For many people working for large businesses, corporate retreats often entail long days on cushy golf courses and a few too many beers. For employees of Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, they entail something entirely different: mountain climbing up Mount Tanigawa, a peak on the western coast of central Japan that has claimed the lives of more climbers than Mount Everest.
As originally reported by Business Insider, roughly seven years ago Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, following a hike with his son, decided to change the location of his company’s offsite executive retreat from a luxurious golf resort to the imposing slopes of Tanigawa.
— 三木谷浩史 H. Mikitani (@hmikitani) September 13, 2014
Mikitani claims that the challenges of the climb up to the 6,486-foot summit help to not only bring the executives of the business closer together, but to also drive home a fact about the company. That fact?
"Rakuten always goes to the peak," Mikitani told Business Insider.
Employees told the website that some of the more harrowing experiences on the corporate climbs were their favorites. One executive giddily recalled the time last year when he almost careened off the side of a cliff after rocks starting sliding underneath his feet, only to be rescued by his coworkers.
That executive's excitement was shared by those across the Internet:
So cool! – "The fear keeps you fit," Rakuten CEO said of mountain-climbing company retreat: http://t.co/dUaigBprN8
— Jocelyne Sze (@jocelynesze) September 22, 2015
"The fear keeps you fit," Rakuten CEO said of mountain-climbing company retreat: http://t.co/8s3qlexkgd
— Karla Masters (@KarlaMasters) September 22, 2015
— Parag Tandon (@ParagTandon) September 22, 2015
— AdventureN (@AdventureNcom) September 22, 2015
And while Rakuten executives take a trail safer than others up to the top of Tanigawa, it is still a challenging and dangerous endeavor — a fact that Mikitani relishes.
"The fear keeps you fit,” Mikitani told Business Insider.
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