Cultural tour in Tokyo for 2 Israelis… Visite guidée culturelle à Tokyo pour 2 israéliens… イスラエル夫婦と東京の文化ツアー…

[EN-FR] Koma-inu. [JP] 狛犬。

[EN] Among hundreds of ancient wooden sculptures of Arhats, before a statue of Buddha covered with gold, at a wedding centre, across Shibuya Crossing, in little streets, through the Thunder Gate, at Senso-ji Buddhist temple and Asakusa Shinto shrine, beside splendid azaleas and dancing carps, near Tokyo Sky Tree tower… guiding a couple of nice Israeli travellers wishing to discover the Japanese culture in Tokyo today! During this tour, I avoided long walks and stairs (lady with a weak knee), and ordered lunch at a Japanese restaurant based on Jewish religious dietary laws (think vegetable sushi). We had a great time, and the Israelis carefully listened to my explanations about Japan as well as Hinokuma brothers’ legend 🙂 Thanks to my former customer Avraham G. for recommending me to this couple 😀

[FR] Entouré de centaines d’anciennes sculptures en bois d’Arhats, devant une statue de Bouddha couverte d’or, à un centre de mariages, dans de petites rues, à travers le carrefour Hachiko et la Porte du Tonnerre, au temple bouddhique Senso-ji et sanctuaire Shintoïste d’Asakusa, à côté de splendides azalées et de carpes dansantes, près de la tour Tokyo Sky Tree… à guider un sympathique couple de voyageurs israéliens souhaitant découvrir la culture japonaise à Tokyo aujourd’hui ! Lors de cette visite guidée, j’ai évité les escaliers et longues marches (dame ayant un genou faible), et ai commandé nos déjeuners à un restaurant japonais en me basant sur le code alimentaire juif (grand succès des sushis aux légumes). Ce fut une excellent journée et les israéliens apprécièrent beaucoup mes explications sur le Japon et mon récit de la légende des frères Hinokuma 🙂 Merci à mon ancien client Avraham G. de m’avoir recommandé à ce couple 😀

[JP] 何百もの阿羅漢の江戸時代木像の間に、金で覆われた仏像の前に、結婚式場で、小さな通りで、渋谷駅前のスクランブル交差点そして雷門を通して、浅草寺と浅草神社で、綺麗なツツジと賑やかな鯉の隣に、東京スカイツリーの近く… 日本文化を知りたい優しいイスラエル夫婦の旅行者をガイドした。この一日ツアー中、長い散歩と階段を避けて(奥様の弱い膝のため)、和食レストランでユダヤ教戒律の上にランチを注文した(野菜寿司大成功)。イスラエル人のお客さんが、日本について説明と檜前兄弟の伝説をよく聴きました :) この夫婦に私を紹介した昔のお客さん(アブラハム様)に感謝します 🙂

[EN] Azaleas. [FR] Azalées. [JP] ツツジ。

[EN] Carps + azaleas. [FR] Carpes + azalées. [JP] 鯉とツツジ。

[EN-FR] Sushis. [JP] 巻き寿司。

AISO certified tour guide… Guide touristique agréé AISO… AISO認定ツアーガイド…

[EN] AISO certificate. [FR] Certificat AISO. [JP] AISOの認定証。

[EN] The Asia Inbound Sightseeing Organization certified me as tour guide for all Japan (AISO certification number 38 for English & French)! Its training and validation process took more than a year: I attended model tours in Tokyo metropolis, acquired experience with groups of Japanese & foreign travellers in several prefectures of Japan, went through interviews in Japanese and English… Big thanks to my colleague Ms Oshima for her support and help all along!

[FR] L’organisation pour le tourisme entrant d’Asie “AISO” m’a agréé comme guide touristique pour tout le Japon (certification AISO numéro 38 pour le français et l’anglais) ! Sa procédure de formation et de validation a pris plus d’un an: j’ai assisté à des visites de démonstration à Tokyo, acquis de l’expérience avec des groupes de voyageurs japonais et étrangers dans plusieurs préfectures du Japon, ai été interviewé en japonais et en anglais… Merci beaucoup à ma collègue Mme Oshima qui m’a motivé et aidé du début à la fin !

