Internship that offers everything a Tea Lover could ask for!

ObubuKyoto Obubu Tea Farms is an agricultural social enterprise. This means we don’t just work for profit – we want to use our tea to contribute to society. We want to spread our passion for tea around the world and we believe through internships we can do this.

Interns come from around the world, have diverse backgrounds, and diverse skills. They all become interns in the hope of improving their knowledge of Japanese tea and culture. Our interns finish their program with a greater appreciation and understanding of the tea industry and it’s deep cultural roots in Japan.

We have previously accepted interns through university programs,  through a desire to expand their own tea shops and businesses, through a passion to learn about tea, as well as interns coming for their own desire for work experience. The interns coming to us through university or college use their time with Obubu to complete degree requirements.

We work with the University of Cha (tea) with our colleagues teaching professional classes about tea, therefore you can expect a good introduction to tea culture. Indeed, simply being involved with the employee’s, farmers, and lifestyle of Obubu will increase your tea know-how.


Description of the Internship position

You’ll be primarily in the Obubu Office managing the English operations of Obubu. This includes overseeing the wholesale program (everything from administration, development, packing, shipping, marketing, etc), hosting Tea Tours and Events, managing this very website, tackling Obubu’s non-profit (ITFA) and bringing it to fruition, and following your own ideas and ambitions to help expand Obubu. To fill this position, we’re looking for individuals with the following experience and knowledge.

  • Fluency in English. Conversational Japanese would be preferred, but not necessarily required.
  • Experienced in Website Design, IT,  Coding, SEO, or Graphic Design
  • Experienced in Business Administration, Marketing, International Relations, International Trade/Logistics, Translating, or Operations Management
  • Versed in Blogging, Social Media, Journalism, or Film

While the internship program primarily focuses on the marketing and business development aspects, individuals who are more interested in the agricultural operations of the tea industry may choose to focus on it during their stay at Obubu. If this describes you, expect to be planting, harvesting, covering, pruning, roasting, processing, and fertilizing our tea with our president Akky-san and his years of experience.Please keep in mind that the most opportune months are March to October. This is a superb opportunity to see first-hand just how a tree becomes tea. These are the skill sets and interests we look for in an intern working on the agricultural side of Obubu:

  • Experienced in horticulture, forestry, farming, agriculture, soil studies
  • Experienced in planting/propagation, tree growth cycles, disease identification, silviculture, irrigation
  • Can work long hours (possibility of weekends) and in adverse weather and  conditions (rain, wind, mountainsides, steep slopes)
  • Willing to learn/already learning Japanese and has the patience and understanding of communicating with a language barrier

See what our previous interns have to say:

“I have a deeper appreciation for tea and much more confidence in myself and where I am going after coming to Obubu. I am glad I have another place I can call home in Japan, and thank you to everyone at Obubu for an amazing summer.”
“Obubu has been an exceptional experience, and although my parents prefer I don’t eat sitting down on my knees, I think I took a little bit of Obubu with me back home. From hospitality to tea Obubu has helped me to improve in all aspects.”
“Obubu was one of my first experiences with tea but it was the fastest way I could have learned about tea and how to appreciate it. There are many certification programs that charge a lot of money to hear about tea from experts, but the best way to learn to live in the culture.”

When does the internship begin and how long does it last?

Internship program has 4 start dates: March, June, September,  December (table below) and interns are welcome to join the program for min. 2  months, max. 6 months. For interns intending to join the internship program for more than 3 months we can provide assistance with applications for cultural or training visas, but require your full commitment in return.

Internship Start Date 1st March 1st June 1st September 1st December
Application Deadline 31st September 31st December 31st May 31st August

Where do interns stay?

Interns stay in Obubu’s international housing that can accommodate more than 5 people at a time. This also doubles as the Obubu Head Office. The building is a two-storey house with the main floor being dedicated to the office, common space, and kitchen. The upstairs is where the bedrooms are and where Obubu offers its accommodation. Please note that you are not restricted to staying at Obubu, feel free to rent an apartment in Kamo, Kizu or Nara if you so desire.

If you choose to reside at Obubu you can anticipate sharing a room with another intern. You’ll also have two shared toilets and a wash-room. The kitchen and common area are also shared among the interns. Provided in the room are: tatami mats with futon mattresses, bedding and linen, bunk-beds are also available.

What is this going to cost me?

  • Rent will be 25,000JPY (approx. 256USD) per month to be made on the 1st of every month via paypal
  • The 1st month rent must be paid as a deposit at least a month before arrival
  • There are two small grocery stores in town, a short walk away. Food can range from 3000JPY – 7000JPY per week depending on your diet
  • Travel to and from Nara, Osaka, and Kyoto (the Kansai Region) will range about 2000JPY – 3500JPY
  • The internship is unpaid. No financial compensation will be given. This is important in the event that you apply for a visa

What will I gain from the internship?

  • Learn about the brewing, preparation, and the science of tea
  • Learn the in’s and out’s of tea farming
  • Become involved with the Japanese culture through events, social interaction, and daily living
  • Enhance your understanding of a small grass-roots business, by managing your own projects to overcome business challenges and help Obubu grow
  • Gain life enriching experience and cultural awareness

For more information please see the Obubu Internship Introduction Guide


If you are interested in becoming the newest Obubu intern then fill out the below form. We know that there are a lot of questions; we’re just looking to get to know potential interns!

DISCLAIMER: Living and working in the small town of Wazuka may be very different than what you are used to. If you do not speak Japanese, there will be language barriers that require patience and understanding. If you wish to work in the fields, you must be physically capable and understand that the conditions can be less than comfortable (hot and humid weather in the summer, heavy machinery, wildlife etc.) By completing this application you are acknowledging these factors in the experience and confirming that you are fit and able for the job.
Your Name (required)
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How did you find us?
Date of Birth (required)

FORMAT: DD/MM/YYYY (ex: 24/02/1980)
Current Address (required)
Dates and Length of Desired Stay

FORMAT: DD/MM - DD/MM/YYYY(ex: 24/05 - 14/07/2013)
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Spoken Languages & Skill Level

Language and Fluency (basic, intermediate, or advanced)
Other Skills

(if you'd like to list more, please include it in education or work experience areas)
 Extensive Knowledge of Tea Creative writing Social Media Marketing Photography Graphic Design Video Design & Editing Web Design & Coding Translation Public Speaking Farm work
Education (use the below format)

School Name:
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Your Job Title: How long have you been employed with the company: Duties and experience:
Have you ever lived in Japan?  Yes No
What did you like about the country? Is there something you didn’t like? If you have not visited Japan, what kind of image do you have about the country? Do you think you can cope with Japanese food for the time you are at Obubu?
Working on the farm in Obubu can sometimes be quite physical. Do you have any experience of working at a farm? Do you think you can work 8 hours on a farm, harvesting, planting, and carrying sometimes quite heavy tea bags to the truck? Also summer can be very hot and humid in Japan which means working in +30C heat in the field.
Why are you interested in our internship programme?
Do you have any questions or concerns about the programme?
What are your best qualities and skills and why they are important concerning the position?
What are your worst qualities and why?
If you get English guide material to study: After feeling confident about the information and some practice, would you be able to lecture the groups of tourists?
What are your goals and expectations from your time at Obubu?
Working in Obubu requires working as a team, which includes working with locals and possible language barriers. Tell us about your teamwork skills and adjusting to different situations and conditions.
What are your dreams in life? Plans for the future?
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