How we started
The Shumi Stay concept of taking your hobby on holiday was conceived by us, Phil and Kazuko Ingram, as a result of the positive responses we got from showing our friends and colleagues the beauty, people and lifestyles of our respective countries. We noticed that they enjoyed their extended stays with us because it enabled them to genuinely get to know a country and its people. We also noticed that the travel industry was not catering for people who wanted an extended stay in a country but was focused on the short term tour market. We also noticed that while there are many tours available for people who want to go overseas to engage in or watch their favourite sports, there are hardly any programs to enable people to do their hobby on their holiday.
We started to talk to other well-traveled people who also indicated that they would love to have a leisurely holiday in a country like Japan where they could do their hobby and have a genuine experience with the locals, but had no idea how to go about doing it. We could see that there was a real need to create a service that would help people to stay in a foreign country and at the same time share their passion with the local people. That is how the Shumi Stay concept was born.
Because we have both lived for many years in different regions of Japan and Australia and know the languages and cultures of each country well, we have started the Shumi Stay concept for Australians to take their hobby on holiday to Japan (Shumi Stay Japan) and for Japanese to take their hobbies on holiday to Australia(Shumi Stay Australia). However, we intend to spread the concept of Shumi Stay Abroad to other countries as well.
What we’re about
Shumi Stay Japan is not a travel agent nor a tour company. We are a service provider specialised in providing comprehensive advice and programs for groups to undertake their hobby while on holiday in Japan. For example, under a Shumi Stay Japan program we do the research and make the connections to create your group’s program to suit your needs. We will recommend what transport, accommodation and meals will meet your requirements, but we don’t provide those services and we let you choose and pay for them directly. All you pay us for is a fee for providing a comprehensive program with detailed instructions of where to go, every activity you can do, every place you can visit and every person or group you will meet. If you are not confident to undertake the visit on your own, we or one of our staff, who are all bi-lingual, will accompany your group, for all or part of your stay in Japan, for an extra fee. Our recommended specialist travel agent for Japan is Japan Holidays.
Who we are
Kazuko and Phil spend their time between beautiful Rainbow Beach, near Fraser Island in Queensland, and Chino, in central Japan surrounded by rice terraces and forested mountains. Kazuko is Japanese and grew up in Osaka studied fashion design and came to Australia in 1980. Kazuko has done a variety of work in Australia including academic research and Koto (Japanese harp) teaching at the Japanese Cultural Center in Brisbane. Kazuko’s Shumi’s include travelling, reading, haiku, cooking, pottery and all kinds of arts and crafts. Phil is an Australian citizen who studied Japanese and economics at university in Australia and then went on to a career both in the public and private sectors promoting trade and investment between Australia and Japan, as well as Hong Kong, China and Korea. Phil has lived in Japan for over 25 years, in Hiroshima, Tokyo, Kobe and Fukuoka. His Shumi’s are hiking, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, cycling, sailing, kayaking, photography, gardening and playing the shakuhachi. Phil and Kazuko’s passion is bringing Australians and Japanese together through their Shumi!