Today, we’re back with our guide series and we are glad to introduce you to Yappy, one of our amazing experienced guides in Tokyo.
Hi Yappy, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from, what is your background, passions etc.
I’m Yappy. I was born and raised in Osaka until I was 18, and then I came to Tokyo because I wanted to be a rockstar. So far, I haven’t become a rockstar, yet, but I have been living as a bartender and DJ for more than a half of my life. Yes, I have been “livin la vida loca” . I haven’t traveled a lot and never lived abroad but, instead, I’ve accommodated so many people from all over the world as a bartender, as a host of an Airbnb, and recently as a tour guide. I’m now in my mid 40s, which means you’ll have to live on with what you’re good at. Long story short, that’s how I’m here as a tour guide.
Why and when did you decide to become a tour guide?
I was previously working in the fish market in Tsukiji, around 2016, to prepare for my Airbnb listing in Nihonbashi, and I saw so many licensed guides doing super boring tours. I knew I could do much better but I didn’t have a license. But come 2018, the government twisted the law and I quit my bar job and joined Arigato.
What do you like best about being a tour guide?
I love seeing the faces of my guests change during the tour. From Just meeting up with the guide and start walking around, to asking questions with your friends with curiosity like “Hey Yappy, what’s that over there?” Building up a relationship within 3 hours tight.
What is your favorite Japanese food and why? Any specific food or place to recommend in Tokyo?
To be honest, Okonomiyaki is not my favorite, even though I’m an Osaka man. I like Yakitori the best. Because it’s handy, and there is so much variety to it, regional options, casual ones and some coursed ones. It’s not overly filling so you can go on and on, and you can usually have them at the bar, so you can talk with the chefs or the regulars at the bar whilst eating. Torisei in Koiwa is the GOAT, you must go there.
What’s your best memory with a guest you had on a tour?
I still remember the grandma in the picture from Germany. She was a bit shy, she understood my English but when she spoke, her English was not good enough to tell me how she exactly felt. But after a couple of pints of lemon sour we had together from the tap of BBQ, that made her happy and communicative enough. We had a nice Nomi-bucatini.
What is your favorite Arigato Travel tour and why?
Shimbashi’s hidden gems. Because all the spots are my favorite and top drinking options.
You are also working in the entertainment industry as a barman and DJ, how do you relate these passions to your work as a tour guide?
The common points for all of those are entertaining people. We all have to make our guests go “Wow”!
Could you suggest to our readers one must-visit and unusual place to visit in Tokyo and Osaka, your hometown?
- Torisei in Koiwa, Tokyo.
- Uosan in Monzen-Nakacho in Tokyo.In Osaka, I only know my friends’ places:
- Diamond Rocks (The owner here named me Yappy)
- Toko (Cafeteria in my hometown)
Thank you Yappy for sharing your extraordinary story with us! If you are traveling to Tokyo, don’t miss the chance to enjoy one of our tours led by him!
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If you’re traveling to Tokyo and want to discover the Shinjuku area the best way, make sure to ask for Yappy!