Category#WorldsCoolestJob

Andy Lau from Hong Kong and Danielle Lin from Singapore both 24, have emerged victorious, winning the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work in Niseko, Japan Jobscope: food shopping for Asia’s leading online grocery concierge service with a US$10,000 salary and all expenses paid.

Day 26 – Beautiful day to bid farewell – HIS Version

Last night was farewell dinner for Cui Lin. She’s really the BOSS here, in the best way. She is extremely direct, honest, and strict to her values. She works too hard sometimes only because she truly loves honestbee. 

Thank you Kyoko for making us a delicious tomato-flavoured Shabu-shabu.

 

Today has the best weather I’ve seen in Niseko so far. The sun is so bright we need to put down the visors.

 

It snowed non-stop overnight, which means there is the softest and most powdery snow this morning!

Super house cannot run as smooth as without the initiative of the #beefamily.

Aki making a safer passage for everyone.

Yuta here fixing the little holes in our honestbee balloon.

Today has the best weather, it’s of course a MUST to bring our beloved Bee-chan. 

Our beanies and neck warmers are so popular it runs out in seconds.

 

 

We had a delivery today which the customer gave back the delivery boxes we use! +100 points for Robert for being environmentally-friendly!

 

 

 

Today really has been the best day so far.
(Sorry if I have been using this everyday since coming here, it’s the truth.)

Join me here to see my last few days with the #WorldsCoolestJob @honestbeejp!

#worldscoolestjob Day 25 – HER version

CHILL DAY

So instead of going to the superhouse or doing any of the #world’scoolestjob stuff, I got to chill for a bit and enjoy a slightly slower pace for the day. So after some final editing of all the videos in the morning, Cui Lin and Zhengwei brought me out for lunch together with Yuta. 

NISEKO VILLAGE

So pretty! Even though they are only a few years older than me, sometimes I feel like their my parents. HAHA. Just having some retard fun. THANKS FOR BRINGING ME OUT!

(Trying to look awkward here)

(He bought this beanie right after this photo)

(The beanies are NOT flattering at all)

FOXY TIME

One of the Singaporean Shopper bee, Rachel, loved to take photos of the fox at Lawson. I saw her photos but have never seen any until today. They’re real and cute!

ONSEN

I’m not sure whether I have been looking forward or dreading going to the onsen. But today, when the opportunity presented itself, I was hesitant, public nudity has never been my thing, but I mean, since I’m here right… Yup I sound totally confident of my decision. I think I felt even more awkward when Cui Lin was going in with me. I wasn’t ready to be naked with someone I’ve been working with for the entire month. She just went in, stripped and went forth. I just stood in the middle of the dressing room for a minute or two like some idiot thinking what have I gotten myself into. 

What can I say about my experience. Just do it. I’m just going to leave it there. 😛 Feeling zen-out + flushed. 

SAYING GOODBYE

This is Cui Lin’s last day in Niseko. You hardly see her in the videos and blogs because she has been the one behind the scenes, helping us take pictures and videos, editing our content and supervising this entire project. She is constantly working, and even though SMU has taught me to survive on very little sleep, I still can’t keep up with her. She is a machine. Looking back, it is quite amazing how much we managed to achieve with the circumstances. The Japanese shopper bees showing her some love. <3  

Most of the time she is camera shy! And I have to resort to like stalk-ish ways. 

But not tonight! (Beware – photo spam!)

Look at Yuta’s expression in each photo. 

SNIFF SNIFF

You’ll be missed! Now the room will be so quiet. 😐 HAHA she has to vet through this, not sure if she is going to edit somethings out! 

12 Things to do in Niseko

Niseko is a small place in Hokkaido, about 2 and half hour drive from Sapporo. But what this little town is known for is it’s climate which produces the most powdery snow that makes it the best place to ski and snowboard. So obviously when you come to Niseko, these should be at the top of your list!

