Hello! I am Shunta, the founder of JLB. I would like to enumerate three reasons for why I decided to found JLB.
During my school years I travelled abroad to many countries. In those years, I went abroad once every two months and after graduating college I moved base to Canada from where I continued to travel the world. When traveling around the world I often ran into a variety of trouble and problems. I faced situations as small as getting lost to situations where I worried for my life. When I was confronted with these troubles it was the local people who rescued me.
There were so many complete strangers who helped me. Whenever they helped me, my impressions of the country and the locale improved. While in the midst of my travels, I began to think, “After I return to Japan I want to do something that can assist foreign tourists. Although I cannot directly repay all the people who helped me in my travels, I can still express this feeling of gratitude by extending hospitality to people when they visit Japan.” This was the initial thought that spurred me to create JLB.
The second reason also has to due with travelling. One thing I always kept in mind when travelling was interacting with local people. The more I traveled the more I feel that through interacting with local people you can see the real appearance of a place. Because of this, whenever I travelled I would contact local people beforehand to have them take me around town or let me stay at their home. I have stayed at local people’s homes, at student dormitories, and attended local schools just like a local student. Thanks to travels like this I was able to experience things that you would never experience on a regular tour and even create family-like relationships. These became inspirations for my second reason. I thought, “I want tourists who visit Japan to not only see the tourist sites. I want them to interact with Japanese people through which they can get a feel for the real Japan.”
“There are no opportunities to use English in Japan.” My third reason is this worry that I have heard from many people who study English in Japan or have studied abroad. When I began studying English I was also troubled by this problem. One day, I was thinking about a good way to solve this problem when I recalled ideas that had started to form during my travels. I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a good way to connect foreign tourists who want to get a local experience and Japanese people who want to speak English or are interested in international exchange?” These three big reasons became the foundation of why I founded Japan Local Buddy.
Through JLB I want to create opportunities for international exchange throughout Japan so that foreign tourists will become fans of Japan and Japanese people will come to know the joy of international exchange.