In 2016’s Leopard meeting and two car events in one day (All Japan Estima Meeting and Stance Nation), I was amazed with the experience. I met many leopard ownesr and car friends at these events. I saw many cars I admired and enjoyed over the years.
The two events in one day, was a very good experience in timing and logistics. I still couldn’t believe I was able to make 2 events in different Prefectures.
During this time, my wife was with me, so I couldn’t do as much as I wanted to. I wanted to see other shops and meet other people, but my wife and I had an itinerary set.
When Kuze san mentioned to me that Carshop Friend was planning to have a 31st Anniversary meeting, I thought about it and decided to go. My wife said going for a weekend was not worth it and I should go to Japan for 9 days. This time, I would be by myself… giving me free range to do what I want.
My schedule was focused on meeting my friends. So when a friend would set confirmation availability, I look what to see or do in that area or along the way. The schedule was also difficult because Japanese friends work very hard, so scheduling can be tough. I also said I don’t mind meeting for short time if friends are busy, the point was to meet with them.
Let me say this: meeting people or seeing cars at events is one thing, meeting people on their time, in their location is more intimate. So this was about me meeting them on that premise.
When I plan, I like to over plan schedule, rather than under plan. So I packed every single day with something to do. I would stay out late and wake up early to get things done such as traveling between cities.
I made a google map with pins on what to do and locations. I also printed out detailed maps (which can be deceptive with distance of locations).
I also made back up plans in case friends could not meet. So I always had a plan A, B and C.
BUT the priority was to meet with my friends. If something fell through, I’d still have something to do.
Examples are both from Hyperdia.com
I also searched what to see and do many websites and blogs.
Additionally, in 2016 visit, my wife was really good at scheduling, time and she learned how the train system worked very quick. I depended on her in 2016.
This trip was about me meeting challenges. The challenge of communication, the challenge of logistics and the challenge of learning the train system. This is where I practiced culture humility.
The approach is NOT, “I am American, let me do it American way”.
My approach is, “I am a foreigner in this country, I need to adapt and learn their ways and experience the Japanese culture”.
With that said, I’ll explain the day to day experience!!!