’14th Anniversary of Moving to Tokyo’ Post

14 years ago today I moved to Tokyo. 

I launched the Maction Planet website in February 2017. Since then I have written an anniversary post on each year on 20 February which is business-oriented, and have saved the 4 August posts for reflections of a more personal nature. 

To say the travel and tourism industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic is an understatement. I wrote about the impact on Maction Planet in a very personal ‘This Week in Tokyo’. and on the industry in general here (for The Tokyo Life)

Instead of rehashing amateur epidemiology or baseless fortune-telling, I want to take a positive tack and reflect on some the highlights of my 14th year living in the World’s Greatest Metropolis. 

Tokyo and Mac: My relationship with the city I love continues to evolve. These last twelve months have seen deepening ties in the art, food, sport and writing world. The personal connections which Maction Planet guests benefit from take time and trust to build, but the payoffs are enormous for all involved. 

Guiding 10 hours a day, 6 days a week in 2019: You heard that right! When tourism fell off a cliff in March 2020 I started to become concerned that my leg muscles would atrophy. Don’t worry, I have been exercising hard and am taking long socially-distanced hikes to stay in shape for when all my guests return to Tokyo. 

Pan-Japan Tours: Our Pan-Japan Tours were previously only accessible through word-of-mouth. We decided to make our take on custom travel beyond Tokyo available to everyone and the reviews we have received from guests who have toured the country with us have been outstanding. 

Triangle Thrillers: I was headhunted to be a member of the ‘Ojisan Trio’, stars of the NHK World TV Show Triangle Thrillers. The first episode was broadcast in June 2019. It proved so popular that we were commissioned to make another one, set in beautiful Yamanashi, which you can watch online until Christmas Day 2020.  

Maction Planet receives ‘Travellers’ Choice’ Award from TripAdvisor: Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor. As of today, we are the top-ranked independent Tokyo tour company out of 808 listed on TripAdvisor. We could not have done this without the support of all our amazing guests who have taken the time to write a review. 

YouTubing the Rugby World Cup 2019: I decided to make vlogs of the fans experience at RWC2019 to post on the Maction Planet YouTube channel. I didn’t expect them to become so popular! Some videos got over 100,000 views and we went from 300 to 2600 subscribers in the space of a month. We even made national TV on TBS’s flagship afternoon news show N-Star

Whenever I think of the incredible Japan vs Ireland game in Shizuoka on Saturday 28 September 2020, a tear forms in my eye!

On the subject of YouTube… Each video takes an insane amount of time and effort to film and produce. When I look over all our productions, I am most proud of many of our least-viewed videos. Sometimes one wonders, given the effort, why one bothers? Knowing that my two-year-old niece is my biggest fan makes it all worthwhile.

‘This Week in Tokyo’ is Two: We celebrated two years of ‘This Week in Tokyo’, our weekly round-up of insights into Tokyo Life, with a special edition focusing on the most-read posts of the last two years. Posting an in-depth weekly report like this has often meant waking up at 05:00 to get it done before meeting guests at 08:00 for a 15-hour tour. Looking back at the last two years, its been worth it. It’s become an incredible archive of Tokyo history and has developed a loyal readership. If you are one of them, ありがとうございます for your support!

Maction Planet Radio: I am extremely proud of Maction Planet Radio. We have over 60 episodes of our flagship show Tokyo ON, hosted by Maction Planet Resident DJ Royce Leong, with semi-regular solo episodes hosted by yours truly. Our musical effort even have their own website, tokyophonic.com. If you want to broaden your musical horizons and virtually travel during these restrictive times, check it out. 

Podcast appearances: Over the last year I have been invited on a number of podcasts to talk about business, beer, sustainable travel and lots more. Check them out:

Receiving feedback from listeners to these shows has been fantastic and I’ve made many new connections among the Japan business community as a result.

Online Cooking Class: Last but not least, we have launched online cooking classes! We ran two interactive Okonomiyaki cooking class on 12 July which sold out. Demand was so high that we are running another Okonomiyaki class on 22 August and two Chirashi Sushi classes on 6 September. Please email info@mactionplanet.com to join us! 

On the Small Business Japan podcast I said “I have always believed that a quality product will sell itself.” The passion to deliver unsurpassed quality in every facet and dimension that enhances the Maction Planet guest experience will continue to be my sole driving imperative, no matter what is happening in the world.  

As always, we continue… 



4 August 2020

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