Today, we’re happy to introduce you to Jordan from Tokyo, our first Guide of the Month for the year 2020.
A. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I like to be active, although getting active can sometimes be difficult for me. Multi-day hiking and camping, bouldering, swimming, ice-skating and landscape photography are all activities I love to do. I also very much miss my motorcycle, which I sold when I moved to Tokyo. Wanderlust often has me thinking about where I want to go travel to next. When I’m saving for my next trip, or staying indoors, I tend to spend (too much) time on my computer. Movies, video games, and a bit of creative writing keep my mind active. If I can manage matching a North American schedule, I’ll call-in to a game of Dungeons and Dragons or something similar. I’m also a huge fan of Star Wars, which is great for me because Japan loves Star Wars too!
B. Where are you from? When and what brings you to Japan?
I am quite fortunate to have been born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, where I was exposed to many different cultures from an early age. Japan always stood out as a strange and wonderful place. “Could it really be as different as my friends say it is?” I wondered. Well, I made my first trip here in 2013, and was hooked immediately. I can’t explain it any better than just saying that I immediately felt grounded, like this is where I was supposed to be. I continued to travel to Japan over the next few years, and that feeling never went away. I also met my wonderfully supportive and encouraging wife (who is Japanese) in Vancouver while she was studying English. When her visa expired, it was an easy decision to move to Tokyo to be with her.
C. What do you like about working as a tour guide?
I have been lucky to travel as much as I have, and I hope to continue seeing places, eating food, and meeting people from around the world. Being able to help other travelers get the most out of their trip has been an amazingly rewarding experience, and it’s made all the better when we get to enjoy ourselves over a great meal!
D. If you were a type of Japanese food, what would you be and why?
This is a tough question to answer, so I asked my wife for help. She very kindly suggested that I would be Soba! This is because she thinks that — like Soba — my first impression is “easy-going and calm”. However, I also get along well with others, bringing out the best in them (like how Soba can be eaten with lots of other Japanese foods!). Furthermore, like myself, Soba can be both quite complex and refined in its depth, despite its simple ingredients! I’d like to think she’s right.
E. Do you have Japanese food that you’d like to recommend to travelers for Spring?
Strawberries! Strawberries are a spring-season favorite in Japan, and for very good reasons! You’ll find strawberry variations for practically any dessert, and now even as a strawberry Coca-Cola flavor. You really can’t go wrong with any in-season foods though, so if you get the chance to try something fresh and local, I say go for it! And if you can spare the extra expense, a Kaiseki-style meal is both my ultimate suggestion and most favorite eating experience!