A Night to Remember

By August 15, 2015 , , , , , ,

One thing that continually amazed me throughout my time in Japan was the sheer amount of hospitality and service I received. Because we decided to stay at an AirBnB hosted by Japanese students, our experience was different from the typical tourist perspective. Having a chance to experience Japan as a local was both interesting and a bit of a culture shock at times. One of the things that we all found in common was a love for food.

Our host Takashi runs the BnB we stayed at and pitched a sushi party idea a few days before we left Japan, to be held the night before we flew out. One of the reasons that we picked their location over other more convenient places was for the 'student experience' and the chance to connect with people our own age, so of course, we jumped at the chance. 

We arrived to the event after a long day of activities and found a group of people there waiting for us, some were our housemates for the week, other new faces. They each had a different story to tell, and as we explored each other through questions, discovered a little more about each other and our similarities and differences. 

Since most of our housemates were away either at school studying or working, they didn't join us until after the sushi dinner. One of these people was Kazu, who brought his friend who had just come over from Nagasaki to Tokyo, seeking new job opportunities. These two spent hours after the party trying to call a cab for us the next day, even when they were flooded with work. Something that I'll never forget.

As the night progressed, we discovered more about Tokyo and the way student life was compared to one in Canada. One similarity is that they love drinking - like many students here, but something very different to us was their penchant for breaking out into choreographed dance. Definitely a very memorable experience.

As we shared in the table, we got to know Park - a Korean who spent 10 years learning Japanese and is now studying Japanese literature in Tokyo, Nanba who is currently studying physics and works at the shop part time - often found sleeping outside our room after his night shifts, Sho - who is more confident and fluent in English than I ever will be in Japanese, and of course others who joined us intermittently through the night.

One thing I've learned to appreciate about traveling - more than the food or the sights - are the people we meet and the stories they share. Even if our connection is momentary and perhaps fleeting. Leaving was hard, but I'm sure I'll be back again soon.


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