Very kind, innocent and lovable people of Nepal induce me to come to Nepal, again and again, says 72 years old Japanese tourist named Furuhata Tsunehiro, as he talked to highlights tourism along with his 68 years old wife Hiroko.
Furuhata has been visiting Nepal since he was 42 years and it has almost been 30 years that he has visited Nepal as and when he was free from his routine work. But his wife has accompanied him to Nepal this time only. Furuhata has not visited any other country after visiting Nepal. This is quite a peculiar thing about him who is so much infatuated with Nepal, Nepali people and places here.
We located Furuhata from the social network, one day as we saw a picture of an old man chewing chilies. The old man looked like a foreigner. Our curious mind started thinking more about this man. Pitambar Gurung a tourism entrepreneur, who is a guide for Furuhata helped us to fix an appointment with the old man at one house situated at Tripureswor in Kathmandu.
As soon as we met, he greeted us with Nepali accent by saying, “Namaste, Sanchai cha? (Good day, how are you).” He has indeed mixed and mingled with Nepali culture and language. From our normal conversation, we came to know that Furuhata has retired from holding the post of Chairperson for Nepal-Japan Association for 10 years during which he had supported various humanitarian works in Nepal.
We were wondering to know as to what factor could have made Furuhata’s heart to visit only Nepal again and again?. Long before, we could guess anything and question him about our query, Furuhata immediately responded by saying, “As I came out of Tribhuvan international airport on my first trip, the brick made houses, the scent of Nepali people, their kind and lovable gestures infatuated me a lot, since then I always feel like coming to this country again and again.”
His wife Hiroko had heard a lot about Nepal from the mouth of her husband, but could not visit Nepal previously because every time her husband would make a plan to come to Nepal, she had one or other schedule to execute at home. “But this time it was possible to come along with my husband, “said she with a grin.
She further said, “I used to think of Nepal about which my husband was so infatuated with. I often thought if I could also see it. So this time, I did it with him and I found it to be very beautiful and enjoyable,” She told us that she was very happy to stroll around temples and monasteries here.
He has just gone up to Syangboche in the Everest region and up to Dhampus in the west in Pokhara. But he says that he likes to move around Kathmandu only. In Kathmandu also he likes to travel to see Ason, Indrachowk, and Thamel. He admitted that he comes to Nepal to visit these places. Every time he visits these places, he finds something new. He likes to meet with different people and see various religious sites.
He also has seen various types of transformations in Nepal. He usually likes to mix up with the local people and eat local foods. He says he is a good drinker of local liquor. He has a story to share with us.
“Once I had drunk the liquor so much that I was completely unconscious for two days. I didn’t know how I came to my room and, who brought me to my room. He also said that the place where good liquor is found was heaven because the food was also delicious to eat. Furuhata has many such stories to tell us.
He has asked many of his friends to visit Nepal. His daughters have already come to Nepal and gone back.
He was a civil engineer in one of the towns of Japan. His salary was a good one. That is why he could support the projects of the Nepal Japan Association during his tenure.
He says that when he comes to Nepal his backache is relieved. But when he is in Japan it aches. Even his wife admitted that her backache got relieved after coming to Nepal.
When asked about what can be done to bring more tourists to Nepal, he said, “Management of roads, traffic and taking care of cleanliness will be enough to bring in more tourists in Nepal.” He also disclosed that since there was no direct flight between Japan and Nepal, there was less arrival of tourists. “Tourists are disgusted to wait for one or two hours for a visa at the Tribhuvan airport in Kathmandu. This should be rectified to allow more influx of tourists in the future.”
His wife hinted that she will go to visit a few Himalayan peaks the next time when she will come again. As we were about to close our interview conversation, Furuhata was saying,” I wish to come to Nepal until I die. Once I come to Nepal, all my tensions, pain and diseases are healed, which does not happen while I stay in Japan.”
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