Online Guided Tour Grows Friendship

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Date & Time: Saturday, March 12, 6:55 p.m. -8:00 p.m.
Spots: Highlights of Kamakura (Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Hasedera Temple, and Kotokuin Temple) via Zoom
Participant: Tom from London over Zoom
Attendant: Shintaro, a KSGG member
Languages: English and Japanese

Report by Shintaro
My mission this time was an online tour guiding for Tom, an Englishman in the UK. I showed him around the must-see spots in Kamakura: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Hasedera Temple, and Kotokuin Temple using Zoom.

When I tried to get in touch with him by email beforehand, he didn’t reply to me at all. Then I sent him my WhatsApp ID because I thought he would be able to respond to me through WhatsApp. I did so because of my previous guiding experience. As I expected, he immediately texted me back. And after that, we were able to communicate smoothly. Since then, we enjoyed casual and lively conversations almost every day, though sometimes I received messages from him just before going to bed because of 9-hour time difference between the UK and Japan.

Tom is in his thirties and works for a telecommunication company. I felt an affinity with him because I had a similar job. As I heard he has been studying Japanese by himself, we tried to communicate in Japanese and English via WhatsApp, and I also guided him in making full use of both languages. He told me he had been to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and Hokkaido in wintertime. Unfortunately, I have never entered the UK, though I once landed at Heathrow Airport just for a flight connection. I told him so, asking him if he will show me around London when I visit the UK in the near future. Then he answered cheerfully, “Why not? Shintaro, I’ll be your guide for sure!” I had a very fun time with Tom, a nice guy and a real gentleman.