Super Tour Man

We boarded the Shinkansen (“bullet” train) early and headed to Tokyo.  Traveling close to 200 m.p.h., the scenery whizzed by. The Shinkansen is a story in itself, so let’s just fast forward to Tokyo where we meet Super Tour Man. But first, my friend and I got off the train, and moving in speedy train fashion my friend whizzed us through the extremely large Tokyo train station, me at her heels, out the other side into the super-sized city.  Of course, it’s always movement at top speed with my speedy friend who is amazingly following her phone map while speed walking while we were looking for our hotel.  We speedily found it. Then, my friend informed me we were running late (yes, running—that’s being late, fast–) to catch our Hato tour bus to inner Tokyo.  So, it was out of the hotel and towards the tour bus depot.


There were several Hato (Hato translates to “pigeon” in English) tour buses coming and going, each with its own waiting room. Speedy friend walked us up and down until we found the right waiting area for the bus bound for Asakusa Temple and the Tokyo Skytree. I’m really thankful for Speedy friend because, to be honest, I’d still be walking in circles trying to get out of the train station.  To my pleasant surprise, we’ve got 20 minutes to wait for the bus.  Ah, relax! No, scratch that. Speedy Friend wants to use the 20 minutes and take a non-leisurely speed-stroll to the nearby Imperial Palace grounds.  Again, here’s another story in itself as we speed walked/ran the entirety of this mini-tour and what we saw along the way.  Upon our return though, I was definitely out of breath while Speedy Friend seemed unaffected.  Hey, I wasn’t complaining because I wanted to see all of Japan possible during my 10-day super trip.


Aboard the bus at last, we settled in for a sightseeing trip through Tokyo narrated by nobody other than Super Japanese Tour Man.  While waiting in traffic he began telling the group a bit about himself to abide the time.  Outside of knowing everything about Tokyo and giving great information, Super Tour Man turns out to be a self-taught English teacher, speaking excellent English while never having been to an English-speaking country in his life.  He works seven days a week as a tour guide (days) and part-time instructor (nights).  Oh, on weekends he is just tour guide. (Gotta relax sometime, right?)  Already I’m trying to digest this mentally—seven days a week full-time tour guide. Five of those days a week add part-time instructor at night.  Moreover, he casually mentions he’s 65 years old and still jogs some incredulous amount every day; the number baffled me and therefore skipped my memory. So, in my figuring, he jogs from 9pm to midnight (after instructor work), and he is at home from midnight to 5 a.m. on weekdays, and evenings on weekends (after jogging of course), which would allow him a bit of luxury time to visit his wife and son.  He seemed very proud to run such a schedule (I agree), telling us three times throughout the tour. Although the word “workaholic” came to my mind, his grueling schedule and 65-year-old jogging capabilities earned him Super Man status in my opinion and a man of accomplishment.  May he enjoy many more healthy, vibrant years. By the way, I wonder how much more energy he expended in his younger years–maybe he designed the 200 m.p.h. Shinkansen train; I didn’t ask.



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