Tokyo Tower, panoramic view of entire city

Day 10 Wed May 25, 2005 Tokyo

Kazuo, Number One Tour Director-San, has booked us an all day Hato Bus Tour, with the English speaking guide. With the two front row seats. Tomoko, our tour guide, is fluent in English, she is knowledge and really, really funny. Tomoko is the only Japanese we have met in the entire ten days who was fluent in English. Japanese learn English at junior high school (and now we understand the junior high school girls). They learn, "Hello, how are you?", to which they answer "Fine, thank you, and you?", to which they answer "Fine, Goodbye". So Tomoko said if they say "Hello, how are you?" Be sure to answer "Fine, thank you, and you?" or you'll confuse them! Junior High school students start school in April and spend the first couple of months on field trips and bonding with each other. All day long we run into the Junior High School Girls, and help them practice their English. Lots of giggles. Most Japanese can speak some basic words, like thank you and hello. They have a difficult time understanding our spoken language, especially if we speak fast. Many, many cannot speak or understand English at all. Some of them can read a little, so if you get in trouble and need help, write down what you want. In terms of getting good service, fast, pleasant, eager, helpful, it was like the whole country went to Disney training school. And for those of you who have been to Disney, you know what I mean, that's saying a LOT. In fact, any Disney history buffs out there, I wonder if Walt spend some time in Japan? Maybe I have it reversed, Disney's service is so perfect because they learned it from the Japanese?

The Hato bus tour was terrific. As you'll see we saw a lot and the Japanese keep on schedule. We have started calling Kazuo, "Lets Go Kazuo". Number One Tour Director-San has stamina!

Tokyo Tower, panoramic view of entire city. On a clear day you can see Fuji-San.