I have had the wonderful opportunity of volunteering at the NOAH bouldering gym in Kyoto this semester. I took the CIP as a chance to do something I loved and I was surprised by how easy it was to find a gym in Kyoto.
NOAH has become much more than a climbing gym for me and many of the other customers. It is, in the truest sense of the word, a community. Part of this stems from the fact that climbing as an activity is much more group focused in Japan compared to America. That is, regardless of whether you know the person climbing or not, people will cheer you on, give support, and even advice on how to improve. The community this creates a welcoming atmosphere that makes me look forward to going back.
Volunteering at a bouldering gym means dealing with a wide variety of tasks. From cleaning the staircase to filling up chalk balls and stripping tape off the routes. By doing all of this, I am able to interact a lot with the customers and practice my Japanese skills. I’ve also learned that most of the people also have a curiosity about English, so it becomes beneficial to both parties when they speak in English and I reply in Japanese.
With this CIP, I’ve created many great memories and learned a lot. When I come back to Kyoto, I will definitely stop by at NOAH to catch up with my friends.
I am so interested in the NOAH, because I never have experience of climbing before. Moreover, I do not have idea how the jobs in this kind of gym will be.Thank you for bringing this up. Last but not least, I really want to go to this place when we both have time. I want to give it a try. It is always good to try new things
Martin, I know you’d crush it on the climbing wall and I hope we do get the chance to go together. I was also uncertain of my responsibilities as a volunteer at first but after a few weeks, thanks to the owners’ patient advice, I was able to contribute in some meaningful way.
Wow, that sounds like a really great opportunity to be part of a community here in Kyoto. I’ve experienced something similar in my Tennis CIP at Saiin, but it’s heart warming to hear you talk so fondly about a new venue to practice something you love in. I’d love to come bouldering sometime with you, and take a peak into what you’ve been experiencing so far. Sounds awesome man, and I’m happy you’ve enjoyed it so much. I’m sure they’ve appreciated your help and presence as well. You’re a great guy so I’m sure you made a great addition to their community
Thank you for the comment Nick. I bet your fellow tennis players enjoyed your company as well! I always love bouldering with friends and especially those as funny and good spirited as you.