#1 Woo Jae Choi (Justin) – Auburn, AL

Intern #130 (May, 2022~Jul, 2022), Assistant Manager #1 (Sep, 2022~Sep, 2023)

Instagram: @wzc0030

Hello everyone! My name’s Justin and I guess I’m an assistant manager #1. I’m a previous intern #130 and became an A.M after finishing my internship. 

Before Obubu

I’m a pervious intern number #130. I did my internship from may last year. But, time went so fast and I wanted to stay long at Obubu. Luckily, just in time, Obubu was planning a new position and I applied for it right away. I got the job and I had to think of its name. So, I decided to go with ‘Assistant Manager’.

During Obubu

On September last year, I could finally come back to Obubu. Well, everything felt pretty much the same. And, I was really excited for a new Wazuka life. During one year in Wazuka, I think I did so many kinds works like harvesting, processing, managing tea fields, tea tour, construction works, and many other works! 

I guess one of my favorite work was farming. I did a lot of harvesting works with Akky-san, and many interns. Especially, I think I put a lot of effort on Aoi-Mori tea field (青い森). From last fall, I think I went to Aoi-Mori like everyday. I did a lot of trimming, weeding, fixing shades, and harvesting. It made me feel like I own this farm (jk). It was nice to see tea bushes growing well over the season and having a good harvest. Also, I did processing teas that I harvested. As much as I put a lot of effort on it, I was really happy teas I made turned out well. 

I also liked doing a tea tour. During my internship, there was no tea tour due to covid-19. So, it took a while to get used to working as a host because I was clumsy and made a lot of mistakes in front of guests. But, I really liked interacting with them. It was nice whenever I see them enjoying learning about Japanese tea. I always liked saying goodbye to guests until the end and saying ‘enjoy Japan~’.

I think one of best things as an assistant manager is that you can enjoy 4 seasons in Wazuka. There are so many memories on each seasons such as going on a trip with staffs and interns on a weekend, doing Akky-san support on a heavy rainy day, enjoying mochi making party with everyone, seeing tea fields covered in a snow, and so much more! I’ll cherish every moment I enjoyed at Obubu and Wazuka.

Not only working at Obubu, it was nice to travel all around Japan on my holiday. On winter and summer season, I could have a holiday. I went to Hokkaido, Kyushu, Okinawa, Nagano, and so many places! You know, one of main work in Obubu is ‘enjoy Japan’. And I really wanna thank Obubu for letting this happen. It was really nice to travel around Japan. And I learned about from it.

After Obubu

Well, I can’t believe it’s already time to go back home. Wish I could work at Obubu longer. Maybe one more year? 

I’d like to say it was a really nice 1 year in Wazuka and Obubu. Not only Japanese teas, I learned a lot from everyone. I had so many good memories here. I’d like to say thank you for everyone and I’ll miss them a lot. I hope I’ll come back to Obubu someday. And, I wish the best for Obubu.