A man who is often asked for directions

A man who is often asked for directions

Google for unfamiliar places

I am often asked for directions in my daily life.

Last month, a tourist asked me for a bus stop when I was looking for a place to have lunch on a business trip, and that night business certain businessmen asked me, “Do you know any good pubs around here?

Twice in one day is rare, so if I had hung around outside for a bit, I would have accomplished the first hat trick of my life.

I didn’t even ask them, but they said, “I want to eat fresh sashimi!”

We are also here on a business trip and were just looking for a restaurant on a tabelog.com! I tried to pass them by, but they kept on asking me, “Is the downtown area far from here?”

I told them that we were not familiar with this area, but they had the nerve to ask us again, but as the saying goes, “Travel with the road, and the world is kind to you,” so we showed them Google Map and explained to them that it would be a 10-minute walk, just like daytime tourists.

It wasn’t that far away, but I had to make two turns from the residential area, so I would have had to repeat the “fresh sashimi” crap again at some corner.

I hope one of the businessmen learns the “Google it if you don’t know where it is” skill as soon as possible.

Nippori vs. Nishi-Nippori

Another thing I don’t understand about myself is that even in situations where people are around me, they ask me at a high rate.

The other day, while waiting for the train at the station, a foreigner with a suitcase in tow went out of his way to stop beside me and ask me about changing trains, even though there was a man in a suit on my right and a woman with a child on my left.

The man to my right had a face as chiseled as Ken Hirai’s, and I think he looked more foreign than I did, but it is a strange world, isn’t it?

“The lines are complicated and I’m not sure how to transfer…”

“Where do you want to go?”

“Nippori station.”

Interesting that it is Nippori and not Asakusa, Shinjuku or Shibuya. Apparently, Nippori’s textile district is a hot tourist spot for foreigners who love handicrafts.

It is probably similar to Kappabashi Dogugai in Taito Ward, which is crowded with kitchen knives and other cooking utensils.

I felt it interesting that a foreigner would visit a specialty town that even we Japanese are not familiar with, and when I confirmed that it was Nippori, not Nishi-Nippori, he replied in an unintelligible way, “I want to go to Nippori in Tokyo…” I was not sure what he meant.

When I explained that Nishi-Nippori, like Nippori, is the name of a station in Tokyo, he replied, “When I went sightseeing in Yokohama, I changed trains at Higashi-Kanagawa Station in Kanagawa Prefecture…” He seemed to have arrived at the station in the right direction.

Apparently, they mistook the station named after directions where he believed for the prefecture.

I decided to use a transportation app to tell him about the transfer to Nippori station.

I told him, “If you take the Yamanote Line, please get off at Nippori Station, which is next to Nishi-Nippori Station.”

Is this the station for transferring to the Yamanote Line?”

Perhaps my screen was not clear enough in Japanese, he checked again on his own cell phone app, but unfortunately his app was not in English either, so I could not understand what he saw.

If you think about it calmly, there is no way that both parties can understand each other’s native language, so showing each other the apps that they are used to using is a sterile exchange.

After I finished explaining verbally once more, I asked if we could get there safely.

He asked again about Nishi Nippori, so I recommended getting off the train when he heard the announcement for Nippori.

Fortunately, the two stations are right next to each other, so even if I made a mistake, I should be able to reach the textile district in a short time. I believe I found the kimono fabric I was looking for safely.

All pain and no gain

I have been asked for directions, and when I gave them directions, I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard what they said.

This time last year, I was heading to the station after finishing work near Tokyo Station, when a tourist asked me how to get to the Yaesu Exit.

The shortest way to get to the Yaesu Exit without going through Tokyo Station is through the “North Free Passage” that connects the Marunouchi North Exit to the Yaesu North Exit.

This area is difficult for those unfamiliar with Tokyo Station, so I decided to guide them to the Marunouchi North Exit area.

As we walked, I asked them which areas they had visited today, and one of the family members told me “The Imperial Palace, Ginza, and Kitty.”

I did not understand the last part well, so I asked him if it was a pop-up store of the character “Hello Kitty” of Sanrio Co. He said, “It’s the Kitty, not Hello Kitty. The Christmas tree was beautiful…”

I said, “It’s December, so they must have had a Christmas tree with Kitty in the Sanrio store.”

A little bewildered, I answered nothing and headed for the free passageway, where I was given additional information: “The view of Tokyo Station from the old postmaster’s office was great!

Perhaps the tourist was concerned that I who did not even know the famous “kitty” landmark of Tokyo Station would really know about the mysterious passageway connecting Marunouchi to Yaesu.

“The old post office…oh, KITTE!”

“Yes, KITTE!” he smiled, as if my identity had been confirmed.

Perhaps further reassured, he said, “Next time I come to Japan, I’ll show you around!

The KITTE building in front of Marunouchi Station is famous and I have been there many times. I am a Japanese based in Tokyo to begin with…”

Despite kindly showing them around, they were mistaken for suspicious people and were wary of us. I guess this is what they mean by “all pain and no gain.”

A man who is often asked for directions

If you like this article, please
Follow !

Let's share this post !
  • Copied the URL !
  • Copied the URL !