The International Greeters Day event was held in Yanaka, an old town area of Tokyo. Yanaka is still largely residential with narrow lanes, small houses, and unique art galleries, shops and restaurants. It has a genuine historical feeling and is famous for its large concentration of temples which have been in the area for over 400 years.
About 20 participants gathered in an old historical home, and after a brief introduction and group photo, set out in 2-4 member teams to locate various landmarks and hidden gems of architecture and local interest. Each team was given a handout with 66 photos and a time limit of 90 minutes to find them.
Upon returning to the starting point, all the teams were eager to share their finds and talk about what they saw.
It was a truly fun and memorable event which was enjoyed by all.
Ms. Marija Potocic Matkovic from Croatia sent a message to TG office. Her family had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"TG volunteer service is great. Sayuri organized interesting and fun tour. Thank you for a nice and memorable day in Tokio.” (June 18, 2017)
Ms. SHARON KAAIHILI SING from United States sent a message to TG office. Her family had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
" The service is excellent. What matters the most is how TG was able to match us with a greeter who would best fit our profile. Our connection was immediate the first time we met Emiko!!! We look forward to seeing her again on our next trip in 2018! Each time we request Emiko, we make a donation. Mahalo!” (June 8, 2017)
Ms. Ulrike Delwlig from Germany sent a message to TG office. She had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"Fumi is GREAT!!! He is a very knowledgeable, kind, informative, helpful, considerate - I run out of adjectives, but I think you can get my meaning - person. It was so good to meet with him on our first day in Japan, when we had a week of travelling "alone" before us. He explained a lot to us, which made our travelling easier and our understanding of Japan deeper than I would ever have imagined!” (May 7, 2017)
Ms. Karen Johnson from United States sent a message to TG office. She had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"Tokyo Greeters provided a good overview of sights I wanted to see.” (May 31, 2017)
Mr. Robert Peter Holland from Australia sent a message to TG office. His group had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"Terrific, well organized, well prepared, good source of info to help us understand Japan” (May 25, 2017)
Ms. SHARON KAAIHILI SING from United States sent a message to TG office. Her family had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"The service received by TG was so good! Making a new friend in Japan was the best part.” (April 1, 2017)
Mr. David Kazuo Tanaka from United States sent a message to TG office. His family had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"Fumi was able to provide knowledgeable information about Japan only someone who lives in Japan could provide. We really appreciated having that experience. Thanks you very much. Unfortunately, we did not get a selfie photo with Fumi.” (May 20, 2017)
Mr. Melvin Edelstein from United States sent a message to TG office. His family had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"As a Big Apple Greeter, I appreciate the importance of Tokyo Greeters. You are providing an invaluable, personal approach to seeing Tokyo. I salute you!” (May 19, 2017)
Ms. Frances Anne Thorncraft from Australia sent a message to TG office. She and her family had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
“TG website easy to use and speedy response from both TG and Chiyoko was reassuring. Chiyoko provided us with a great itinerary for our walk. Also meeting and speaking with Chiyoko was a lovely experience for us.” (May 14, 2017)
Mr. John Hand from United Kingdom sent a message to TG office. He, his family and his friends had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"We had a lovely and useful time with Minori” (May 3, 2017)
Ms. Josine Irving from Australia sent a message to TG office. She had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"Hiroko gave me the best introduction to Tokyo I could have asked for and took me beyond the main streets. Her explanations and help were invaluable and gave me confidence to see more of Tokyo. I would highly recommend this service to any first time visitor to Tokyo. Best regards.” (May 2, 2017)
Ms. Kathryn Mary Kelly from Australia sent a message to TG office. She had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"This is an excellent and generous service for visitors to Tokyo. The initial contact questionnaire should seek info regarding the visitor's time and experience in Japan generally and Tokyo in particular so that the Greeter can adjust their suggestions. Also, a faster response could help. We thought that since we had no response for so long that there would not be a TG available."(April 29, 2017)
Ms. Greer Cushing from Canada sent a message to TG office. She had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"Sue was an incredible host. We have had hosts in four major cities and she was by far the best we ever had. Sue navigated the city with ease and confidence and showed us an excellent variety of places. Sue was knowledgeable and was very receptive to the asks in our initial application. Communication was very easy via email and Sue followed up with us a few days before our meeting to confirm the itinerary and meeting spot. Our trip would not have been complete without her! " (April 27, 2017)
Ms. Katherine Ouimet from Canada sent a message to TG office. Her family had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"Akemi was briliant, friendly, warm and very energetic. She helped me understand the subway and how to get a card, all these first things that can make a first visit in Japan frightening. Her good advice have served me for the rest of my trip. I thank her very much and hope to stay a friend. Merci. Arigato. " (April 26, 2017)
Mr. Herman Pouwels from Australia sent a message to TG office. His family had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"Excellent meet and greet, on time and very knowledgeable about the Japanese culture, the transport system etc. " (April 22, 2017)
Kristina and Karsten from Switzerland visited a local town Zoshigaya and were honored to the 200,000 visitor of its tourist information office. The news was covered in a local paper. They really enjoyed the tour by Tokyo Greeters.