[JP] 一般社団法人アジアインバウンド観光振興会の全日本ツアーガイド資格を取りました!(仏・英語のAISO認定ツアーガイド38)。研修・認定完了まで一年間以上かかった:東京都でモデルツアーに参加し、いくつもの県で日本人・外国人の旅行者団体との経験を重ね、日本語と英語で試験や面接も受けた…最初から最後まで応援して手伝ってくれた同僚の大島さんに感謝!

Get Japan video news #20…

[EN] Cool: Under the snow in Kyoto city then among plum blossoms in Kashihara city to prepare this week’s Get Japan news! (subtitles not available)

[FR] Cool: Sous la neige à Kyoto et parmi les fleurs de prunier à Kashihara pour préparer les infos Saisissez le Japon de cette semaine ! (sous-titres non disponibles)

[JP] クール(寒いけど素敵)!京都市で雪の中、そして橿原市で梅の花に囲まれ、今週の「ゲット・ジャパン」ニュースを準備した…(字幕がありません)

Get Japan on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/getjapan

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sebastien.duval.944/posts/10154684338612034

Written in Tokyo, Japan.

Thanks as Get Japan newscaster…

[EN] Thanks to those who share(d) Get Japan‘s news videos featuring me as newscaster in Tokyo! Every share is heartwarming, career-building for my team, and thoughtful for our acquaintances wishing to discover Japan 🙂

[FR] Merci à ceux partageant les vidéos de Saisissez Le Japon dans lesquelles je présente les informations à Tokyo ! Chaque partage me réchauffe le coeur, avance la carrière de mon équipe et sert notre entourage souhaitant découvrir le Japon 🙂

[JP] 私が東京でニュースキャスターを務めるゲット・ジャパン動画をシェアしてくださっている皆さんへ御礼を。心温まる皆さんのシェアのおかげで我らのチームは経験値を上げる事ができ、また「日本に行きたい!もっと知りたい!」な人達の為に、とても役にたちます 🙂

Get Japan on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcyk9ZZa1wENdMvkYkIkr3Q

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sebastien.duval.944/posts/10154499760222034

Written in Tokyo, Japan.

Get Japan video news #11…

[EN] I am Get Japan‘s newscaster today: blue sky, autumn & winter illuminations, evening cruise with fireworks, 2017 World Cosplay Summit, sushi-making classes for Muslims… And I think about improving the format of the video news, wondering: what should we keep or change? (subtitles available)

[FR] Je présente les informations de Saisissez le Japon aujourd’hui: ciel bleu, illuminations d’automne & hiver, croisière nocturne avec feu d’artifice, Sommet Mondial du Cosplay 2017, cours de cuisine “sushi” pour musulmans… Et je réfléchis à l’amélioration du format, me demandant: que garder ou changer ? (sous-titres disponibles)

[JP] 今日ゲット・ジャパンのニュースキャスターです:青空、秋と冬のイルミネーション、花火クルーズ、世界コスプレサミット2017、ムスリム向け寿司作り体験… 更に、スタイルの改善を考えています:何を守るべき、何を変るべき?(字幕があります)

Get Japan on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcyk9ZZa1wENdMvkYkIkr3Q

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sebastien.duval.944/posts/10154434875742034

Written in Tokyo, Japan.

Matcha activity at Go Native Japan… Activité matcha à Go Native Japon… ゴーネイティブジャパンで抹茶体験…

[EN] My Get Japan team made & published the following video “Matcha green tea preparation at Go Native Japan café (Bakurocho district, Tokyo city) with Mariko Tanabe” on YouTube, with subtitles in English, French and Japanese. Watch it if you wish to enjoy a tea ceremony in English while sitting in a comfortable chair rather than on a tatami mat, or if you look for a cultural activity to do when it rains/snows. Vegetarian- and Muslim-friendly 🙂

