Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
99% response rate · Last login about 16 hours ago
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FIRST THINGS FIRST (the following guidelines do apply to a number of other hosts on Couchsurfing here in Tokyo, who do not have it this elaborately on their profile):
1. Couchsurfing is not AirBNB, it is a platform for people to get to know each other by one staying at the others place. As there are now a number of people confusing the two, as a host one looks for a few indicators - if you are unsure - please see the CS guide in the My Home section. I will then just indicate the categories whereby your profile falls short of a well maintained CS profile (e.g. " About me - Photos (min 5) - references (min10) - verifications (depending on number of ref)" )
Current schedule :
6 jun - 18 Jun guest room full,
Jun 22- Jun 29 out of Country
July holidays approved, so starting to host again in August
2. I have hosted about 50 people here now, and I get now about 30-40 requests per month and I host 2-3. So I now look at a profile which I read thoroughly and then 'swipe'. Given that please just are free to state the 2 days (see below) you would like to stay initially and leave the pleasantries. If I say no, then it just means that your profile was not sufficiently well maintained for me to get interested (please see below for the guide to profiles in My Home) or I already was hosting and hence the guest room is occupied or I am out of the country.
3. I like interesting discussions (psychology, philosophy, ancient history, travelling experiences) and hearty people (infectious laughs, spontaneity, ‘banter’, british comedy – after staying a year in Brazil I came to love the south American positive view on enjoying life (epitomized for me in the small cities carnival and the book a caricia essencial from Shinyashiki) ). I also like Whisky and wine, specialty coffee and honey, and if you these happen to be your hobby as well, we can sample a bit. I make an excellent hot chocolate and - if requested – can even give an open ear (both), and good hug (guys only in extreme exception) and a cuddle (definitely girls only) if the traveller blues happen to hit while at my place.
4. I host for 2 days at a time, 3 when I really want to get to know a person, but offer for people to prolong if I am having a good time. There have been now a few who I have gotten on so well with that they stayed for 1 or 2 weeks (several) up to 4 weeks (only one).
5. I never (!) ask for payment or anything, but if you are flying into Japan straight I may request for you to bring me some stuff and I will insist on paying for it (i.e. no hosting present, but more like a shipping service). There are just some things like german cheese (Bergkäse), Australian or New Zealand Honey, Vietnamese coffee or Indian Chai spices or the latest Bollywood DVD, that are here in Tokyo on sale at a 300% markup.
So a 'hi I/we would like to stay for these 2 days' is perfectly alright - at least for me. Whilst hardly at all paying attention to the messages I very carefully screen the profile for interests / stories / photos etc and if there is not much on there I am interested in will have my result.
Basically - Couchsurfing is not free AirBNB - And as there are an increasing number of people looking at it that way, it also means that hosts now loose their patience with incomplete profiles and decline without major or any comments, myself included.
Here are the travel tips:
Register on Starbucks starbucks.wi2.co.jp
You don't need Railpass for Tokyo and surroundings, but you do if you want to go to Kyoto.
There are some fantastic cafes (Streamer Shibuya, Turret Tsukiji, Omotesando Coffee)
Trips: Kamakura, Nikko, Fuji closeup (Gotemba, Fujikawaguchiko)
There are some good hostels in Iidabashi, Asakusa or Ryogoku, I haven't tested them.
http://www.hostelbookers.com/hostels/japan/tokyo/ is a good reference
At high time (Hanami, New years eve) Tokyo is booked out, and the CS volume goes from 30 requests a month to 60-70. Coming to Tokyo then without a plan for accommodation is stupid.
There are several Couchsurfing meetups (during the week Shibuya, Friday in Speakeasy in Otsuka) where one can meet fellow traveller and ask them lots of questions. There is also meetup.com and the Tokyo Spontaneous meetup is one of the groups to subscribe to to find all the parties. Or lookup Oscar Arias / Allon Hodges on CS/FB and ask him what he is organising.
I am humorous and love going to new places and meeting new people, something I have done far too little of in the last years.
I like ancient history, mathematics, music (trombone), musicals and in general my music collection, and reading books in cafes or bars, and over and over again interrupting the reading for that interesting conversation with a random stranger. Having a good time and a really good conversation with a glass of wine in my hand with an interesting and funny person -who if I had known them for a longer time would be a good friend - is for me the highest moment and what I do the hosting side of couch surfing for.
visited 32 states (14.2%) , I love Brazilian music, Bollywood, ‘Free Hugs for all’, Samba (though I am terrible at it), Indian Head massage (Heaven on earth for 10 min), good coffee, computer gaming (latest feats Dragon Age Inquisition, Mass Effect 3, Civ V and Europa Universalis).
Sapere Aude (bonus points if you have read up to here and know what it means without looking it up on Google)
I love meeting people and getting to know them in a short time while they are here. I have had phenomenal conversations, funny, deep, and in two cases almost turning into romance were it not for the rigid travel plan of the guest.
I take hosting ethics extremely serious, so obviously unwanted advances are a complete no-go, but two past couch surfers pointed out two very thoughtworthy observations:
1. A bit of frolicking and a few snogs (B.E. for kissing) can be very good for the travel weary soul, if the other person is likewise inclined.
2. there are not many funny, intelligent and well-travelled people in the world to go around, and CS definitely has a much higher percentage of them than the average pub population, and if one ended up talking all night on life, the universe and everything, and then the other party also knows the one and only answer, life is too short to just put on the professional mask and bid a polite farewell.
I have couchsurfed in Eastern Europe and South America, but now being more stable in Japan, I have now the world coming to me - last year 40+, this year probably only 20-30 :) And the CS meetup in Otsuka(Tokyo) is great !
Ancient history, mathematics, travelling, cultures, languages (both modern and ancient), psychology and philosophy (ancient greek philosophy, Existentialist, Yalom, Fromm, ...)
Books: Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, To Have or To Be, The Art of Loving (Fromm), travel books, Financial theory and corporate policy, Hull Derivatives, ...
Movies: Many, quite a cinemaniac. But I suppose the Fools rush in, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Star Wars, Star Trek, Keeping the Faith, Mary Poppins, My fair lady, Tatort, Loriot, many others
2 months volunteering as maths teacher in Nepal
6 months spent in Sao Paulo including visit to Iguacu
Camel Trip in Rajasthan
Studied Mathematics at University and thus should be able to explain a few things. Loved reading philosophy and psychology books in the last years.
2 people Brazilian hammock, great for the Japanese summer
Rowing ergometer if you need to burn some calories
Pavoni Espresso and Bialetti Mokka
A reasonably sized philosophy and psychology library
Whiskey, Wine and German beer to supplement conversations.
Argentina, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Moldova, Nepal, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United States
Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nepal, United Kingdom
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