Practica: First timers in Tokyo

Having worked in over 55 countries and visited a few more, alas, Japan has eluded me – well, almost – a score of years ago, my plane was grounded at Narita airport because of heavy snows when I was on my way to Jakarta. This entitled me to one overnight in a small nearby hotel, where I profited from one of the best massages ever and the hotel profited by selling me what seem to be a highly overpriced bottle of sake.

Now, I'm very excited about the opportunity to present at the SIETAR Japan Conference in August along with several colleagues. My virtual intern Juri Hikasa will be introducing and playing the first ever Japanese translation of diversophy®, while my friend and colleague Steve Crawford will be demonstrating JAMK’s New Horizons intercultural projects with migrants and high schoolers. Assisted by my associate consultant Teresa Mroczek, I will be exploring how to create and update our intercultural learning tools to benefit from developments in neuroscience and cognition.

Easy enough, but our real challenge lies in how we can best benefit as cultural tourists during the rest of the two weeks we plan to be on the ground in Japan. Here is where we need the help of our more Japan experienced colleagues. So, if you’ve been there and done that, or are there now, help us out. We are unabashedly crowdsourcing solutions to our concerns. Our main questions:

·     Surviving and recuperating from a long flight and a 7-hour jet lag?

·     Accommodations and facilities close to the conference?

·     Seeing and doing the right stuff. What highlights would you recommend?

·     We were alerted that Japan is expensive, so we want to be cautious, though not necessarily on a shoestring. Where can economies best be made?

·     What should an older, slowpoke guy like me know about travel challenges and conveniences there?

·     What to not forget to pack and what not to bring?

·     Do-do's and no-no's?

·     Antidotes to tetrodotoxin?

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for any and all advice and in particular for answering any questions that we didn’t have the savvy to ask above. We suspect that we are not the only first timers to Japan coming to the conference, so we hope many of you will benefit from the shared wisdom of locals and old comers.

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