About us

Our Vision

To bring together people who would not otherwise be able to meet, and create a world full of WOWs

'WOW’ is an expression we use when we experience something that exceeds our thoughts and imagination. We are most likely to encounter such moments when traveling. In our contemporary world where we have easy access to a variety of information, information that cannot easily be accessed becomes particularly valuable. That is why individuals who possess unique, local insights gain our trust.

WOW U provides encounters with great, local guides, leading to unique experiences that only WOW U can offer. WOW U aims to create a world full of WOWs!

Our Mission

By cooperating with local TV stations, we make information and videos about Japan’s local regions accessible to an international audience.

Revitalizing local regions

through inbound tourism

By having tourists experience the charm of regions outside the major cities, we contribute to local economies and cultural exchange.

Making tourism resources visible

Establishing a new

guide industry

We help transform the guide industry, so that it can appropriately respond to increasing demand and legal reforms.

Members

Founder/CEO

Yukihiro Nakabayashi

After graduating from Waseda University, Yukihiro entered Hiroshima Television Corporation where he worked as a sports director before going on to work at the Osaka branch and Tokyo branch of the company. After carrying out advertising sales in Hiroshima for a major corporation, Yukihiro entered Waseda University Business School in 2013 and graduated in 2015 with an MBA. In December 2016 he started his second company EXest Inc. Yukihiro has a love for the sake and often talks in Hiroshima dialect.

CFO(Outside board member )

Hiroshi Nakanishi

Graduated with a Masters Degree in Science and Engineering at Keio University. Certified Public Accountant. After experiencing work as a developer at an electronics company, went on to work at Nomura Shoken in venture capital investment. In 2014 entered KPMG AZSA and carried out IPO support and CVC fund support. In February 2019, started up joint company called PAQS Partners, LLC in order to help support another venture company. At the same time, also became the outside director and audit & supervisory board member of many venture companies.

PR/Editor

Miyuki Kashiwado

After graduating from university in America, Miyuki returned to Japan where she worked as a freelance writer writing articles in English and Japanese whilst working a separate job. After searching for what else she could do to help foreign visitors to Japan besides writing articles in English, Miyuki found EXest. Miyuki mainly works as an article editor as well as in media operations. 

Lead Engineer

Akito Tsutsui

After graduating Akito worked as an infrastructure engineer for a few years before becoming a freelance engineer. After taking part in several OSS projects, Akito entered EXest after being attracted to the WOW U vision. Akito leads all of WOW U’s service operations. In his spare time, Akito writes code for the Matrix.

Guide Management

Kotomi Uemura

After graduating from university Kotomi worked at company LexisKorea supporting Japanese students studying in Korea. Through this experience, Kotomi wanted to develop and work further in connecting people and promoting intercultural exchange, and came to the decision to enter EXest Inc. At present, Kotomi is in charge of the support of guides and general guide operations.

Guide Management

Kanako Ito

Through her experiences studying abroad and traveling, Kanako developed an interest in tourism and a desire to convey Japan’s charms to people overseas as well as know about not just the urban areas, but also the local regions of Japan. She also empathizes with the world that EXest aims to create; through personal experience, Kanako believes that the people one meets at their travel destinations allow for even more memorable trips. After a year-long internship at the company, she joined EXest as a full-time staff member. Currently, she is in charge of WOW U-mediator support and social media advertising for the DOGADOZO project.

CMO

Yuki Chiba

After working at a digital contents and video production company Yuki entered an advertising company. After covering several national clients as a copywriter, Yuki participated in a video marketing startup company from 2015. Yuki worked a wide range of roles consulting in the marketing strategy field as well as starting up media outlets, creative production, and post project surveys.

COO

Atsushi Takenouchi

After graduating from Tokyo University, Atsushi worked at Hakuhodo Inc. Thinking that he would like to be involved in regional development through local guide promotion and video marketing, he decided to join EXest.

Product Manager

Mariko Shigeoka

Mariko worked for 5 years in the textiles department of a general trading company handling apparel import operations. After this Mariko went on to intern at a PR/Advertising company in Hawaii. After returning to Japan Mariko worked as an assistant marketing manager where she dealt with digital marketing and also worked as a designer and editor at the Hawaii tourism bureau. 

Engineer

Kenzo Tanaka

After graduating from university, Kenzo worked at a major software vendor company but quit the company within a year. Afterwards Kenzo taught himself programming before joining EXest in August, 2019. Kenzo currently works on development and media managment along with SEO measures.

Global Strategy

Rachel Green

Rachel was born and raised in Minnesota, USA. During university, she majored in creative writing, and in her second year, she studied abroad at Kansai Gaidai University. After graduating, she went on to join the JET Program and spent five years teaching English at a high school in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture. In 2017, she moved to Tokyo and worked as an editor at the Eiken Foundation of Japan for two and a half years before joining EXest in January of 2020. At EXest, Rachel's work mainly consists of English-Japanese translation. She loves music, and she is particularly knowledgeable about Japanese minor and indie bands.

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