Global Hobo Launches On-the-Road Writing Workshops in Japan

Global Hobo Launches On-the-Road Writing Workshops in Japan

Are you a wannabe freelance writer or an aspiring travel journalist with itchy feet? Do you want to spend a month frolicking across urban and rural Japan, learning a language, studying with media industry pros and getting real-world writing experience?

In 2021, we’re ditching Aussie winter for Japanese summer, and for the first time ever, we’ll be taking our writing workshops on the road, from the city to the mountains.

The trip will begin bustling Tokyo, where you’ll spend two whole weeks wandering the neon streets, cramming into tiny bars and ramen shops, and taking your karaoke career to the next level. Next, we’ll be leaving the city far behind and heading west to the lush alpine village of Hakuba. There, we’ll hike snow-capped mountains, soak our bones in steaming onsen and picnic in fields of wildflowers.

Most weekdays, you’ll be attending writing workshops taught by passionate young people from the media industry, and will also be doing a crash course in Japanese with a top language school. In your spare time, you’ll be exploring and writing your butts off, preparing two pieces to be pitched and published online to kickstart your career as a freelancer and build up your portfolio. These pieces will be workshopped extensively in group and one-on-one workshops to make sure the final products are killer.

Learn what you don’t get taught at uni

The course has been expertly designed to be a bridge between writing privately or having your own blog and entering the workforce as a freelancer or starting your own publication. If you’re a high-school leaver, this program is the perfect mini exchange to squeeze in before you hit the books again next year. If you’re already in the throes of university and studying something like journalism or communications, you may even be eligible for a full subject’s credit through your school’s work-integrated learning program. And if you’re not studying and you’re just on the hunt for a sweet project that combines travel and writing, we’ll teach you everything you need to know. We cater to all ability levels, and though experience helps, it’s not at all necessary

Tokyo accommodation will be in shared rooms in two funky houses close to Asakusa – just 30 minutes by train from the centre. Your writing and language classes will be held between character-filled Ueno and the colourful business district that is Shinjuku.

In Hakuba, we’ll be staying in a brand new guesthouse in the village of Goryu. Classes will be held in teahouses and beside streams, as we figure the fresh mountain air will be extremely conducive to getting those creative juices bubbling. And don’t stress if you don’t know anyone else coming along – meeting new people is the point, and we’ll match you up with some sick roomies.

What you get:

  • Daily travel-writing and blogging workshops with a range of editors and writers from the media industry (think publications like Global Hobo, the abc, The Guardian, VICE, Tone Deaf and more). Classes will cover topics such as travel-narrative writing, pitching to editors, building a brand and working as a freelancer on the road in exchange for sweet, sweet cash.
  • A two-week crash course in Japanese with a reputable Tokyo school
  • 28 nights shared western-style accommodation, complete with a kitchen and WiFi, in Tokyo and Hakuba
  • All transport from Tokyo to Hakuba and back
  • A multi-course Japanese cooking class
  • Potential university credit

Note that flights are not included! Sorry, but we couldn’t possibly tee up deals with every airline and from every city in the world.


  • $3950AUD per person to cover shared accommodation, language classes, cooking school, writing workshops, and all transport.

Upcoming Program Dates:

  • June 21 – July 18, 2021

Successful applicants will be intelligent, open-minded creatives looking for some real-world journalism experience and to get a taste of Tokyo’s weirdness and wonder. The ability to work well in a group is essential. Do note though that the course is just that: a course. You don’t need to already have a foot in the door of the media industry to apply, nor do you already need to be the best writer. All the skills you’ll need to start sculpting your words like a pro and getting published will be taught as part of the curriculum. In fact, many students often keep writing for Global Hobo on a freelance basis once the course is over.

Travel respectfully and sustainably

We’re passionate about sharing stories that tell more than one narrative about a place or issue, encourage a diversity of voices and open up important discussions about culture, identity, politics, class and travel. We’re also determined to encourage a culturally relative approach to travel, which is why we make language classes a compulsory element of the course, and also partake in cultural activities. What’s more, a percentage of each workshop sold goes directly towards sending skilled volunteers to Chios in Greece. Not everyone has the privilege of travelling for pleasure, and right now, thousands of refugees are displaced from their home countries due to conflict or persecution while they await processing. If you’d like to know more about this project, here.


  • This looks kind of scammy — I’d like to read some reviews of the program from previous hobos!
  • I want to know some more information about the program!
  • What do some of the previous guidebooks look like?
    • Check out some gold whipped up by our former spunky interns here.
  • What are your terms and conditions?

To Apply:

Give us your calling code too so we can text you if you get in!
It's just a number, but you've gotta be at least 18...
Town/City, Country
No pressure - total rookies are still welcome to apply.
This has no impact on your application -- we just wanna know so we can stream the language classes properly.

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