Jessica Ye

How would you describe the internship in three words?

Engaging, Inspiring, Enlightening

What were your expectations from the internship before you came to Obubu?

I expected to learn a whole lot about Japanese tea and to learn how to brew good tea. All while engaging in a professional, yet close environment with all of the interns and company employees.

Did the internship meet your expectations?

I would say it exceeded my expectations.

If you can change anything in the internship, what would it be?


During which period have you been to Obubu?

Janurary – April

Which year have you been to Obubu?


How was a typical day during your period?

I would wake up at around 7:50 AM and be downstairs by 8:00 AM to convene with Hiro-san in the main living space about the day’s plans. If there wasn’t a tour planned, I would plan to either work on my own project (which was a web-comic series) or go out to eat at d-matcha or Takenoko. If there was a tour, everyone would be awake by 8:30 AM at the latest to get ready. The water would be boiled, the floors sweeped and vacuumed, the washitsu tables rearranged, the projector adjusted, the bathrooms and upper floor wiped down and tidied, and the chagama turned on. Before the guests arrive, we would have the Houjicha brewed by various interns (although during my session, it was mostly David who was interning with me at the time). If there wasn’t any harvesting going on during the day, then all four interns would assist with the tea tour. If there was harvesting or a group tour scheduled, it would only be two interns manning the tour. Clean-up would happen in the kitchen as sales were going on in the washitsu. After the tours, the interns would either prepare for the intern meeting on Tuesdays, make dinner, or begin to wind down for the day and watch some videos on Youtube or Netflix.

What was your best memory at Obubu?

The best memory I had at Obubu was at the farewell party for my senior intern, Lisa. We went to Sakura Karaoke Bar and had a grand time with Akky-san and Hiro-san, drinking beer, dancing, and acting silly.

What do you do now?

I’m a 4th year Japanese Language and Culture student at University of California, Berkeley, completing an honors thesis about tea ceremony, women, femininity, and the state in prewar Japan.

Did the internship help you to reach your goals?