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Never Alone

Based on true events, David was touched by the kindness of total strangers.

We all make assumptions when we visit a foreign country. When David was on holiday in Japan, he had the misfortune of arriving on a bank holiday.

He quickly realised that this meant that he couldn’t withdraw any money and that his credit cards weren’t accepted anywhere.

After having a mini-meltdown, the staff at his hostel in Hiroshima let him stay there…

… and fed him noodle soup, despite him having no money to pay for it.

One staff member even lent him a bike and went with him on a fruitless bike ride around the city searching for an ATM machine.

This experience cemented David’s belief in the power of kindness. And that no matter where you are in the world, you’re never truly alone.

All in the family

Based on true events, Susie finds a kindred spirit on a train ride to Nara.

When she was 22-years-old, Susie went to Japan alone, determined to have an authentic experience. So when she found herself confused at the Osaka train station…

… she mustered up the courage to ask an older man, Mr. Yamada, (in broken Japanese) about how to get to Nara. She was surprised when he replied in English - his hometown was Nara!

They rode the train together, chatting and swapping travel stories - he had travelled solo to Europe as a young man.

Once they arrived in Nara, he invited Susie to dinner with his wife that evening.

Along with a friend of hers, they were treated to a delicious meal…

… where Mr. Yamada declared that he was adopting them as “extra granddaughters.”

Life long memory

Based on true events a mother and daughter’s goodbye ended with an act of kindness.

My daughter was moving to Tokyo to start an exciting new job in the city.

I dropped her to the airport, tears filled our eyes, I hugged and kissed her goodbye.

I boarded the plane home, wiped the last tears from my face and made myself comfortable. When out of the blue the Cabin Attendant hands me a bag.

To my amazement it contained ANA postcard from my daughter along with a picture of me and her.

A staff member had noticed my daughter crying and gave her this postcard to write. They promised they would get it to me before my flight left.

As my daughter starts her new life in Tokyo, it's so comforting to be reminded of the kindness of strangers.

My cup of tea

Based on true events, a small gesture made Sarah’s day in Hikone an unforgettable one.

Every year, thousands of people go to Japan to teach English. Sarah had just arrived from England and wanted to explore the smaller towns, travelling to Hikone in Shiga Prefecture with a friend.

During the train ride, her friend felt sick so they had to get off - and so beginning a long, arduous journey filled with missed train connections and a ride on the wrong train for over an hour.

When they finally arrived, they visited a textile shop and started chatting to the owner, Mr. Watanabe. Sarah bought a Samue (traditional Japanese clothing) and went on her way.

At a nearby temple, they heard someone call out to them.

It was Mr. Watanabe from the textile shop, holding a tray of freshly made Japanese green tea.

Such a simple gesture, but it was so incredibly thoughtful that she never forgot it.

Lost and found

Based on true events, Mark’s vacation in Kyoto was saved by a good samaritan.

Losing your wallet is never fun. But losing it whilst on holiday in a foreign country? Disastrous.

When Mark was on vacation with his family in Japan, he lost his wallet in Kyoto - filled with 14,000 yen in cash.

Trying not to panic, he filed a report with the local police within two hours.

The on-duty officer checked the system and miraculously, he informed him that the lost wallet had already been reported and delivered to another police station!

Taking the subway to retrieve his wallet, he was amazed to find that the contents and cash were totally untouched.

Mark was so touched by the honesty of the Japanese and forever grateful to the good samaritan who returned his wallet (and saved his holiday!).

Pay it forward

Based on true events, Kate and Ian bring an invaluable gift back to America.

Celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary, Kate and Ian commemorated the occasion with an O.A.T. Japan Cultural Treasures Trip…

… that included a delightful home visit in Kanazawa with an 80-year- old Japanese lady, Mrs. Sato, and her daughter.

Just as they were about to leave, Ian mentioned that he was really interested in shibori (Japanese tie-dye).

Right away, she disappeared into another room, emerging with a beautiful piece of shibori that was the sash (obi) on her grandmother’s kimono.

Mrs. Sato insisted that we keep it as a memento of our trip and wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Even though it was a family heirloom!

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