Assistant Tour Leader & Support Services Manager
Nichole fell in love with Japan after a chance homestay opportunity in Japan’s northern Tohoku region during high school in 2006. This was her first time out of the USA and although she knew little of Japan at the time, she quickly grew to deeply appreciate the culture and sense of community experienced in communications with her Japanese host family and neighbours. It was an incredibly intricate and home-made bento enjoyed on her first day of high school with her host sister, however, which truly won her over and she vowed to return again – this time with the language skills to express her gratitude.
After graduating with undergraduate degrees in Japanese and microbiology from the University of Florida in 2010, Nichole returned to Japan to work as an assistant language teacher in Kitsuki, Oita Prefecture. During her three years here, she found time to travel around much of Japan as well as South Korea, mainland China, Thailand and the Philippines.
While pursuing a master’s degree in microbiology at Oita University’s Faculty of Medicine, she married a local and made her home in Kitsuki. Missing the freedom to travel and tiring of the long daily commute between Oita University and Kitsuki, she sought local employment. After working for a nearby University organising foreign exchange programs, Nichole joined Walk Japan in 2017.
Nichole manages Walk Japan’s Support Services Team and its customer resource management software. A sporty type, Nichole often commutes on a bicycle over the mountains to the company’s main local operations base on the Kunisaki Peninsula. In her free time, she enjoys nature walks and hikes with her two children, and working on her husband’s family farm. Nichole also competes in triathlons and often comes top of her age group.
Nichole became a Walk Japan Tour Leader in 2023.