HI Hostels Blog

Japan One Year On: Farewell Dinner for Earthquake Refugees

The Kanda Amerex Building is home to the Tokyo Japan Youth Hostel Booking Centre; one of the top performers recognised and rewarded as part of the hihostels.com 5th birthday celebrations. Instead of using their prize money to have a staff celebration, the Booking Centre generously decided to use their prize funds to host a farewell dinner for refugees of the earthquake.

Tokyo dinner signToyko dinner room

Tokyo Central YH was designated as official accommodation for earthquake refugees by the Tokyo Government in early-April 2011 and had accepted more than 50 earthquake refugees. Although most of the refugees had moved on to new places 4 months after the tragedy, 16 refugees were still dependent on the hostel.

The Booking Centre and JYH staff decided to use their prize money to hold a thank you and goodbye dinner for staff and the refugees, providing special hot meals for everyone. This made a welcome change from the instant food most refugees had been eating since the earthquake.

People eatingPeople eating

One of the refugees said that “the YH style – was a moderate balance of privacy, protection and public space. The hostel is really comfortable and warm and made everyone feel as if they were old friends”.

Japan’s Tohoku Region is our Destination of the Month for July – Beautiful countryside, mountains, lakes, hot springs, tasty cuisines and most of all friendly people.


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