Chiara Terzuolo, Japan travel expert, writer and blogger – Photo by Nathan Hosken
Last week I managed to forcibly pry myself away from the glowing laptop in my office and head down the Toyoko line for the official launch of ODIGO
, a travel planning and sharing site for which I have done some freelance work. To put it mildly, the next few hours truly made my day.
Take top web designers, the cream of the crop of Tokyo's creative native and expat community, runners, bright-haired bloggers and travel lovers of all ages. Mix in a divine caffeine burst, a few drinks of your choice and lots of great live music. Shake it together and voila', you have the sheer energy and impact of Odigo's launch party. A short walk from Gakugeidaigaku Station, Streamer Coffee Company
seemed the perfect location for this happy event. A hidden gem which would easily be completely invisible to all but the most obsessed coffee fiend, it is one of those places you would recommend to a friend or visiting acquaintance... the perfect embodiment of the Odigo ideal!
ODIGO Launch Party at Streamer Coffee Company in Meguro, Tokyo – Photo by Nathan Hosken
As a travel writer, marketer and nomad myself, being able to meet so many people interested in the same great product is extremely exciting. Like the information available on Odigo, the crowd mixed the more traditional and eclectic sides of Japan. The increasing importance of the inbound tourism market for Japan has created a huge boom of interest from various businesses, resulting in new alliances and a renewed desire to find and promote all sides of the country. I flitted between chatting with gothic fashionistas, US diplomats, professional artists and tour operators.
Fueled by the truly excellent coffee, it was a fun night, finding out about places and things in Japan which I had never even heard about before (which is new, since my job is to literally know all the neat places and activities in this country). It had the feel of an American party (complete with an incredible photographer who is to thank for my fabulous new FB picture!) and an air of levity not found at similar events I have attended during my years in Tokyo.
Printable folding maps of your personal Japan itinerary on odigo.jp
The enthusiasm of the ODIGO team
is infectious and their love for local info obvious in their comments and posts. You just can't help wanting to jump on this particularly well-designed bandwagon. The service combines the best parts of Japan's massive kuchikomi
(word of mouth) culture, solid English writing and the ability to get both digital and printed maps to help you on your journeys. I look forward to seeing this service grow into its full potential!
Check out Chiara's favourite spots in Japan on her profile:
Read More from Chiara on her blog: