Hi, this is Isao. The rainy season is finally over in Japan, and the hot days will continue. How is everyone doing?
Now, as the world is forced to refrain from going out because of the lack of prospects for convergence of COVID-19, I’m trying to do as many fun things as I can. One of those things is “Travel on the Brain”. Nowadays, the travel industry is becoming more and more active in new endeavors such as online and virtual tours. I would like to take such tours when I get a chance, but right now I enjoy looking back at photos of places I’ve been to in the past, closing my eyes and reminiscing about my trips back then. The things I saw, the food I ate, and the happenings that happened are all memorable, but what I remember most about my travels are the people I met on my trips – a wonderful encounter.
Travel is all about refreshing your body and mind by experiencing the unreal. Since we’re spending a lot of time and money on a trip, we often look up information about the destination and make plans in advance so that we can enjoy it as much as possible. This advance preparation is necessary for us to enjoy the sights of the destination efficiently within the limited time and place we have, and from the stage of doing so, we feel elated and the trip has begun. However, I believe that this is just a confirmation process, an answer to the plans we have made and the experiences we have had at the destination, and that the only way to enjoy it in a more meaningful way is to meet people at the destination that were not planned, or rather unplanned.
I myself went on a trip to Hong Kong last year with my family. We had kids, so of course, we had to plan it meticulously. We enjoyed Hong Kong Disneyland, enjoyed the high-end Chinese food we had booked in advance, and everything was going according to plan. However, on the way to the shopping trip, I got involved in a traffic problem and for the first time in this trip, I had to deviate from my plan. I met a Japanese lady living in Hong Kong and she told me what caused the traffic problem, how to get around and where she recommended shops to buy souvenirs, so I was able to experience something I hadn’t planned and buy some souvenirs. Meeting this person was very memorable for our family and was one of the reasons why we want to go back to Hong Kong.
Encounters with people, I think, are one of the most important tourism materials after sightseeing spots, gourmet food and shopping. In Japan, the demand for tourism that makes use of local resources, as seen in the growing demand for destination-based tourism services, is changing in recent years, and in addition to seeking out unique local experiences, it is also becoming more of a way to meet the people who provide the experiences. I would like to share information about Japan online so that I, as a Japanese citizen, can be one of the materials for visitors to Japan.