1. SKIING

You can hit different slopes, the main one being Grand Hirafu which has a separate slope that goes to hanazono. There are shuttle buses going around the slopes as well.

2. SNOWBOARDING
This is my personal favourite. Here in Niseko was the first time I did snowboarding and I absolutely fell in love with it. I’m far from saying I’m competent in it and I still have a couple of really bad falls. But such is love! Hahaha

 
But of course everyone knows that Niseko is the place to go for skiing and snowboarding. But what else is there to do? Here are 8 other things you can do here in Niseko if you’re not into snow sports, or you want to take a break from the slopes.  
3. SNOW MOBILE
This is definitely one of the highlights for me so far. First time on a snow mobile and I’m in love with it. If you are in Niseko, you HAVE to check this out. You can go to Hirafu Adventure Centre which is just 5 minutes away from Hirafu Village. Not only do they offer snow mobiling, but they have snow banana and have the option to go off road mountain sledging. 
  

4. SNOW SHOEING
Love nature? Take a trip round half moon lake in a picturesque landscape. Experience how it is like to walk on heaps of snow and take in the beauty of the mountains with these special shoes. There will be parts that will leave you heavy breathed, but it is worth it. Just look at the scenery you get to see!

5. GONDOLA

Care for a bird eye’s view of the mountains without the effort of hiking up or skiing down. There are specific gondola that will bring you up and down the mountain in comfort. This is an awesome activity to just relax and enjoy a fantastic view while bonding with your loved ones.

6. TUBBING

This is particularly good for the little ones! There are a few places where you can do this. It’s fun for the family or if you want to relive your childhood again and simply have silly laughter over each others’ tumbling.

7. ONSEN

Here in Niseko, the hot springs are a must. After a day on the slopes, it is time to relax and let the rejuvenating waters cleanse your body and mind. Some areas provide a beautiful view of the slopes or Mt Yotei. This is the ultimate pampering of the mind, body and soul. Not sure if you can see how rosy my face was. You will the ultimate zen. Sorry about the picture quality, didn’t bring my camera inside, so iPhone images got to do!

  

8. ZIP LINING

Another activity for some exhilarating fun. But it really depends on the weather and you will only be able to know on the day itself. Therefore, you cannot book it online, but have to relay on your good fortune to just go to the adventure center at hanazono to see if it is available.

9. KUTCHAN TOWN

Explore the local town in Niseko! This little town if often overlooked but there are numerous little gems hidden. Take bus which will be around 10-20 minutes and explore what the locals have to offer. From food to crafts, their night life and their way of life.

10. REINDEER SLEDGING

All your imaginations of how Santa delivers his presents will be answered after a ride on these majestic creatures. And yes (to my younger sister) they are real things! Hahaha!

11. IMMERSE YOURSELF

If you’re in Niseko during the end of Janurary, you’ll be able to catch the Festival of Japan. Almost all of the events are free admission, each day presenting a new facet of the Japan culture.

12. COOK AT HOME

It gets dark early in Niseko. By 4:30pm, the sun has already set. There isn’t that much to do at night, this is the best time to spend time with your family or friends – the real reasons for holidays! And what better way then to have a cooked meal in the comfort of your house. Just use the honestbee application or order on the website to have groceries delivered to your house at whatever time you want. Come back from the slopes with boxes of the freshest produce. 😀

Hope you enjoyed reading this post because I sure enjoyed myself writing it! If you have the time, do stop by Niseko with your loved ones, I’ll definitely will be bringing mine here!

#worldscoolestjob Day 24 – HER version

ONE MORE TIME

Since I rented the snowboard for yesterday’s lesson, I hit the slopes once more in the morning before my AM shift with Zheng Wei and Cui Lin. Getting better!!! On my last run down, I didn’t fall at all.. Well, had some bumps, but yay!

SHOVELING SNOW

Just another daily activity which I think I’ll miss when I get back to Singapore. I haven’t had time to gym here, but being here I don’t think I need to. Every day I’m using so much more strength to do the most simple things.

