, the mountains casting a shadow on the lit-up towns beneath.

 

Yesterday, we went to Nara. It was fun, we saw the Bambi’s relatives. A lot of her relatives, they were everywhere. Polina kept buying them food and they were all over her. It was really funny. Aside from the bonding time with the deers, we were able to see the numerous temples. ANd the great Budhha. It was magnificent to say the least. We ended the day shopping, getting souvenirs and with Polina buying numerous face masks.

 

[Filipino]
Ung mga nakaraang araw, ang daming nangyari. Pinaka una, may dumating na tv crew dito sa farm, tas nag shoot sila ng segment. Including ung mga fruits, tas nag interview sila ng mga may ari, si Kaichou tas ng asawa nya. After noon, kami din kinausap, pero ang saklap kasi lahat Japanese kaya ang hirap magkaintindihan. Pero okay naman, nalaraos naman. Tas ayun nga nag BBQ kami sa hapon tas sa gabi. Ang lakas ng ulan nung hapon tas ang lamig na nung gabi. Pero okay lang naman, masaya parin. Ang dami nga naming nakain eh, puro karne. Tas kahapon nag punta kami ng Nara. Ang ganda, ang daming deer tas masaya kasi halos walang mga tao. Siguro kasi di naman peak season. Kaya ayun ang dami naming pictures tas napuntahan namin lahat ng temples at shrines. Tas nung late afternoon na namili kami ng mga kung ano ano. Tas nag dinner kami sa coco curry bago nag hintay ng train habang umiinom ng starbucks.

 

[By Maria – Kannonyama intern from Ireland & Philippines]

Feb 14

Yesterday we had the opportunity to work at a very special place. Despite the wet and cold weather, the view of blossoming Plum trees was really beautiful, so that we could forget about everything else. It felt almost like we were camping with our small team while collecting cut branches. Especially because afterwards we made a fire with the old bamboos trees we collected the day before. In this cozy atmosphere, together with the Kaichou, who visited us on our break, we had a warm snack and just enjoyed the time we could talk to each other about different things.

Вчера нам выпала честь поработать в одном очень особенном месте, а именно среди цветущих деревьев Сливы.Несмотря на погоду, обстановка больше напоминала отдых. Особенно потому что после этого собравшись нашей маленькой компанией мы разожгли костер, вокруг которого атмосферненько поговорили о всякой всячине и перекусили.

[By Polina Engelmann – Kannonyama intern from Germany & Russia]











Feb 12

Today turned out to be a busy and fun day. First off, Kaichou brought us to the greenhouse to help pick oranges. We learned how to identify the ones that were sweet, as opposed to the sour ones. And yes, it involved a lot of tasting. Afterwards, Kaichou brought us to a farmer’s supermarket and we had coffee at the adjoining coffee shop, overlooking the prefecture. It was beautiful.

 

Afterwards, Kaichou drove us back to the places where we select lemons. We did some quality selecting till lunch. After which, we had lunch at a local Ramen shop. Kaichou informed us that the restaurant was quite famous, we soon realized why.

 

With our bellies filled with delicious ramen, Kaichou once again brought us to a different working site. It was atop the Buddha mountain. There we helped gather the bamboos, simultaneously enjoying the view. The entire experience was peaceful and exhilarating all at the same time. We were on the edge. During our break, we sipped orange cider and swung peacefully on the swings. Furthermore, the weather went through a cycle of sun and snow, we were able to see the mist gather as the sun shied away.

 

Kaichou to the rescue picked us up and took us home to drop off our things before going for groceries and dinner. It seems we went a bit too crazy doing the groceries, there was so many Japanese food we wanted to try, it was great fun. For dinner Kaichou took us to another famous restaurant, this time for okonimiyaki. Kaichou knew the owner, I swear, the man knows everyone in this prefecture. We practiced Japanese, as we congratulated the owner with his son doing the entrance exams for university.

 

After dinner we came back to where we helped gather the bamboos since Kaichou needed to drop some food for his staff. Again, the view was amazing, you could see the towns all lit up, against the silhouette of the mountains. As if that wasn’t sufficient enough, we were able to see all the stars. The constellations, scattered on a coal canvas. I didn’t realize just how much I missed seeing the stars. The rare glimpses in Tokyo pales in comparison.

 

When we go back to the house, Kaichou and I played around the piano he brought over earlier. Yes, the piano he brought over upon learning I could play. We laughed and bonded, as he played us different songs, teasing the other interns for not being familiar enough with the German national anthem. As he played the tune on the piano. To end the night, we tried the yuzu curd, all in approval.

 

[By Maria Diaz – Kannonyama intern from Ireland & Philippines]

Feb 09

My first week of being at Kanonyama Fruit Garden is over. Everyone is very friendly and helps a lot. Even though I spend my childhood at the country side, I almost forgot how hard it can be to do field work. But still, working with hands and body feels amazing.

It’s very busy here now. Despite cold and rainy weather everyone is working hard. We, the international interns, also, trying our best. This weak we mostly were busy with selecting Lemons. It sounds easy, but it is not. We need to pay attention to many details such as weight, color, and shape, so that every customer can enjoy the products of Kanonyama Fruit Garden to a maximum.

In the short breaks that we spend with our colleagues, we talk about different things while teaching each other Japanese and English. We have a lot of fun together.


Первая неделя моего пребывания в Каноняма подошла к концу. Несмотря на то, что своё детсво я провела в деревне и работа в поле мне не чужда, оказывается это очень тяжело. Но не смотря на это, работать телом и руками доставляет огромное удовольствие. Все очень приветливые и всегда помогают как могут, так что мы чувствуем себя очень комфортно.

