“ Look no further, Shin san is THE guide to have! ”
Have you ever experienced serendipity? Well, that's the what we felt when Shin san 'stumbled' into our lives. My wife and I are from the USA, and our daughter attended school in Japan as part of an exchange program in Kitakyushu. When our daughter flew to Japan on her own, she was met with the daunting task of navigating the chaotic train station in Tokyo. When attempting to buy a train ticket, she heard some people speaking english nearby. She approached them, and asked for help. This is where she first met Shin san, who happened to be with a couple from the Philippines that hired Shin san as a tour guide.
Shin asked his clients if it would be okay if he helped our daughter. The very gracious couple said of course, go ahead and help her. Shin then helped our daughter buy a train ticket, and actually escorted her to her seat. She was extremely relieved, and was put at ease. She texted me Shin's business card, which had his email address on it.
I emailed Shin san and thanked him profusely for helping our daughter, and said that if we come to Japan, we would hire him to guide my wife and I around.
Well, several months later, we did just that. Right now, I am sitting at the airport after a terrific 10-day trip to Japan (for the first time). We hired Shin san for two days. The first day, he took us around all sorts of sites in Tokyo. We took a stroll around the Imperial Palace, saw a samurai statue, and many other sites, which Shin san backed up with knowledge of each location. Trust me, he knows where to go, and where to find the out of the way cafe to eat at, without being too touristy. Our lunch was at a Japanese restaurant, which meant that we had to remove our shoes, and walk in our socks over to our lowered table. Very cool.
But I have to say, that BEFORE the first day, Shin went above and beyond his responsibility, and he actually met our daughter at the Tokyo train station, and escorted her to our hotel in the Shinjuku district, which is about 30 minutes by train from Tokyo station. Unbelievable, and extremely generous.
On the second day, he took us to the Enoshima Seacoast via train, then we went to Kamakura area, and saw the Hasedara Temple, The great Buddha, Komachi Street, and many other places. Again, we found a quaint little coffee shop to have a cup of coffee, and shared some cheesecake. Very relaxing.
During both days, Shin san is busy taking pictures (including selfies), and at the end of each day, he texted me copies of some of the pictures that he took. Nice touch!
After we were all done, and move on to our next venture (which was Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea), Shin san checked in with us, to make sure we were okay with our independent travels.
All in all, we just love Shin san, as you can see from all previous reviews. I'm not surprised at all that he has had such an impact on people's lives. He's true kind soul, who just wants to make his guests happy, and relaxed. Success!!
May we meet again Shin san, and if and when we return to Japan, you will be hired by us again.