When I was in Japan in June I had a free day and decided to do some sightseeing. I decided to take a train somewhere that would have tourist attractions outside of Tokyo. The concierge at my hotel suggested Hase and Kamakura.
So off I went. I love trains, and I love train stations, but I don’t speak or read a stitch of Japanese. While stainding in front of the ticket machine a the train station a youngish Japanese man noticed my cluelessness and helped me buy the right ticket.
With ticket in hand I headed to the platform. However, Shinjuku Station is huge… I finally found what I thought was the right platform. As I stood there reading the LED displays I began to wonder if I was in the right place afterall. Never being shy, I looked around for someone on the platform that might speak a little English to ask for help. I immediately noticed a man about 10 feet away who looked like a reasonable target.
“Excuse me. Do you speak English?”
“Is this the right platform?” (showing him my ticket)
“Yes it is.”
We then had a nice conversation about Seattle, the Mariners, and Ichiro for about 5 minutes before his train came and he had to leave. I gave him my business card…
Tonight I received an email titled “Ichiro’s hits” from a Japanese domain name. I almost always delete mail like this because the only people from Japan who send me email are sending me spam. But I looked at it and discovered it was an email from this guy:
Dear Mr.Charlie Kindel.
This is XXXX whom you asked about a train for Shounan, Zushi at Shinjuku Station , this June.
You may not remember me.
Then I told you that I had been to Seattle.
I am very impressed with Ichiro’s 258 hits.
When I watched Mariners games on TV, I became to want to go to Seattle again.
Very cool! I replied back that Ichiro now had 262 hits and that I really appreciated his help…I had had a great day in Kumakura.