All Seasons

My First Experience of Showing Japan to Foreigners as a Huber. Guide

Masaki

Nagamuma

Writer

Hello, everyone! I am Masaki – a college student in Tokyo. I love using English to communicate with foreigners. So, I was looking for a chance to use my English, then one day I found the service called Huber. and decided to become a Huber. guide!

What is Huber.?

Huber. is a service that matches travelers who want to know more about Japan and the Japanese who want to communicate in English and become friends. Huber’s main concept is “Tomodachi Guide,” which means that a local friend will show travelers the real Japan. Also, there are always two guides to take you to a great place in Japan.

I wanted to show the real Japan to foreign people by using my English, so I decided to use this service as a guide.

Meeting With the Guests

I was so nervous to meet with the guests because it was my first time as a guide. However, Takuya who is the main guide helped me a lot. He always makes people laugh, so it was beneficial.

Arby, Irish and Tariel – my guests from the Philippines, met us at Shibuya Station. To find a right exit at Shibuya Station is a little bit complicated. Even the Japanese sometimes make a mistake when they transfer to other line or meet with people. However, we could successfully meet at Shibuya Station. The guests looked very kind, and friendly. Our first place to go was the Gotokuji temple, so we took a train to go there. We talked about each other on the train.

Gotokuji Temple

We took them to the Gotokuji temple which is located in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo. It is known as the birthplace of Maneki-Neko. People offer Maneki-Neko figurines to the temple as a sign of gratitude when their wishes become true, so that`s why there are so many figurines at the temple. We all took a lot of pictures and Takuya, and I explained a little bit about what is Maneki-Neko.

What is Maneki-Neko?

It is known as one of the lucky charms in Japan which is often believed to bring good luck to the owner. Thus, it`s common to see it on displays of stores and restaurants. Also, I explained to them why there is a Maneki-Neko that raises different paws. If the cat raises the left paw, it means that it attracts costumers. If the right paw is raised, it draws good fortune and money. And if both paws are raises, it protects home or business.

After we explained it, our guests bought the figurines of Maneki-Neko. They told me that they would come back here and leave it when their wishes become true.

Local Food Experience

After we visited the Gotokuji Temple, we were a little bit hungry, so we ate Takoyaki. It is one of the most popular street foods in Japan. It’s a set of octopus balls prepared in a special batter. It all comes under a brown sauce. They also use the same batter for Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba.

It was their first time to try it, and they said it was excellent. We were so happy that they enjoyed the meal.

Setagaya Hachiman Shrine

After we had a meal, we moved to Setagaya Hachiman Shrine. This place is famous for ceremonial sumo wrestling ring. Sumo has its roots in the Japanese Shinto religion, and it was first performed on the grounds of Shinto shrines. We talked about Sumo, and also discussed what kind of sports are famous in our countries. Arby told us that basketball is one of the popular sports in the Philippines that I didn`t know.

What is the difference between Temple and Shrine?

Arby asked us what the difference between Temple and Shrine is. I answered her that Shrines are Shinto sites. Temples are Buddhist sites. Also, shrines are often used host weddings, and people come here to pray for success in their lives.

What is chozu?

Do you know what chozu is? Chozu is the customary way to clean yourself before making any prayers at shrines or temples in Japan. Arby and Irish wanted to try it in Setagaya Hachiman Shrine, so Takuya and I taught them the proper way of chozu.

Here are a few steps of Chozu

  1. Take the wooden dipper in your right hand and fill it with water. Then pour the water over your left hand.
  2. Change the dipper to your left hand and wash your right hand.
  3. Retake the dipper in your right hand and pour some water into your left hand. Rinse your mouth with this water. (Please be careful not to rinse your mouth directly from the dipper.)
  4. Wash the dipper with the remaining water. You have to leave a clean dipper for the next person.
  5. Put the dipper back to the original position.

How to Visit this Area

Gotokuji Temple and Setagaya Hachiman Shrine are at the same station, so I would like to tell you how to visit this area.

From Shibuya:

Get on the Tokyu Toyoko Line to Sangenjaya Station, then transfer to the Tokyu Setagaya Line to get to Miyanosaka Station.

Futako-Tamagawa

To finish up our day, we went to Futako-Tamagawa. It took 30 minutes to arrive there. Futako-Tamagawa is an excellent place for shopping, having a meal, and just to hang out. My high school is pretty close to Futako-Tamagawa, so when I was a high school student, I came here a lot. So, I took them to my favorite place in that area.

Here is my favorite spot in Futako-Tamagawa. It is a great place to relax and chill. On weekends, many people visit here for a picnic or to have a great time with their family or friends.

We bought some lunch in the convenience store and had a picnic in the park. It was their first time to use convenience store in Japan, so we taught that most of the Japanese would get their lunch there. They wanted to try some rice balls, so we explained to them what kind of flavors are there. Also, they told me that there are no such great convenience stores in their country. I thought that convenience stores became a part of the Japanese culture.

After we had lunch, we walked to the station by the riverside. They also told us that there is no such nature in the Philippines, so, they were so happy to visit the place and feel the nature. I was also delighted that they could enjoy their time in Japan.

Closing Remarks

I had a great time with Arby, Irish, and Tariel! They were so kind; even my English was not good. They tried to hear what I was saying, so I was really happy about their kindness. I felt that I want to use Huber. service more to communicate with foreigners and also want to make them happy!

This service is great for foreigners who can enjoy and know more about Japan, and also for Japanese guides who can understand their history and culture deeper. To the people who want to know more about the real Japan, please check the link below for more info.

For Those Interested in Matsuri

I applaud you for making it all the way to the end of my article! For those more interested in Matsuri details, especially traditional spring festivals, read on.

Anton has been living in Japan for more than a decade. To refresh himself from his busy life in Tokyo, Anton wanted to go to areas with nature and culture. Finally, he decided to go with local Japanese guides to a traditional Matsuri in Kamakura. Please read about Anton’s experience if you are interested in the lives of foreigners in Japan or Japanese spring festivals!

Click the link below for more details!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/3935/

An Ultimate Idea Source for Your Tokyo Stay!

Most of the travelers who come to Japan enter the country through Tokyo. Even if it is not the main place of your destination, it would be a great idea to stay in the capital city for a few days. The biggest conglomerate in the world has much to offer to any kind of traveler. Whether you want to go sightseeing, shopping, eating out, or trying something special that you can experience only in Japan, Tokyo has it all. In the following article, you will find 100 things and many ideas on how to spend your time in Tokyo! Please, have a look, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/7726/ 

Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel themselves a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or just want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5363/

Masaki Nagamuma

Hello, I am Masaki Nagamuma, college student in Tokyo. love to visit a lot of place in Japan and other country. If you have any interested in Japan, I want you to check my article.

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