Ms. Marilyn Astle from Canada sent a message to TG office. She had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"Akemi is an excellent ambassador for her city and her country. I have enjoyed Greeter walks in other countries and am very glad I was able to also do one in Tokyo. This is a wonderful service. Thank you." (April 7, 2017)
Mr. Lotfi Tellab from France sent a message to TG office. He had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"Just want To sincerely thank you and thank the Tokyo Greeters program for the beautiful tour you offered me on saturday 15th! It amazing To visit the meiji shrine, harajuku et shinjuku metropolitan government with you! I loved your energy and All those informations and history facts you precious. It was a great moment. Arigato gozaimasu, Minori san and All Tokyo Greeters crew. " (April 15, 2017)
Ms. Diane Lorraine Neumann who is a greeter in Brisbane Australia sent a message to TG office. She and her family had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"Akemi was prompt and very friendly and knowledgable" (March 17, 2017)
Ms. Catherine Lang from Australia sent a message to TG office. She had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"I really enjoyed our visit to the Shinto Shrine (Meiji?) Akemi explained the history as well as the significance of the various buildings. I also liked that she took me on the train to get there. It gave me enough confidence to venture out alone by myself the following day. Thank you for providing this excellent service to new tourists." (February 21, 2017)
Ms. Kim McMahon from Australia sent a message of her experience with TG.
"Masumi took us to so many wonderful spots.
The view of the city and Mt Fuji out of the government building was wonderful, as was the visit to the food courts and my daughter absolutely loved visiting the zoo. Trying on a kimono was a treat too, but ultimately it was Masumi's company that I enjoyed most. She was warm and welcoming. She provided so many interesting insights into Japan. I left with an even bigger fondness for Japan and its people. I felt very lucky to experience such a wonderful welcome. Thank you." (January 17, 1017)
Ms. Evi setiowati tanudjaja from Indonesia sent a message to TG office. She had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"Shrine in Harajuku , learn about how to enter Shrine gate , washing your hand and mind before pray. This is new experience for us." (January 10, 2017)
Ms. Nicole Licastro sent a message to TG office. She had a tour with a greeter in Tokyo.
"Unbelievable service and Junko stayed with me the entire day. I hope she enjoyed my visit as much as I did." (December 29, 2016)
Ms. Penelope Lennon from Australia sent a message and a photo. Her family had a tour with a member of Tokyo Greeters.
“We loved our tour with Hiroko. She took us the Sensoji Temple and helped our children to purchase their stamp books and get their first temple stamp! We walked and chatted and had a beautiful lunch at an Okonomiyaki restaurant. What an amazing service this is! So, perfect for our first day in Tokyo.” (December 15, 2016)
Ms.Chua Lisa from Singapore sent a comment. She spent time in Tokyo with a greeter of TG.
