It is here, however, where the unique and genuine politeness of the Japanese prevails. Maybe it’s the queue for the ticket machine or maybe it’s the desperation in our eyes that convinced a young Tokyoite to escort us halfway through the immense and densely crowded subway station to a nearby tourism office.

Truly grateful for his help we try to offer him whatever we have in our pockets, but this only seems to upset the young Japanese man. A simple ‘Arigato gozaimasu’ goes a long way in Japan.
In the tourism office we meet the only Europeans we would meet in the following two weeks. They’re a Scandinavian couple traveling through Asia, who are, like us, lost in translation.

The people at the tourism office once again show typical Japanese hospitality; one immediately starts calling around for places for us to stay for the night, whilst the other is making reservations for our bus ride the next day and the other is providing us with maps, coupons and restaurant recommendations.