HI Hostels Blog

Japanese students imagine the future of travel

At HI we believe in the creativity and imagination of young people and the power of travelling to create new opportunities.

Which is why we were delighted when our member association in Japan, the Japan Youth Hostels (JYH) became co-sponsor of the “Mynavi Career Koshien 2020”, business competition for high school students organized by Mynavi Corporation.


Teams of High school students compete to come up with solutions to problems presented by the sponsoring companies, such as Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), pharmaceutical company Bayer, credit card company Sumitomo Mitsui Card, healthcare company Pip, The Life Insurance Association of Japan and Japan Youth Hostels of course!
This initiative has become very popular as it offers not only innovative business solutions to organisations but also presents a teaching tool for active learning. 

The challenge set by JYH was the following

“Propose a style of travel and accommodation that Japanese students would want to visit after the coronavirus crisis.

A record number of teams with almost 2009 teams applied for the competition and just 20 teams were selected to join the process and present their ideas to the judges in a 10-minute video. The successful teams were invited to move on to a ‘face-to-face presentation in the semi-finals in February and the six winning teams will compete in the finals on 14 March 2021, where the winner will be decided. 

We have interviewed Mr.Kazumasa Ikeda who is deputy CEO at Japan Youth Hostels (JYH). 

Why did JYH decide to sponsor this business competition?  


Despite this pandemic, young people feel great desire to travel. Howeverthe Japanese government has advised people not to travel during the pandemic, hence it is impossible for us to promote our youth hostels directly to the young people. 

Instead of promoting our hostels, we chose a strategy to raise awareness of youth hostels in the young generation. When we were looking for an appropriate way to do so, we came across this business competition and saw a great opportunity to combine our needs and the needs of young people to dream of travel and have hope for the future. 

What are you expecting from it 

We expect young students to see Hostelling International not only as an affordable accommodation provider, but also to understand HI’s mission and history. We’re hoping that they will choose to stay with us as soon as they can travel, because they agree with our mission and values.  

Joining this business competition for school student was a great learning opportunity for us as well. We gathered so many ideas, and we could see the trend of travel that Japanese students are looking for. Some students are looking for a gaming aspect to their trip, others are adding an educational value to their travel by working experience so that they can cover some of the travel cost..From the beginning, we always believed in the power of young people but now we’re confident to say we were not wrong. 

Mynavi Career Koshien 2020 semi-finals
Mynavi Career Koshien 2020 semi-finals

Also, I formed a judging committee with two Japanese staff members from the HI global network to show to the students that they have opportunities to work abroad in the future. I believe that this will inspire them to work at Hostelling International too, ensuring a future generation of hostel lovers and experts. 

Explore our hostels in Japan and plan your next escape! 

If you would like to support our mission and help us make a difference

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