- On 29th December 2020
- In This Week in Tokyo
This Week in Tokyo – 29 December 2020: A message from Mac
It’s the final ‘This Week in Tokyo’ of 2020, and to close out the year we present a special message from Mac, Founder and Lead Guide of Maction Planet.
As the year wraps up, I’ve been reflecting on the last 12 months for Maction Planet, and indeed the actual planet.
The year started off for us with a fully-booked January and February. This was going to be merely a precursor to Cherry Blossom season and the Olympics, which were on-track to be the two most-visited periods for Japan in human history.
Then, the world changed.
On 14 April 2020 I wrote, “First and foremost, our thoughts go out to all those who have lost loved ones or are suffering as a result of COVID-19. This global pandemic is a human tragedy and it is important not to lose sight of this… The spread of COVID-19 has had a savage impact on the travel industry. 10% of global employment is in the travel and tourism sector and we feel for our colleagues around the world wherever they may be.”
Sadly, these statements remained valid throughout the remainder of 2020, although the beginnings of vaccine deployment in the last few weeks has provided hope, as we close out the year, that 2021 will be a brighter year for us all. I personally cannot wait to welcome guests to the World’s Greatest Metropolis as soon as possible. We are ready when you are!
Despite everything, Maction Planet spent the year laser-focused on its original mission – sharing Tokyo and Japan with the world. We continued to put out extensive content on the Maction Planet blog and to introduce Japanese music to the world through Maction Planet Radio.
We posted 21 videos on our YouTube channel during 2020. Our most popular video of the year was a timely film about the opening day of Takanawa Gateway Station, the first new Yamanote Line station since 1971. We also made videos about the new Godzilla Zipline on Awaji Island, watching Japanese baseball during COVID-19 and much, much more. We were even commissioned by The Tokyo Life to make a video for them about attending Sumo Wrestling.
Good news for fans of ‘Triangle Thrillers‘, the NHK World TV show that I appear in. We managed to film some more episodes of this Top 10 show in November, and they should be on your screens in the first half of 2021. Watch this space.
It’s been a real pleasure to support others this year in their creative endeavours. I have also been honoured to guest on a number of podcasts this year:
As well as the audio-visual route, I’ve written several guest posts on a diverse range of topics:
- Global Citizenship for esque | global.
- COVID-19 and Japan Tourism and Hanami in the Time of COVID-19 for The Tokyo Life
- Mario Cafe and Godzilla Zipline for Otaku USA Magazine
- Sakura, Sakura, Sakura 2020 – Flower Viewing at the Museum! for Tokyo Art Beat
- ‘Karaoke Madness!‘ and ‘I want to swap the Tokyo Metro for a buffalo taxi‘ for Japan Story
To top this all off, I was invited by Toyo University’s Department of International Tourism Management to give a presentation to their students as part of their guest lecturer series. Originally scheduled for April, a certain global pandemic derailed that plan and required a shift from Live to Online. It also gave me some inspiration… why not present to the students about what I have been up to for the last 6 months? The pivots, the focus shifts, the relationship building, the resilience, the motivation and the ups and downs. That’s how “Running a Travel Business with No Tourists” was born. It was delivered on Wednesday 14 October.
The highlight of the year has been the launch of Maction Planet online cooking classes. These have proven hugely popular and the growth of the community of regular attendees has been one of the joys of 2020 for me. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you join us to learn more about Japanese cuisine and culture from the comfort of your own home. The next class is on 10 January 2021 (JST), and we’ll be making Yakitori Teishoku. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Times are still extremely tough for many individuals and businesses. At the bottom of this message you can find a list of ways to support your tour operator or travel agent friends. These suggestions apply to all freelancers and many other businesses – artists, musicians, interpreters. Thanks to everyone who has helped us stay in the game in 2020 through joining an online experience, purchasing some Maction Planet apparel or simply by watching and liking our YouTube videos. We truly appreciate it.
It wouldn’t be a ‘This Week in Tokyo’ without sharing some Tokyo knowledge, so I’m going to conclude by explaining more about the featured image for this post, which spotlights ‘Mirai’ by Emmanuelle Moureaux.
Known for her large-scale installations, Emmanuelle Moureaux has brought her signature use of colour to Green Springs in Tachikawa. This is the Tokyo-based French architect and designer’s first public work. Titled ‘Mirai’ (future), it is part of Moureaux’s ongoing ‘100 colours’ installation series. The concept driving all of her work is shikiri, which literally means ‘dividing and creating space through colors.’
In ‘Mirai’, Moureaux charts the future from 2020 to 2119, with each year given its own colour.
Standing 4 metres high, the structure is designed to provide a big enough gap between the years to allow children to interact with the piece. You’ll also notice that the future is supported structurally by the past, which is represented by white numbers.
Given all this, I thought it was an appropriate image for the final ‘This Week in Tokyo’ of 2020. Here is a poem from Emmanuelle Moureaux which accompanies her work:
100 years condensed in “mirai”
To welcome a lot of dreams
The city will change as people change
2020 will become the past
Dreams overlapping with years
Creating an infinity of colours
Dreams condensed in condensed 100 years
Smile and imagine
Tokyo, 29 December 2020
Ways to help your tour operator or travel agent friends:
These suggestions apply to all freelancers and many other businesses – artists, musicians, interpreters:
If you have used their services:
- Write a review of your trip on TripAdvisor, Google Reviews or Yelp – check with them for what their forum of choice is. Ideally do this if you enjoyed your trip and are going to give a high rating 🙂
- Talk about your trip with your friends – word-of-mouth recommendations are the most powerful.
Even if you haven’t used their services:
- Join any online tours or virtual experiences they are offering.
- Buy a gift certificate to use in future – for others or for yourself!
- If they sell any merchandise, consider ordering some.
- Subscribe to their YouTube channel and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and whatever other platforms they operate on!
- Share/Repost their content/work/articles – help them build a platform.
- Comment on and like their content.