Cheerful Canadian Couple Like Yamate, Elegant Residence District in Yokohama

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Date & Time: Monday, April 29(holiday), 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Spots: Yokohama Sankeien Garden, Bashamichi-street, Yamate district
Visitors: Claude& Marie, a Canadian Couple in their 60s
Attendant: 1 KSGG member
Languages: English and French

This was my first guiding experience. When I met the visitors, they blew away my anxiety. Claude was very cheerful and loved jokes, while Marie seemed quiet and reliable. After visiting Sankeien Garden, we had time left till the evening, so I asked them if they would like to visit somewhere else nearby. They said,“We will follow you anywhere. You are the leader.” Although I had no confidence, I decided where to go next. We walked up to Yamate, the Bluff District*1. When we entered the Berrick Hall, I said jokingly,“Welcome to my house, a big one as you see.” Claude replied to it humorously,“I thought you lived in a more luxurious house.” Walking down to Motomachi shopping street*2, they looked at the rows of houses on the way and enjoyed the beauty of banksia roses blooming above the fences. They told me that they had not seen these kinds of flowers in Canada. They knew their B&B was situated near Yokohama Chinatown but didn’t know Yamate and Motomachi. They were delighted and said, “This area is beautiful. Let’s visit here again while staying.” This was their third trip to Japan. They seemed to enjoy a sense of “living here” rather than“sightseeing.” I’m glad to help them feel a real life in Japan.

*1 The Bluff or the Yamate hillside is a residential area that was settled by westerners when the city of Yokohama was opened some 150 years ago.
*2 Motomachi has been a source of western cultures and goods since Yokohama became a gateway to the world.