SELFIE TIME

HEHE, always picture ready these guys! Initially they were so camera shy, but now they’re like “come lets us take picture!”

ADVENTURES OF BEE-CHAN

So besides hitting the streets, we hit different ski slope areas around Hirafu, Annapuri and Moiwa; just some of the many places we give our pamphlets to. We  have been getting such a good response for Bee-chan as well as our beanies and neckwarmers. Almost everyone knows us now! People are coming all the way to the pop up store because they heard of us, I have random people coming up and telling me that they saw at the supermarket or at some other ski place. Good Good.

(hehe, having some fun before giving out the pamphlets)

LUNCHIE

Yuko and Yuta who have been on the same shift as me for these 2 weeks brought me to a local Japanese eatery in Kutchan town called OTOMU. I had the hira katsu lunch set!

DELIVERY

The shoppers here, including Shannon and Rachel our Singaporean shoppers, are so fast with their orders. Our orders are getting bigger and bigger, going up to 3 boxes worth of groceries now. Doing everything in the snow just makes things a little more inconvenient.

Everyone here is such an awesome driver. Kyoko is our fastest driver. We were rushing for one delivery and she sped through the snowy roads. We made it with time to spare. But even this terrain has challenges to the best drivers. The peak of an upward sloping road in Hirafu was very slippery, and the van couldn’t get up, Kyoko just reversed a little and got the van up, looking nonchalance while doing so.

AT NIGHT

Just like the weather, everything here is so unpredictable. So off we go, the night is always young. We went to a izakaya place in kutchan to have a farewell party for Taka. This is the period where a good bulk of us are leaving. The Japanese are awesome drinkers!

(We will miss you Taka!)

LAST MILE

oh my counting down to less than a week before I have to leave.

Once again, drop an order in honestbee.jp if you’re in Niseko, let us get your groceries for you as you go down the powdery slopes. It’s FREE delivery with 6-pack beer this month! 

Day 24 – Note to self – HIS version

I’ve been a shopper bee for a month now in Niseko, sharing my personal reminder, hoping some day in future, it’ll work out for some of you while you’re a part of the niseko bee familiy.

1. Shop as early as possible

To make enough time for delivery, shop as early as possible. Don’t worry, the groceries are going to be kept fresh by Niseko’s cold weather! 

2. Prepare boxes in advance

Make the delivery boxes in advance will keep you focus on what’s most important – the customer’s order. Some orders may require three or more boxes! By then you will save a lot of time if the boxes are ready-to-go!

3. Know where to go

Familiarise with the customer’s address before you shop. This gives you a peace of mind and help you estimate roughly how much time you’ll need for delivery!

4. Understand the supermarket layout

Become an expert in finding where an item is! Get familiar with the supermarket layout and you will see a drastic drop in your shopping time – making more time to fulfil more orders. 😉

These are the partial job details that helped me being more effective and efficient as a shopper serve to get groceries fast to you.

Why wait? Why queue? Order now and experience our concierge service as we hand picked and deliver right at your door steps while you have your holidays with your loved ones.

Join me here to see my journey with the #WorldsCoolestJob @honestbeejp!

 

What snowboarding has taught me about life – HER version

The first time I touched a snowboard was here in Niseko. Don’t get me wrong, Skiing is fun and all, but it is just my personal preference that I like snowboarding. Besides improving my balance, which has helped me maneuver through the slippery parts of the snow (snowboard style), it has taught me a lot more than I realize.

 

1. FEAR IS WHAT WILL MAKE YOU FALL

 

Initially when I took the gondola up and faced the sharp decline of the slopes I only had one thought. And that was, I’m going to die! I am going to lose control and fall of the cliff and die. And this secnario kept running through my head. HAHA but this phobia really kept me from succeeding. When I got afraid, I fell, or I forced myself to stop by falling down. 

