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Making New Friends in Tokyo

A couple weekends ago, I did more volunteering. This time, I helped out with folding paper cranes on the top floor of the department store at Ogikubo Station. In Japan, there is a tradition of folding one thousand origami cranes for good luck. Later this year, for the Tokyo Olympics, and Italian volleyball team will be coming and staying right here in Suginami.

The goal of this volunteer session was to fold one thousand paper cranes (and solicit help from passers by who wished to contribute), which will later be gifted to the team.

At this event, I happened to have a brief conversation with a wonderfully friendly Japanese lady. We had spoken only for a quick moment, but she expressed interest in learning English. I had to rush off immediately to my next volunteering event, so I asked her for her contact information. I thought it might be too forward of me since we had only spoken for a moment, but I didn’t want to miss the connection. Luckily, she was more than happy to give me her Line.

Since then, we have met a couple of times — once just the two of us, and another time, she brought her friend. We will be meeting regularly from now on for English practice. I love it!

On the first meeting, we enjoyed tapioca tea and talked about many things. She kindly gifted me some apple chips and nambu-sembei (an Aomori specialty). I was extremely happy because I have been to Aomori before and loved it, and I have been gifted nambu-sembei before, which is delicious!

For our next meeting with her and her friend, we went to Kurashiki Coffee in Ogikubo. The best coffee, and great conversation!

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