"Very responsive and helpful even before I arrived in Tokyo in suggesting what I can do. I really liked my greeter, Kiyoko, very much. She is so accommodating, spent more time with me than expected to make sure I managed to buy/see what I needed. The experience is not touristy and when she introduced any food/things that I wanted to get, she brought me to places where locals will go and that is awesome!" (July 19, 2016)
Ms.Natashja Dworkin from Denmark sent a comment. She spent time in Tokyo with a greeter of TG.
"It was such a delight to meet our greeter Emiko. From our very first communication she was welcoming and open. It was very clear that she wanted to help us to have a very personal experience. As my daughter was 22 she also brought along two sweet young students, so they could practise their English skills and it was very lovely to spend the afternoon with all three of them, learning more about Japanese culture, history and customs. We spent the afternoon walking around in Ueno Park, a nearby neighbourhood and ended up having lunch in a very nice restaurant. They walked us back to the station to ensure that we were well on our way. I cannot recommend this experience with Emiko highly enough. Both my father, my daughter and myself were very happy that Emiko found the time and came all the way to Tokyo center to spend time with us. Arigato and love to the girls too! We hope to see you here in Copenhagen one day. Sincerely, Natashja"
Ms.Grace Ambrose from Australia sent a comment. She spent time in Tokyo with a greeter of TG.
"The suggested itinerary to a little suburb outside of Tokyo and visiting his family's temple/shrine. Enjoyed it tremendously."
Mr.Michel Majeau from Canada sent a comment. he spent time in Tokyo with a greeter of TG.
"Our greeter was a very nice man and it was a real pleasure being with him for a few hours!"
Ms.Julie Lee from Australia sent a comment. She spent time in Tokyo with a greeter of TG.
"Suegy was very knowledgeable, welcoming and efficient. She spoke excellent English. Communication before and after the tour was excellent with precise meeting instructions. Great itinerary, given our short time frame. Very appreciative. We would recommend Tokyo Greeters to anyone looking for a tour guide in this beautiful city. Thank you Tokyo Greeters!"
Mr.Alexander Diaz from Spain sent a comment. He spent time in Tokyo with a greeter of TG.
"Ms,Hiroko Watanabe was nice, helpful and considerate. We thought we were going to be tired (and we indeed were) after the 12 hour plane travel, but her contagious enthusiasm and understanding of our situation arriving at a place where we didn't understand was amazing. It was a beautiful first encounter that did wonders to ease us into Tokyo and resonated the days that we stood there. An excellent first step." (August 1, 2016)
Mr. Robert Elliot from Australia sent a comment. He spent time in Tokyo with a greeter of TG.
"Junko Saga was an excellent TG who expertly took us to our destinations, which we would not have been able to achieve without her assistance. We highly recommend the TG service and commend the organisation, for the high standard of the Greeters and the service they provide."
Ms. Lee Laurino from United State sent a comment. She spent time in Tokyo with a greeter of TG.
"Greeters worldwide is a wonderful service. Please complement Junko on doing a great job. I will be sure to ask for Greeter meetings as I travel the world."
Ms. Littal Yadin from Israel sent a comment. She spent time in Tokyo with a greeter of TG.
"We met Tomoko on our first morning in Tokyo and it was a great help in getting around the big city and learning a little bit about the culture and customs. Tomoko also kept in touch with us via e-mail and sent us very helpful information regarding architectural sites we were interested in."
Ms. Ida Gräsman from Sweden sent a comment. She spent time in Tokyo with a greeter of TG.
"I am very impressed with Koji's hospitality and dedication to this cause. He did a fantastic job of making me feel welcome. "
Mr.Matthias Claus and Ms.Daniela Plietsch sent a comment and a photo. They spent time in Tokyo with Ms.Chie Akai Sugimoto a greeter of TG.
"Chie was very kind and the perfect greeter!" (July 31, 2016)
Ms.Hannah Sardar from UK sent a message and a photo. She had a tour with Ms. Masumi Sugiura a greeter of TG.
