Welcome to Tokyo Tour
Mastering the Streets
Born in Russia and raised in Uzbekistan, Elena is a highly adaptable professional with extensive experience in cross-cultural communications. She received a Master’s degree in 1987 from the Tashkent State University, graduating with a specialization in Asian Studies and languages. For over 20 years she has been teaching the History of China and Japan at Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies. Besides her main teaching responsibilities at Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies, Elena also taught Russian and provided cultural education to foreigners residing in Tashkent. She often took her students on excursions around the little-known and obscure corners of Tashkent’s old town. In 2004-2005 and 2010-2011, while she was at Waseda University in Tokyo as a visiting scholar researching the late Edo and early Meiji Japan, she fell in love with Japan, and now loves sharing her passion for Japanese history and culture with others. In her free time, Elena enjoys sampling Japanese cuisine and discovering new corners of Tokyo, as well as blogging about her life in Tokyo for her network of family and friends.
Jiro graduated from university in Japan with a MBAE and has since lived in New York and London, as well as Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka. He started his career in the finance and IT industries working for a Japanese bank and an English and American financial IT company. This afforded him multiple opportunities to make many friends from around the world, whilst understanding various cultures much better. As a result, he decided to retire in 2009 and become a licensed English guide in Japan, with his main goal wishing to create a cross-cultural bridge between Japan and other countries. His expertise is the Edo-Tokyo Museum which specializes mainly in 17th Century Japan to a more modern history. He enjoys exploring this interesting and diverse history of Japan with visitors but also going further afield to Hakone, Kamakura and Mt. Fuji. Jiro can provide a unique insight into Japan given his upbringing and his knowledge about peculiar Japanese topics, ranging from pensions to modern, social and cultural issues.
Edgar is a Ph.D. candidate in International Studies at the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies of Waseda University. He specializes in the Cool Japan Strategy, Japanese popular culture and creative industries. His contact with anime, manga, and videogames during his teenage years triggered an interest in learning about Japanese culture. In 2012 he obtained the Monbukagakusho Scholarship to come to Japan and was officially appointed as CoFesta Ambassador by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and the Japan International Contents Festival (CoFesta) Executive Committee. In 2016 he was appointed as "Cool Japan Ambassador" by Japan's Prime Minister Cabinet Office. His experience with the media and his academic research has given him the opportunity to collaborate with different government agencies and private companies involved in the “Cool Japan Strategy” on developing projects to export Japanese contents such as Anime, Manga, Music, Videogames, and Film. This has made him familiar not only with all the unique places related to otaku culture in Japan but with many different aspects of the Japanese media production as well as its cultural significance and background. Edgar's other research interests include Japanese Modern History, IR of the Asia-Pacific Region and Mexico-Japan relations.
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