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Giorgio Riccio

Tour Operations Manager & Tour Leader

Giorgio, an Italian hailing from Venice, decided to study Japanese after learning about Japan through an eight-year long pen-pal friendship. From the age of 12 years the two would, without fail, send each other letters every month describing in detail their respective countries.

After graduating from high school, an intrigue in the cultures and languages of the world led Giorgio to embark on what he initially planned as a year-long work and study program in London. One year led to fifteen as Giorgio’s career took him through various roles in retail, hospitality and tourism, including a stint at an international railway provider connecting the UK with mainland Europe. During this time he became increasingly determined to revive his pen-pal inspired interest in Japan.

Giorgio took up Japanese Studies at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS), University of London, and as an exchange student he made his first visit to Japan. Further enamoured with the country, Giorgio was determined to return after graduating.

Initially, he found work as an English language tutor and over the following six months travelled all over Japan to schools in rural areas. The experience, he says, was an eye-opener as to how the education system and wider society functions in Japan. Although leading a very peripatetic lifestyle, Giorgio did manage to find some stability with a Japanese family, who befriended him and always opened their home to him when he was back in Tokyo.

The opportunity to live much less frenetically came when he was asked by his employers to recruit English teachers from the UK, USA, Canada and Australia to work in Japan. Now firmly based in Tokyo, he was able to pursue his interest in exploring Japan but at his own pace. He has since travelled the length and breadth of the nation.

In his free time, Giorgio enjoys cooking, particularly Italian and Japanese cuisine, for friends. He also continues to search for his old pen-pal, with whom he lost contact before ever meeting.

Giorgio joined Walk Japan as a Tour Leader in 2015. Since 2017, he has also undertaken the role of Tour Operations Manager.