Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
100% response rate · Last login about 9 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. References being the most important (min 5, better 10+), photos, friends, good descriptive profile (i.e. I need to think I “I know you enough that I would want to get to know you more”. If I think you would be better off on AirBNB I will just hit the ‘decline’ button.) Also the verifications (ideally all 3) are helpful (and really increase your chances), and in terms of money it is less than what you would spend on a single night in a youth hostel. Likewise if I get general questions (what are great things to do in Japan) that I believe a 10 min read in a Lonely Planet or Rough guide (or the forum here or the many travel blogs) would be enough to answer I also don't reply to anymore.
2. I have hosted about 50 people here now, and I get now about 30 request per month and I host 2-3. So I decline without major comments if I don’t strike a vibe with your profile. So don’t write a lot, just a ‘Hi I would like to stay with you from X to Y’ is OK to trigger my interest– IF the profile is well kept. If the profile is shoddy it just reduces the probability of me finding things of interest there to talk about, and no message can make up for that. So it is really this simple – you say hi, I look at your profile (trust me, I will read all of it) and then accept /decline or possibly ‘maybe’ if my schedule is unclear (pretty much like Tinder Swiping). And a No stays a No.
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 sometimes, 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 1/2 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.
Current schedule : May 9 - May 17 out of country May 17-May 24 only spontaneous (i.e. no confirm until shortly before) May 24 - 30th out of country, Jun 1-6 only spontaneous (i.e. no confirm until shortly before) 6 jun - 18 Jun guest room full Jun 18 – Jun 30 fine.
Message to Newbies Being a newbie is no excuse for not having a minimum of 5 references : Lookup Couchsurfing on FB and get references from friends who also 'like' CS Get references from fellow travelers Go to Couchsurfing meetups Host before you go surfing
So a 'hi I/we would like to stay for these 2-3 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.
CURRENT MISSION Discover Asia ABOUT ME 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). PHILOSOPHY 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 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, Republic of, Nepal, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United States
Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nepal, United Kingdom
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