Since March 2020, many of our followers, clients and past clients will be forgiven for thinking we have gone into hiding. And let’s face it, since March 2020 it seems like a lot of people have! We have not uploaded much on social media nor made many fresh blog updates. We have not been very active online, in general...
We felt guilty that we were not providing updates on the pandemic situation in Japan, as we originally set out to do. We had set ourselves the goal to give regular updates about the development of the pandemic and its affect on travel. But the fact is, the situation was so fluid - so fast changing - that no sooner would we have given an update than it would have been out of date. We would have been adding to the confusion rather than clearing things up.
Each day brought worse news. And, just like many people around the world, we were in danger of becoming depressed. Honestly, it was a battle to stay upbeat in zoom calls with clients, as they either cancelled or postponed. It seemed there was simply nothing to look forward to. But we knew then, and we know now that this pandemic will end at some point. And we need to be ready.
At that point, we were determined to come out of the COVID experience better than when we went in. We felt that while the world had thrown us all a curve ball, and it was no doubt going to be difficult on all of us, it was also an opportunity. In short:
Continued to add to her travel certifications, this time learning more about the domestic travel industry. With this we hope to be able to offer clients an arrival-to-departure “concierge” service and help them maximize their time and experience while here.
Many of you know that Ayako loves wine. She is currently halfway to becoming a sommelier and looks forward to sharing her knowledge and love of wine, especially Japanese wine, with you all. Check our her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ayako.harrison/
Has taken and passed the first of hopefully three Japanese exams. No longer will Ayako be the sole multi-lingual of this partnership. He still has a long way to go, but it is a start!
Has continued to travel Tokyo to photograph this great city and update his personal Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/rossharrison_tokyo/
This brand-spanking new website, complete with Members’ Forum is probably the most notable change. We hope that we can use this to build stronger relationships with all our clients, before and after their trip out here. This is where we can provide personalized updates and communication with all. Signed clients will have a private category for private chats. This will aid in the planning for now, as we have maximized all available project boards on our planning software due to the backlog of events as a result of the pandemic. Clients can expect an email later in the week on how to set up their membership.
Exclusive partnership with a stunning local shinto shrine for our couples who want to get married at a shrine in Tokyo - together with a specialized website (coming soon).
Opened up a relationship with a world heritage temple in Kyoto, which can offer couples uniquely flexible options for their special day and inject a bit of history!
These are just some of the positives we are making happen, in spite of the challenges. Don’t get us wrong: it has been and still is stressful. We have missed traveling and working with our amazing couples, terribly. But this was the hand we were dealt with and we were determined to see the positives. Even if it was through gritted teeth!
We hope that COVID will be defeated sooner rather than later. When it does, we will be ready and raring to go! We look forward to seeing you and welcoming you to Japan. And when you do get out here, it will be all the more special!
Stay safe, with our love and affection,
Ross and Ayako