[FR] Mon équipe Saisissez le Japon a fait et publié la vidéo ci-dessous “Préparation du thé vert matcha au café Go Native (quartier de Bakurocho, ville de Tokyo, Japon) avec Mariko Tanabe” sur YouTube, avec des sous-titres en anglais, français et japonais. Regardez-la si vous souhaitez profiter d’une cérémonie du thé en anglais assis dans une chaise confortable plutôt que sur un tapis tatami, ou si vous cherchez une activité culturelle à faire un jour de pluie/neige. Végétarien ou musulman ? OK 🙂

[JP] 私の「ゲットジャパン」チームは、下記の「東京都馬喰町ゴーネイティブジャパン・カフェで抹茶体験、田邊真利子さん」動画を製作してユーチューブで公開した。英語・フランス語・日本語の字幕を表示出来る。畳より快適な椅子に座って英語の茶道に参加したい?雨・雪の時に楽しめる文化体験を知りたい?是非観て下さい。菜食主義者・イスラム教徒も参加できる 🙂

[EN] Prove my colleague Taylor worked well: click “I like”, comment or share this video 🙂 By the way, did you notice me drinking tea?

[FR] Prouvez que ma collègue Taylor a bien travaillé: cliquez sur “J’aime”, commentez ou partagez cette vidéo 🙂 Au fait, m’avez-vous remarqué buvant un thé ?

[JP] テイラーさん(同僚)が上手く製作したと思ったら、是非「高く評価」をクリックして、コメントを書いて、それか動画を共有してね :) 所で、セバスチャンが茶を飲んでる瞬間を気付いたか。


Go Native Japan – ゴーネイティブジャパン:
[EN] Official – http://www.native-japan.com
[EN] Get Japanhttp://www.getjapan.jp/tokyo/chiyoda/go-native-japan
[JP] フェイスブック – https://www.facebook.com/go.native.japan

Taylor – テイラー:
[EN] https://www.youtube.com/user/iamtaylorb

I tested SGRS Tourism Agency‘s Sumida river cruise and Walk with Geisha in Asakusa area (Tokyo, Japan)!

Invited by SGRS Tourism Agency to test its tours for foreign tourists in Tokyo, I enjoyed this afternoon a fun Sweet & Sound Cruise on the Sumida river and a Walk with Geisha in Asakusa area then attended its business presentation and a funny show (see next post). As a tourism professional and former preschool teacher, I believe these tours will be great once refined, providing fond memories of Japan to Western adults and children alike! I now look forward to a walk with a Japanese warrior, ninja or samurai 😉

Odaiba island (Minato ward, Tokyo, Japan) from the Sweet & Sound Cruise boat on 18 April 2015.

Geisha Otoki-san in kimono with Sébastien Duval holding her fan at Asakusa Shrine (Taito ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 18 April 2015. Photo by Eri.

I had a great time all along: Ken (from Hawaii) and Miki (from Japan) sang in English and Japanese during the cruise while Oui played the piano and Nanako the violin, Harusa (from ???) guided us in the streets of Asakusa accompanied by the “geisha” Otoki-san… Bilingual and wearing a kimono, Harusa motivated us to look for statues on rooftops (e.g. the thief Nezumi-kozo) and portraits of Japanese movie stars (e.g. Takeshi Kitano), touch a giant straw sandal at Senso-ji Buddhist temple, pray under cherry blossoms… Under a big blue sky, we took splendid photos of Odaiba island from the platform of our boat as well as cool photos with the staff here and there 🙂

Miki & Ken singing with a piano and violin during a Sweet & Sound Cruise (Minato ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 18 April 2015.

Harusa Matsuyama in kimono with Sébastien Duval at Asakusa Shrine (Taito ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 18 April 2015. Photo by Eri.

The cruise is fine for Westerners but would be even more exciting with albums containing old maps, photos or ukiyo-e woodblock prints placed on the tables, with sale of traditional Japanese sweets/snacks like wagashi and karinto (plus a list of ingredients for allergic travellers), and with more Japanese songs (adding a lullaby would be great to transmit the Japanese culture).