2. PATIENCE

 

Practice will erode away the fears. If you fall, pick yourself up and do it again. You WILL get better and improve. Experience is not something that can be lost. For a lot of things, it just takes time. Today is my fourth time on the slopes, each time is just a 1-2 hours window, but every time I got better, and now I can go down unscathed. 

3. DO IT BRAVELY

 

Taka, who is also a professional snowboarding gave me this tip. If you have speed, you have balance. The first few times I went down the slopes, it was daunting and all I wanted was to go slow. But I kept tripping over the little snow ditches resulting in bad falls. You can watch that in my previous post. But when I applied what he told me and went faster, I stopped falling. So go for it! 

 

4. LISTEN TO YOUR MENTORS

 

When I first started, I tried leaning backwards thinking that it will give me better balance because it felt natural. Until Glenn from Go Snow corrected me and told me to keep my body perpendicular to the slopes. Leaning back gives you less control, while leaning forward and putting your weight on your front foot gives you the control you need. What seems intuitive might not always be right, trust your seniors who have gone before you. 

 

5. DON’T HESITATE 

 

When going down the slopes, there are times when I felt like I was losing control, but we have to remind ourselves that we are good enough to maneuver through it. Second guessing your moves will make you stubble. 

 

6. PERSEVERE

 

After the first run, the next runs had me feeling the muscle burn on my legs. It’s different because I had no choice but to continue, there isn’t an exit sign half way down the slope. But sometimes I give up too easily. If you need a break, rest and then continue. Don’t give up half way but persevere and finish it. You’ll be proud of yourself!

(Me after managing to come down the slope without falling once)

SHOUT OUT

Thank you Go Snow for the intermediate snowboarding lesson. I can proudly say that I can snowboard! Also, a huge thank you to Yuta who is the diligent man behind the scene while snowboarding. A true pro skier, also for always laughing at me when I fall down -_- but I laugh at myself too!

 

Top 5 places you MUST visit in Niseko

1. Ski slopes

There are basically 5 ski slopes in Niseko. Moiwa, Annupuri, Niseko Village, Grand Hirafu, and Hanazono. Each offers its own unique terrain and caters to every skier and snowboarder, whether you are a beginner or an expert.

2. Mount Yotei

Mount Yotei is one of the highest mountains in Niseko. Try a refreshing snowshoe tour or challenge a hike to the summit!


3. Hirafu Snow Adventures

Other than skiing and snowboarding, visit Hirafu Snow Adventures for even more exciting snow sports, including snowmobiling, timbersled snowbiking, and banana boating through soft powdery snow!

4. Annupuri Onsen – Yugokorotei

Onsen is a must-try as it is a completely new experience. Males and Females are separated for this particular onsen. You are still required to go fully bare before you tip into the hot water. P.S. Enjoy their massage chair for free afterwards for the complete rejuvenating experience.

5. Kutchan Town

A 10-15 minutes drive from Hirafu is Kutchan Town. They are more local and offer a wider range and cheaper food options than what you can find in Hirafu! 

 

Day 22 – Getting naked in Niseko – HIS version

It’s my DAY OFF today! Even though everyday is like an OFF day to me.

Nevertheless, I went to Go Snow’s base as Danielle hits off her 3rd snowboarding experience.

(Glenn, the instructor for the day)

I found this in their office, heartwarming.

Look at this minibus equipped with heavy-duty triangular snow tracks to take kids up the slope so they can maximise their snowboard / ski lessons time. 

Walking long distance when it’s snowing is tough, the powdery snow sink your feet in, that will use up more energy on your leg muscles. Please use honestbee’s service when it’s snowing outside. You will thank me for the convinience we can bring you. HAHA

iGATE

My second time in this cafe. I realise you appreciate the food more when it’s your rest day, looking out at hirafu street.

I decided to try something new today – Onsen.
Onsen in Japan requires you to go nude!