На данный момент работы много. Несмотря на холодную и дождливую погоду, каждый работает не покладая рук. Мы, стажеры, тоже стараемся как можем. На этой неделе мы в большей степени занимались сортированием лемонов. Казалось бы легко. Но на самом деле не очень. Нужно обращать внимание на различные детали,такие как вес, цвет и форма.

Так же в наши небольшие паузы мы общаемся с нашими коллегами и пытаемся учить друг друга английскому и японскому языку. Прогресс уже налицо.

[By Polina Engelmann – Kannonyama Intern from Germany & Russia]

Feb 08

 

After almost 13 hours of traveling from Tokyo, a Kannonyama human came to my rescue. I took the night bus from Tokyo, and then trains to Kokawa staion. From which I walked to the farm. In retrospect it was ill-thought, as it took almost an hour with my luggage. However, as I got closer, a staff at Kannonyama realized I was one of the interns and proceeded to give me a lift to the farm.

 

Despite the rough start, I feel like this experience is one I will remember for the rest of my days. Once I arrived, Kaichou showed me around the farm and introduced me to the family. Afterwards, we went shopping for my groceries. After meeting everyone, we went straight to work. We selected lemons until the end of the day.

 

In the evening we had a welcome / going away party for myself and the another intern. We had bento and some drinks. It was fun, we talked about international politics.

Hence, here’s a picture of me writing this post. Smile and all.

 

Pagkatapos ng mahabang byahe galing Tokyo, sa wakas nakarating din ako ng Wakayama. Medyo malayo, pero pag dating dito okay naman. Mabait nman ung mga tao, pati maayos naman ung guest house na pinag iistayan ko. Malapig nga lang, ka share ko ung dalawa pang intern na galing ng Germany. Tas nung kinagabihan na, nag arrange sila ng welcome party, kumain kami ng bento tas drinks after.

 

[By Maria Diaz – Kannonyama Intern from Ireland & Philippines]

 

Dec 12

Shouchan went back home to Taiwan recently. We had a nice send-off for her though, with a big group dinner at a local restaurant and a little karaoke afterwards. Thanks for being my intern buddy Shouchan, it will be pretty lonely without you here.

 

But there is definitely plenty to keep me occupied. Things are getting busy at Kannonyama now that we’re in December. Apparently, there’s a custom called ‘oseibo’ in Japan where in December you give gifts to those people that have done something for you throughout the year as a sign of thanks for their efforts. Luckily for Kannonyama, fruit is a common gift of choice and orders have certainly increased in the last few weeks. I’ve been helping out a fair bit with the packing team as best I can preparing the orders, etc. Occasionally I’ve also been doing some field work and in the office making the English website. Not long now and it’ll be done I think!

 

[By Taylor White – Kannonyama Intern from Australia]

 

Dec 07

Over the last month there’s been a lot of preparation and anticipation for the annual Kannonyama thanksgiving festival, which we finally had last week! We had a great turnout of festival-goers and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. Throughout the day, there were plenty of activities and entertainment organised. There were even a couple of celebrity appearances too with Wakayama girl group Fun x Fam and Maya Ayahane stopping by to perform. At the festival, you were able to pick your own mikans in the nearby field, participate in the mikan hunt , join in the group games and watch the fireworks display. Almost all of the staff were able to stop their usual work and come join in and it was nice that everyone was together in one place. It was good fun and there was certainly a lot to be thankful for

 

[By Taylor – Kannonyama Intern from Australia]

 

Nov 21

最近在為一年一度的感謝祭做準備~~ ^o^
很開心可以一起參與到這個盛大的活動!!!
已經開始期待感謝祭的到來~~~~
我來到Kan-Non-Yama Fruit Garden 也已經快3個月了,來到這裡很開心也認識到很多新朋友~~ 每天都是很充實的一天!!!

 

[By Shōchan – Kannonyama intern from Taiwan]

 

Nov 19

I’ve always wanted to experience a ryokan and this week I finally stayed at one!

 

Kaichō took Shōchan and I to the beautiful Hiinanoyu Ryokan near Wakayama City. We wore yukata, bathed in an onsen, had relaxing massages, slept on tatami mats and ate an assortment of delicious food prepared by the skilful Hiroto Akama. We also went and checked out the nearby Awashima Jinja (the famous doll shrine) and Wakayama Castle. It was a fantastic couple of days jam-packed with culture and new experiences that I’ll never forget. どうもうありがとうございました.

 

On a side note, I experienced my first earthquake today! A 5.2 magnitude one at that. Let’s just say that one experience is plenty, thanks.

 

[By Taylor – Kannonyama Intern from Australia]

 

Oct 30

Yesterday we spent the day at the LOHAS festival in Osaka, a festival promoting sustainable lifestyles. The event was HUGE and a lot of fun.  At the festival, Kannonyama had a stall selling a few products including fruit jellies, drinks, honey and some fresh fruits. I helped in the stall (to the best of my ability) handling sales, offering samples to passerby-ers and calling out the infamous ‘いらっしゃいませ!’

 

Lots of couples and families with their young kids were out and about enjoying the fine weather. There were endless rows of stalls with cute crafts and delicious food on offer, it was hard not to buy everything in sight. I really enjoyed hanging out with the staff, greeting customers and just being in the festive atmosphere. Heading to another festival next week too which I’m really looking forward to now

 

[By Taylor – Kannonyama intern from Australia]

 

Oct 26

來介紹一下和歌山有名的世界遺產~高野山~
休假會長帶我跟Taylor一起去了高野山
高野町很有日本古老街道的風味~很漂亮也很寧靜!!
一路幽靜的散步到奧之院弘法大師御廟~~
一進到御廟內需要很莊重安靜!!!
很開心能有這趟旅程~~ 又開始期待下次的旅程了~~~~ \^o^/

 

[By Shōchan – Kannonyama intern from Taiwan