Stories of Kindness: Friends on the Tokyo Metro

Stories of Kindness From Around the World: Friends on the Tokyo Metro

Friends on the Tokyo Metro

Two summers ago, my family left the states for our first ever backpacking trip, to Japan. Our first stop was an incredible few days in Tokyo, where we explored the marvels of a modern city unlike one I’d ever seen before. The sushi was, of course, delicious, as were the 7-11 dumplings and bubble tea. So far Japan was proving itself to be even better than what I expected.

Our last day in Tokyo rolled around too soon, and we found ourselves (and our six backpacks) crammed in a subway car in rush hour metro traffic. Have you ever seen that picture in downtown Tokyo where the metro attendants literally have to squish everyone into the subway car? We lived it. Fifty or so Japanese commuters wearing hello kitty and other themed face masks, standing shoulder to shoulder, and us. We pushed our way to the back of the car, where we met a group of Japanese backpackers en route to the mountains. Initially, we laughed together about our big backpacks and the cramped train, and soon shared a few words about where we were headed. All of a sudden, they started emptying stuff out their backpacks and pulling out plastic bags of chocolate and candy and handing them to me and my sisters.

As someone who lives out of their backpack, I know that the few things you carry are usually packed for a purpose…and important. Sharing their carefully packed items with us was such a simple gesture of friendship, and a very unexpected and kind one from people we had known for no more than a few minutes. We gave them some buffalo jerky from Colorado, and exchanged words of good luck in our different languages before they left the train. When I remember Tokyo, before the city lights and sushi, I remember the kindness of our Japanese backpacker friends because people always leave the strongest impression of a place.


Hello! This is the first post from a new series about kindness on the road. I was inspired by Jessie Voigts of Wanderingeducators.com to create something positive by highlighting stories of great people and genuine kindness I’ve experienced while travelling. More coming soon πŸ™‚

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The Shadow of the Samurai

Hi friends. If you want to read a cool fictionalized travel article about a trip I went on to Japan last year you should head on over to wanderingeducators.com. This article was super fun to write and different from my usual blog posts because it incorporates history, fiction, and travel writing. All of which are some of my favorite things! Anyways… here is the beginning and to read the full article click here.


The Shadow of the Samurai

After the morning rain, the afternoon sun struggles to push its way out of the thick fog covering the mountains. My sister and I, umbrella in hand, walk side by side, jumping occasionally to dodge the puddles in the road.

On the Nakasendo Trail, Japan. From The Shadow of the Samurai

Aside from our occasional laughter, it’s eerily quiet. The only other people around are various shopkeepers in their old wooden storefronts. One Japanese man uses a small broom to sweep water off his porch. He smiles kindly as we pass.

We are walking the Nakasendo Trail. During the Edo period in Japan, this was one of the five routes to connect Edo (today’s Tokyo) to Kyoto. Its height during the 17th century would have looked like the polar opposite of how it does now. The streets were crowded with travelers, merchants and traders, feudal lords, and of course, samurai warriors… all on a 27 day trek across Japan.


 

Want to read the rest??Β https://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/stories/shadow-of-the-samurai.html

Thanks for reading and happy travels XX – Iz