Taking off everything in public was something very new to me. Male and Female are separated, not to worry. We had to clean ourselves before dipping in. There was indoor and outdoor onsen. Of course, i experience both. The heat was between 30 –  43degrees. We are only allowed to soak quietly and not swim around. It gets less awkward the moment after the first minute, I promise. Taking photos there was prohibited. So here’s me outside after my very refreshing dipping.

It’s always a good day.
More of #worldscoolestjob with @honestbeejp here.

3 Apps that will help you around in Niseko

1. the Niseko App

Daily Snow Reports and Live cams, Live Lift Status, Accommodation Guide, Local Services, Dining & Drinking, Maps, Transport/ Timetables, News, Events & Blog, Coupons & Deals, Translator.

2. Niseko Live App

Get live, stay live. Real time information.
Live weather, notifications and a comprehensive restaurant directory.

    


3. honestbee

A Convenient Online Supermarket.
Your personal concierge shopper will pick up and deliver your order FREE while you enjoy the ski slopes with your loved ones.

Eggs, bananas, milk, coffee, personal care, fresh groceries, ice creams, noodles and many more.

Bringing Niseko to your fingertips.
All apps are free to download on both iPhone and Android.

#worldscoolestjob Day 22 – HER version

I haven’t been posting much about my day to day for a while, thought I should give an update and post how a day on the #WorldsCoolestDay is like! 

LAST NIGHT

Riki, the GM for honestbee Japan pop by Niseko and we had a huge dinner with the family + karaoke. You can check out more of last night happenings on Andy’s blogpost.



Anyways, we ended the night at 4-5am? But it’s these crazy impromptu things that make life interesting. Look how we open the sunroof and had a pile of snow come it, genius haha 

GOOD MORNING SNOW

We started the day bright and early at 8:30am setting up for shots with everyone having just a few hours of sleep! We were on  roll for good weather, but today we had such grey skies and snow fall. 

SNOWBOARD TIME

Next we went off to the gondola slopes for my second snowboard lesson with Go Snow, Glenn 🙂 This would be my third time snowboarding, and I think I got the hang of things, I can actually tell people now that I know how to snowboard. Thanks Glenn! 

(Telling me what to do to link the turns) 

But…. well, I still have really bad falls. Only two this time round, improvement(?) I guess! And I was looking so good till I fell. 

GETTING SLAPPED

By air when Cui Lin accidentally fired the wind tube at me. It was meant to blow the snow off. I now know why air benders can be offensive too.

SUPERHOUSE ME

Always chippy, they make coming to superhouse such a joy each day. I have seen them almost every single day this month thus far, and it’s such a blessing that they’re amicable, warm and so thoughtful. 

(Look who joined us and ordered a feast while at it)

MY FALL BACK CAREER

Besides delivering, we have been going full on for promotions. No joke, it’s max volume here. The pamphlets got to be folded, the coupon code stapled and then inserted into the individual packing for the beanies and neck warmers, then packed into our yellow bags before they hit the streets. I think I have packed about 3000 of those to date. o.O I guess I know what my fall back career will be! LOL

DANCE BABY DANCE 

Now hitting the streets is where it gets interesting. Bee-chan is such a hit and today I got to check one more thing off my bucket list. Being a dancing mascot 😛 HEHE. Being in in bee-chan I felt like a celebrity. Plus today is Australia day, so the streets were filled brim with people. “Good good” as Yuta always says.

 

MY CURRENT OBSESSION

This is my new favourite toy. It’s a window condensation collector! I’ve been collecting so much water, I think its possible to fill it to the top in just one day. But it is like clearing the fog, we can see the outside world, but most important the people that approach the pop up store. 

(the water level is at my pinkie by the way)

FREE FOOD AND SAKE

What’s amazing in Niseko, is that activities never ends. I pop by the festival of Japan for sake tasting and free red bean rice cake with Taka. Watched a splendid Taiko performance too. 

(Don’t mind my bare face – was quite a rush this morning)

HAPPY ENDING

But in the end, the day is that much special with the honest bee family. Miwa wrote my name Japanese “Dani-” on my cup. What will tomorrow bring?