- On 4th August 2021
- In Tokyo Tales
15 Year Japaniversary!
15 years ago today I moved to Tokyo.
If we consider adult life starting from 18, the earliest point I could realistically have made decisions about my own residency, then I have now lived in Japan for 60% of that time.
The majority of my adult experience, the period of my life that I have been able to 100% determine of my own accord – legally and financially – has been spent in Tokyo.
This leads to some interesting questions.
Identity is a deeply personal and complex concept. It’s very clear that human nature has, sadly, not quite caught up to the lives the modern ages allows us to live, and the changes in identity this brings.
I think of it very simply: For the first 27 years of my life, my home was in the UK. For the next 15, it has been in Japan. Both have shaped me, as has visiting over half the world’s countries and all seven continents, and the myriad of other experiences I have enjoyed in my time so far on this planet.
Speaking of planets, I would like to thank everyone who has supported Maction Planet during our toughest year. However, despite everything, there have been many highlights of my 15th year living in the World’s Greatest Metropolis and lots to be grateful for on this Japaniversary. I’ll be sharing some of the major ones in this post.
Online Cooking Class: One of the major pivots of the last 12 months was launching online cooking classes! These classes proved extremely popular, and it was a join to see our loyal community of budding chefs each month. It was with a heavy heart that we have stopped regular classes, but we are still running them for private groups – birthday parties, team-building exercises or whatever excuse you can think of! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange yours!
Domestic tours: Maction Planet’s growth has been primarily driven by word-of-mouth, and it was the same for our foray into domestic tourism. You can read the full story of how this came to pass in this feature for Flip.
Consulting: I have travelled around Japan over the last year, both online and offline, working with various local governments and prefectural authorities to help them refine their tourism offerings to be better than ever when tourism returns. This is going to have huge benefits for Maction Planet guests. Once travel returns, there’s never been a better time for second and third-time visitors to Japan to… err… visit!
Magical Journey: The Ojisan Trio returned to TV screens in 2021! We visited the areas devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011. For the Tohoku episode, we are also joined by Yuriyan Retriever, who international viewers will know from her legendary appearance on American Idol! You can watch our moving journey here – Episode 1; Episode 2; Episode 3.
‘This Week in Tokyo’ is Three: We celebrated three years of ‘This Week in Tokyo’, our weekly round-up of insights into Tokyo (and beyond) Life, with a special edition focusing on the most-read posts (and the least read) of the last year. It’s become an incredible archive of Tokyo history and has developed a loyal readership. If you are one of them, ありがとうございます for your support!
Maction Planet Radio: I am extremely proud of Maction Planet Radio. We have over 70 episodes of our flagship show Tokyo ON, hosted by Maction Planet Resident DJ Royce Leong, with semi-regular solo episodes hosted by yours truly. Our musical efforts even have their own website, tokyophonic.com.
YouTube: In December 2020 I publically announced I would be uploading one video per week for 12 weeks on the Maction Planet YouTube channel. Topics varied from a Hot Toys music video to Mascot Festivals to ziplining through Godzilla’s mouth (!). The most popular has proven to be the video about Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan, which has amassed almost half-a-million views!
This video-making effort has in-part led to…
Kanpai Planet: “Bringing you the world of Japan’s drinks direct from the heart of Tokyo.” That’s the mission statement of our new sister platform, Kanpai Planet. Launched in February 2021, it’s currently video-led, with (currently) 16 videos on the Kanpai Planet YouTube channel. There are videos on Japan’s new whisky standards, Sake Vending Machines, Godzilla Energy, and the Whisky Kit Kat! If you haven’t already, head over there and subscribe. We’re just getting started.
Kanpai Planet has drawn the attention of other platforms. I have joined the Tokyo Weekender team of writers, bringing that same edutainment you find in the videos to a wider audience.
The passion to deliver unsurpassed quality in every facet and dimension that enhances the Maction Planet guest experience will continue to be my sole driving imperative, no matter what’s happening in the world.
As always, we continue…
4 August 2021