"Suegy was outstanding. Being welcomed to a country that I have never visited made both me and my partner feel safe and allowed us to really get the best out of our 2 week trip to Japan. Suegy was knowledgeable, told us about the history, culture, faux pas of the country and generally gave us a great beginning to our trip." (May 2, 2016)
Tokyo Greeter held an event on September 10th to celebrate one-year anniversary and joined the world-wide activities of the Global Greeter Network in celebrating International Greeter Day. 26 people participated the event including 2 visitors. After 5 greeters presented their volunteer activities in this last one year, the participants were divided into 4 teams and enjoyed a game. They had searched for specific locations in Harajuku, Omotesando and Meiji-jingu area by using photos provided as a clue, and get points according to the difficulty of finding each. (September 10,2016)
TG received feedback from Mr. Bruce Edwards. They had a tour with Ms. Haruko Yano a greeter of TG.
"Haruko was very informative and very friendly in her manner. We loved the greet and are very keen to come back to Tokyo and Japan to see more of your wonderful country.
Haruko is a lovely person and we continue to correspond with her." (August 28, 2016)
Sue and Bruce wandered around the ramshackle street of Nonbe Yokocho ( Drunkard's Alley), a district full of tine bars in Shibuya and visited Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. They had a great time with Haruko. (August 28, 2016)
Shawna and her daughter made an excursion to Todoroki Valley with Kentaro. They walked along green towpath, a perfect spot to feel refreshing in the hot summer day, (June 19. 2016)
TG received a happy message from Delphine Boissier san
with a photo;
"We adored our journey in Tokyo, this city is fantastic! But the most unforgettable are the welcome, the kindness and the discretion of the Japanese! Thanks to Noriko, our journey was unique!
very effective! Tokyo greeter found the greeter ideal! With perfect French! Thank you again!"
Laura and her friend explored the old town Yanaka and learned Japanese custom from Masumi.(March 26.2016)
Haruko took Harmeet and his family to the bar quarter Goldengai and the Hanazono shrine of Shinjuku in the evening. They had a fun with the neon glitz.(April 17. 2016)
Saori took Andrew on an excursion to Ueno Park. A photo of them taken in front of the bronze statue of Saigo Takamori, a great leader and tragic hero, who helped modernize Japan and his life is inspiration of the Tom Cruise movie " The Last Samurai." (April 16.2016)
Andrew and his friend explored the old district Hongo. The photos taken in the red gate of the Tokyo University and the Nezu Shrine.(April 10.2016)
Koji showed Jose and David around Asakusa, They struck up a friendship instantly and had a fun at the town,(March 27.2016)
Delphine and her husband explored Yanaka and Ueno areas with our greeter Noriko. The photos taken in Ueno Park, now ready for "Hanami", cherry blossoms viewing and parties.(March 24.2016)
Karin and her partner were excited with Kitchenware Town Kappabashi. They had a great time with Haruko. Lovely photos with happy smiles in front of a plastic food sample shop and a small garden in Asakusa.(March.27.2016)
Julia and Sam spent a great time with Koji, rambling through narrow streets, discovering temples,
shrines and local shops in a small town, Yanaka. Photos taken in front of an old wooded house, now renovated as Japanese style pub. (March 13, 2016)
Yann and Sebastien enjoyed an excursion to Shibuya and Harajuku areas. Photos taken at Hachiko Statue, the most popular meeting point of Tokyo and in Takeshita Street in Harajuku. (Febrary 8, 2016)
Sophia and Rens had a great time with Greeter Noriko. A photo taken at the National Art Center, a very modern architecture. They also enjoyed shopping in a local town. (January 15, 2016)
Greeter Chizuru showed Jeanne-marie and François around the Harajuku area. Photos taken in the gate of Meiji Shrine full of visitors for a happy new year prayer. (January 5, 2016)
Greeter Chie took Rachel and Darryl to Asakusa. A lovely photo with big smiles at the landmark Kaminari-mon gate of it. (December 23, 2015)