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CYCLING


HOSTELS ARE ‘TOP CLASS’


Japanese hosteller full of praise after his Scotland-wide trip Mr


Yamaura, a training mentoring and coaching volunteer for hostel leaders in Japan, spent


several months on a cycle tour of Scotland experiencing Scottish hostels. “Te public perception of hostels in Japan


is very different from here,” explained Mr Yamaura, when he visited the SYHA Hostelling Scotland National Office at the end of his adventure. “In Scotland, the benefits of hostelling are well recognised and publicised and it is good to see Youth Hostels being used widely by a variety of generations and demographics.” As a volunteer with Japan Youth Hostels, the national hostelling association in Japan, Mr Yamaura is involved in educating young people about the culture of hostelling, something which he is passionate about. “Young people in Japan tend to spend their time playing computer games and with more materialistic activities, not travel. “But my generation was more interested in


travel and adventure and I want to tell young people about this. “During my time in Scotland I was


impressed to see so many hikers and hillwalkers, that’s what hostelling is all about. I find it very inspiring that Youth Hostels here have the old handbooks on display to demonstrate the SYHA spirit and heritage. Tat’s important.” While cycling through Scotland, Mr Yamaura


Mr Yamaura loved Scotland


made friends from a number of different countries and discovered all sorts of new places - the wilder the location the better he liked it. He was very impressed with the SYHA affiliate Youth Hostel on Berneray, a traditional black house owned by the Gatliff Trust, situated right on the beach overlooking the sound of Harris. “I was fascinated by this building,” he said. Mr Yamaura also peddled his way around


Orkney and Shetland – as evidenced by the stickers collected and displayed on his bike.


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MORE IDEAS


“I HOPE SYHA MAINTAINS ITS CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENTS TO AN ALREADY HIGH- QUALITY STANDARD”


“I think Scottish Youth Hostels are top class


among all the hostels I have ever stayed - in particular their buildings and locations, not to mention facilities. Tey seem to still accommodate ‘traditional hostellers’ such as walkers and cyclists, which I am very envious of from a Japanese hosteller’s viewpoint. “I hope SYHA maintains its continuous


improvements to an already high-quality standard, aiming to become the role model for other hostels globally in pursuit of ongoing youth hostelling activities. “I feel that Japan has so much to learn from


Scotland and SYHA, and that, through my experience from this trip, it is very important to establish and foster links between Japan and Scotland. I would like to promote visits between Japan and Scotland by hostellers and support them to make this happen.” In November 2011, Mr Yamaura held a seminar in Tokyo to promote his Scottish hostelling experiences to a wider audience.


2012 SCOTTISH HOSTELLER 61


Mapped!


During his Scottish adventure, Mr Yamaura made a series of sketches that serve as a pictorial record of his time here. Te cartoon-style drawings depict the many sights and sounds experienced by Mr Yamaura and include many of his thoughts about Scotland in both English and Japanese!


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