The walk requires a method to avoid losing participants in the crowds and to prevent interruptions by bystanders jumping in for a photo with the geisha! To enhance the tour, the guide may bring a piece of kimono fabric to freely touch and may introduce holy seals at the last spot (Asakusa Shrine): watching a Shinto/Buddhist calligrapher write a goshuin is amazing but few Westerners know that! Finally, the guide may give maps introducing local restaurants and shops (see the Get Japan maps for examples).

I hope this feedback will help SGRS Tourism Agency make a better world, happier people 🙂 I just e-mailed the team!

Ken with Sébastien Duval on the Sweet & Sound Cruise boat (Minato ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 18 April 2015.

New project: East of the Imperial Palace map in English for tourists in Tokyo (Japan)

Tomorrow, my team will start preparing its first “East of the Imperial Palace” walking map in English to support foreigners in Tokyo city and promote local gems using help from local communities, our expertise, and our human networks. Contact me before June 2015 if you wish to advertise or recommend an exceptional business near Ginza, Nihombashi, Shimbashi, Tsukiji, or Tokyo station 🙂

As Travel Stand Japan‘s inbound manager, I mainly search businesses that interest foreign tourists and residents, that provide high-quality products or services for adults and children, that are unique or characterize the area, and that make the local communities proud! I thus favour old local businesses with eco-friendly Japanese-style products by Japanese designers and handmade in Japan, Japanese companies with headquarters in the area, event organizers, stores with friendly bilingual staff accepting payments by credit card, and tax-free shops open 24 hours a day. If needed, our travel agency can design menus/labels (translations, explanations, pictures…) and train staff to better interact with tourists (language & culture). Of course, the team also happily guides tourists to the great places on our maps to help them buy or order what they dream of during Yes in Japan tours 🙂

Making this online and paper map should be fun and rewarding but exhausting like when I prepared the “North of the Imperial Palace” map of spring/summer 2015. I enjoyed cycling in small streets, discussing with hotel staff, informing and learning from various shopkeepers and owners in Japanese language, clarifying my values while honing my sales/negotiation skills… but that took much time and energy! Wish me exceptional holidays afterwards 😉

New business: I guided 3 Japanese during an English study tour in Ochanomizu area (Tokyo, Japan)

I just guided two Japanese ladies and a Japanese gentleman for 2 hours in Tokyo to improve their English while visiting Ochanomizu area. I appreciate my experience as an English teacher at an international preschool and as an English/Japanese interpreter for this new business by Travel Stand Japan 🙂

We had a great time discussing life in Asia, Western practices and ways of thinking… while shopping, walking among beautiful flowers, observing lucky charms for computers at Kanda Shrine, and discovering a cool exhibition of paper animals at the International Origami Centre! Next time, we may also enjoy a special restaurant/teashop or attend a tea ceremony 🙂

Interested in joining a Yes in Japan language study tour to discover Japan and discuss cultural/lifestyle differences with Japanese people or foreigners in English, French or Japanese language? Contact me 🙂

6th Tokyo Local Thinking seminar at Editory: Network to make a better Jimbocho (Tokyo, Japan)

Invited tonight at the 6th Tokyo Local Thinking free seminar by Editory‘s dynamic organizer KAWARADA Yasuhiko, I enjoyed live music, attended talks, joined a group exercise, and networked in Japanese language with local guests wishing to dynamize, enhance and promote the Jimbocho area of Chiyoda Ward in Tokyo. Sadly, I missed 20 minutes as the owner of a nearby restaurant requested an interpreter immediately to explain his menu to American customers.

Like last time, the seminar was refreshing 🙂 I chatted with acquaintances but also met the CEO and an executive officer of the excellent Good Morning Café, a cooking instructor who worked 5 years in California, staff from real estate agencies… OnJapan‘s UCHIYAMA Masayuki asked my views (as the sole foreigner in this packed room) about his Jimbocho Yomatsuri project: a festival in May with Japanese food stalls, traditional music and songs, dances in kimono… I notably suggested to end the event late to attract and entertain Japanese and foreign tourists after a full day of tourism elsewhere. Update: I e-mailed him additional suggestions on 07 March 2015.

I invited some participants to eat together near Travel Stand Japan on a Friday evening or week-end before the next seminar on 01 April to network and make a better world without worrying about our last subway/train or work the following day!