i wrote this post about wishing for a personal travel concierge while we were in seminyak, bali.
with japan just days away and no real plan, i was trying to balance enjoying the present & planning the future.
we had a flight into osaka and out of tokyo, but nothing in between. no hotels or transportation identified. did we need a visa? we literally had a handful of notes from friends, but there were still lots of questions and work to be done if we didn’t want to end up wandering aimlessly around the country.
fast forward to ubud, bali.
at this point in ubud, the countdown to japan was creeping up quick: 36 hours… and we were at ground zero.
on saturday morning (our flight was monday at 6AM) we popped into an ubud cafe to get some “real” coffee (vs. instant) and while we were waiting, i said to danny, “babe, how about you take tokyo and i’ll research the first spot to figure out how long we want to stay and where. we need to figure this out today.”
at that moment, a young backpackerish looking guy with a european accent turned to us and said, “are you going to japan?” yes, we replied. “oh, do you have any questions or need any help? i live there – I’ve lived in Tokyo for a couple of years.”
put it out into the universe and it’s amazing what you’ll get back.
the young Krzystof and his twin brother sat with us for an hour planning out japan. what cities to visit, what to skip, how long to stay, the names of the best neighborhoods, tourist traps to avoid, maps of back alley restaurants & bars, info about upcoming concerts & festivals, and general tips and helpful hints about money, signs, symbols, tipping and the like. he basically wrote it all out in the notes section of our iPhone and included his contact info for any future questions.
i think we did a happy dance as we walked out of the coffee shop. we’d just hit the trip planning lotto. stress be gone!
wait, it’s not over.
Kryzstof emailed us days later with some additional thoughts and invited us to join him at a club on an upcoming Friday night in Tokyo. well, that Friday rolled around and as Danny and I were walking through Tokyo, a city of 13.5 million people, towards a late ramen dinner when I heard a familiar voice that stopped me in my tracks. we turned around to see the european kid from the coffee shop in ubud, indonesia walking hand-in-hand with his Japanese girlfriend.
and then four us of walked to a popular ramen shop he’d never heard of, but was right next to his apartment.
talk about a wonderful small world.
^i happened to snap this pic in the coffee shop. this is d with the twins post-planning session watching video of a back alley cock fight in the hills of indo. did you know they strap razor blades to the chicken’s feet?! :( i opted out of the viewing session.^