- On 4th August 2023
- In Tokyo Tales
My Sweet Seventeenth Japanniversary
Seventeen years ago, I moved to Tokyo, embarking on an incredible adventure that re-shaped my life and allowed me to share the wonders of this great metropolis with people from all over the world.
The journey began four years earlier. From the first instant I arrived in Tokyo to watch the World Cup in June 2002, I could sense the city’s extraordinary vibe. There’s this crazy, dynamic dichotomy of culture where the traditional fuses effortlessly with the modern. A cliche, perhaps, but it understates the reality. On top of all that, it felt so liveable. I was addicted and knew I had to find my way back and make it my home
Four long years later, in 2006, the dream became a reality. The bustling streets became my stage, and the sprawling skyscrapers my backdrop. I have played various roles in my time here – first as an insurance risk officer in an actuarial function, then as an investment banker in equity analysis until truly finding my flow as a tour guide, the only occupation that lets me share my love affair with Tokyo every single day!
Guiding visitors through this ever-evolving city and country is not only my profession but also my calling. For me, it’s more than just showcasing famous landmarks and even hidden gems. To truly “tour” means immersing oneself in the vibrant tapestry of everyday life encompassing food, art… everything. It’s a privilege beyond compare to guide visitors deep into that realm. Every step we take, every story we tell and every smile we share lights up my soul and re-affirms my passion for Tokyo and those with hearts open enough to explore it with me.
It’s difficult to express how happy I feel when I witness the awe on my guests’ faces as they stand beneath the towering presence of the Tokyo Skytree or when I see their fascination as they partake in a traditional tea ceremony, or when they are curious about the little things as we wander through historic backstreets.
The two and half years from April 2020 to October 2022 were fraught with challenges but Maction Planet reinvented itself and we have emerged through the other side stronger than ever.
The pandemic has instilled in me a deeper appreciation for the beauty and resilience of Tokyo. The city has shown us the importance of cherishing the simple joys—whether it’s savouring a bowl of ramen or the “gurume” gourmet dishes at a local izakaya, witnessing the breathtaking cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park, exploring the tranquil beauty of Meiji Jingu or the bustling streets of Shibuya, where the rhythm of thousands of footsteps dances to its own tune.
I have seen optimism return as visitors once again tread the streets of Tokyo, their smiles reflecting a sense of gratitude and that hunger for exploration which cannot be quenched, not even by global crises!
But we’re back in Maction (!), and you’ve certainly kept us busy – with just the existing bookings so far throughout 2023, we will have a larger year than 2019, and I still have lots of availability in December. And it is pretty frightening how booked 2024 already is. If you want to utilise our services, I highly suggest you book early to avoid disappointment.
I am grateful for the remarkable journey I’ve had as a tour guide in Tokyo and beyond. Tokyo, my beloved city, thank you for embracing me and allowing me to guide others through your intricate streets. Here’s to many more years of illuminating journeys, shared laughter, and the joy of discovery.
We continue, and Kanpai!
4 August 2023
P.S> All, that busyness has consequences, and one of them has been the reduced new video content on Kanpai Planet, our sister platform. Fear not; plans are afoot to bring you more from the world of Japan’s drinks direct from the heart of Tokyo. In the meantime, stay abreast of my beverage-related adventures on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.