Hashimoto Ni Mei Sama . . .

Of all of the summer jobs I had the best was during the summer of 2001. As if being a college student in Hawaii, as I was at that time, was not good enough, I had a job that many people could only dream of in college. I worked for the largest paid-tourist attraction in the State of Hawaii (the PCC) on the North Shore of Oahu and gave tours of Oahu to visitors from Japan as they made the bus trip from Honolulu to the North Shore. I was hired for the position because I had lived in Japan and learned the language and was the only non-Japanese person doing the job at the time. 

My job was to basically meet my co-workers at the back gate of the PCC and be chauffeured down to Honolulu in a limousine with the other few bus guides that were scheduled to work that day. With beautiful beaches and the Pacific Ocean just outside our window we cruised down the Kamehameha Highway to Honolulu in style, often while watching movies in the limo and eating sushi. The trip took about one hour (an hour that we were paid for) and we were then dropped off at PCC’s Honolulu office in Waikiki. We would then be given our assignments as to which Waikiki hotels Japanese guests had signed up for tours that day. After getting on the bus and letting the driver know our hotel route, I ran into each hotel on the list and gathered up the Japanese guests I was assigned to. The bus sizes varied based on the number of visitors that day, but a larger bus meant more commission from the tourist shop we made a quick stop at just outside of Kaneohe on our way up to the North Shore. While on the tour I explained in Japanese the sites that we passed as well as general information regarding the PCC. Unfortunately, tipping is not customary in Japanese culture or I would have made out much better. But for one summer as a student, I was chauffeured around in style and, hopefully, helped make many tourists’ visit to Hawaii more enjoyable, if not at least more interesting.


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