So, if you’re anything like us, you believe that the people are one of the main things that makes travel great.
Don’t get us wrong, we really love new places, adventures, beautiful sights and delicious food – but sharing that with old and new friends, contagious laughter ringing-out as you explore and toasting others to a day well spent at the end of it – that’s what makes our memories come to life.
At the very foundation of this company is it’s people, and we believe that a key reason to trust us with your travel hopes, is by getting to know us and sharing the journey together.
Our team is small, laughter-filled and family-based, and to simply introduce ourselves, we are:
Shunsuke & Peta Ohata
Company Director, Driving, Marketing (plus latte-making, tea-drinking, vacuum-cleaning, and generally anything-else!)
So, it’s actually Peta here writing these English blogs and looking after our marketing.
If you email or call the office, I’m probably the first one who’ll pick up and start to get your plans moving forward. And I’m always, always happy to help you in any way I can and chat through your hopes and schedule! I’m also always happy to stick the kettle (or coffee machine) on and stop to talk with you face-to-face. I make a mean latte.
But the real man-with-the-vision is my husband, who we all call Ochan (and you can too!)
**See, when I said this was a family business I really wasn’t kidding! (And we have a baby arriving in the Spring so he’ll obviously be joining the marketing team too for cuteness reasons…)**
Ochan is both our Company Director, and driver extrodanaire. He splits his time between the office stuff, the driving stuff and our other businesses (more about that later…)
Because everyone asks, we met in 2014 when Ochan and his business partner Soichi were launching their wider company and opening their first guesthouse for backpackers. I paint and got involved to help them with some art projects and DIY, we became friends, who longer-story-very-very-short became a couple and got married in April 2017.
So now you have us: a Japanese guy and an English girl living in Hokkaido and enjoying the highs and lows of life, love, family, business, travel and all that comes with it. Boom!
The Other Director
Next up is Soichi. Soichi and Ochan are actually childhood friends who now run a variety of businesses together. So, although you might not see Soichi everyday in the Social Bus office, we will hear from him numerous times everyday because of the whole running-businesses-together-AND-being-best-friends deal that’s going on.
Soichi doesn’t *yet* drive, but he does love backpacking, Hokkaido, his fiancé, and is a rather epic writer, marketer and all that jazz. He will be getting involved in trips and travels and tours as we develop these services too and him and Ochan together is a comedy duo unlike no other. Wholeheartedly. Recommended.
And as you’re now probably wondering, the other businesses I keep mentioning are now four guesthouses for backpackers in Sapporo. And a bar. And a sandwich shop. And we sometimes make some furniture on the side.
SO if you want to check us out then you can look up Social Hostel 365 (which also has Marukama Bar & Restaurant on the 1st floor), Igloo Dorm & Breakfast, TimePeace Apartment, Mezamashi Sandwich (Hostel and Sandwich Cafe) or Mokutetsu Furniture.
You are always welcome to come and stay, come and eat, come and relax… And well, if you need souvenirs, we can probably help out there too…
And yes, before you ask, we like being busy.
Daichi just joined our team in 2017 to come on board with the Social Bus vision. He’s Hokkaido born-and-bred, a brilliant driver, and great at communication. He also loves camping, being active and hanging out with people from all over the world, so he’s an amazing guy to have in charge of your transportation!
We feel so lucky to have found someone who shares our heart for this project, and we know your travel will be all the better for it.
The Photography Pro
Keita is officially based at Social Hostel 365 and Igloo, but as he happens to be a photography pro, he does join us on travel when he can, and if you are looking for a photographer as part of your package, then please do talk to us. Keita is, without other words, brilliant. 99.5% of the photographs we use on the website, blog or social media are his and you can check out his other work on his photography Facebook or Instagram as well.
Keita honestly has an eye for amazing shots, and is also a thoroughly nice guy too. We’re so happy he’s on team!
Across all the businesses, our team obviously gets a lot bigger still. Right now there are 11 of us full-time, plus a few part-time, and some working-holiday staff as well. Between us we speak Japanese, English, Chinese – and Arabic, so we will always do our best to help you in a common language, and we always enjoy attempting to communicate is an uncommon one!
We’re also super fun (I promise), so definitely come hang out with us somewhere when you’re in Sapporo!