Ema Abe

Managing partner Hungary

Let's get acquainted!

“A miracle lasts for a maximum of three days… or let’s say another multiple of three: three months, three years…” That’s what a sceptic used to tell me when I enthusiastically talked about what Japan meant to me.

Back then, I lived there, in that land seemingly at the end of the world, or should I say at the beginning of the world, right? After all, it’s the “land of the rising sun.” The Japanese welcomed me into their midst and spared no effort to reveal as much as possible about their unique and wonderful world. And I, a docile student, couldn’t help but express my amazement with a resounding “Wow!” every time I stepped out of the house. Even the sun seemed different there.

Was it the Zen, with its simplicity pushing the limits of philosophy? Was it the Shinto gates, big and small, turning every patch of earth into a sacred place and every tree into a revered deity? Or was it simply the people, attentive to all the little details of life, welcoming and involved, honest to the point of naivety, and maybe even peculiar in their own way through their almost childlike sincerity?

After filling my soul with dozens and dozens of little wonders, even from everyday life, the inevitable desire to share them arose: with friends, acquaintances, friends of friends, and then with the whole world. Returning home for good, I wrote my thesis on “Modern and Traditional Tourism in Japan,” and then I couldn’t resist starting to organize, down to the smallest details, a truly unique tour for a few close friends. And it was truly special: we slept for a week at a Buddhist temple, were greeted with traditional drum beats and campfires under cherry blossoms, danced together in Japanese comedic dances, attended services, but also experienced hot springs and all the other Japanese wonders: temples, shrines, gardens, and skyscrapers.

That’s how I learned that every new encounter with Japan would be a chance for me to renew the fascination with which I started. From ten people, we grew to a group of 40!

Then I decided to go even further: together with Alina Deak, who shared the same passions for exploration and the fine details of Japanese culture, we took on every piece of the Japanese puzzle, from north to south and from the depths of the sea to the snowy heights of the mountains. Every journey in Japan, every documented page, every aspect of the culture deepened my understanding that this culture is an endless source of fascination.

So, even though it’s not been three months, not three years, but indeed 20, the miracle hasn’t faded. The fascination remains unchanged! And here I am, embarking on the same journey of discovery again and again, as if for the first time, reliving the fascination with the same intensity, but doubled, multiplied, not just through my eyes now, but also through the eyes of every new traveller, and unable to contain my joy upon hearing time and time again:

“Japan?… Oh yes, I’ve been to almost every corner of the world, but Japan is entirely different… it’s another world!”

Passionate about Japan:
since 1999
Lived in Japan:
2 years
Japanese level:
Accompanied tourists: