We had the good fortune of connecting with Eri Araki and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Eri, what makes you happy? Why?
This question looks very simple to answer at first, but I took my time to think of an answer.  I am happy ① when  I could make my friends/family happy. When I can make them happy,  I feel empowered.  I love surprising and to be surprised in a good way. ② When I eat my favorite foods, or eat something delicious. You know the feeling, there’s not much need for an explanation!  Foods makes us all happy, period! ③ When I take naps. Especially sleeping on clean bed sheets or on an aired out Japanese-style futon.  It’s just so nice taking naps with those things.  I wish everyone could have the experience of getting into a cleaned, aired out Japanese-style futon that makes you feel like you’re gently hugged by the springtime. That feeling reminds me of back when I was a child, it’s such a beloved feeling for me.. ④When I work with such passionate people to create films / commercials / any kind of art.  It’s such an amazing feeling to be part of a group of people doing their best going towards a goal.  There’s so much energy! ⑤When I laugh so hard.  Who isn’t happy when they laugh!? Almost all of us have been impacted somehow from the COVID-19 situation and it’s dragged us all to an unusual daily life.  It makes us nervous, frustrated, anxious and other bad feelings. We’re having a hard time, but at least we are together.  I can feel more connections than ever because we care about each other.  I’ve been messaging friends to make sure they are ok.  I’ve received so many messages from friends all over the world.  I feel loved.  Despite the bad situation, I’m still happy because I choose to be happy.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’d love to tell my stories ! Though I think I’ve already written A LOT for the next question, so maybe it’s better to make this one short. I also wrote about this in my previous article in Voyage LA.  If you’re interested in getting to know me, please check out that article, too. You can also see other pictures too!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a really good question! I’d love to introduce my country to you. Okay, let’s start with FOOD!! Haha. Since I’m such a foodie, I know lots of good places to eat in Tokyo.

・Takumi-Shingo in Minami Aoyama. You really should go there if you are a sushi lover. That place is pretty pricy however you will thank me forever for telling you about this restaurant. They serve “omakase” only – where they decide the food they’ll serve their guests – and it costs about $150 USD / person without drinks (plus drinks would be maybe $250-30 0USD / person, on average). You might think, “Oh, that’s pricey!” right?  But it is truly worth it.
Besides this sushi spot, here are my most favorite “Kaiten” sushi (conveyor belt sushi) places in Tokyo.
1: Katsu-Midori. It’s a franchise with locations in Shibuya, Meguro, Kamata, etc. I seriously don’t know any better Kaiten sushi restaurants in Tokyo.
2: Hama sushi. Also has many locations around Japan. You won’t believe the quality of only $1 or $1.50 USD sushi. There are so many kinds of sushi and you can order on a touch screen. Isn’t it so cool and convenient? You don’t have to shout to order sushi, haha!  I can’t stop picking good restaurants, so I will move on to places to see in the Tokyo area.
・TeamLab Borderless in Odaiba. It’s a world of artwork without boundaries, a museum without a map created by an art collective, TeamLab project. If you like seeing cool things for your Instagram or any type of thing, you have to go here.
・Aqua Park in Shinagawa. The aquarium is just 4min away from Shinagawa station. It’s very convenient and they use cool tech to explain about fishies.
In Kanagawa prefecture:
・Yokohama Minato Mirai
・Hakone. Hakone is one of the best hot spring spots in Japan. It’s only 1.5~2 hours away from Tokyo.
In Osaka prefecture:
・Dotonbori. When you want to go out of Tokyo, then I would suggest going to Osaka. A BIG difference in atmospheres than Tokyo. Most importantly, Osaka food culture is just amazing! Please try Japanese Pancakes “Okonomiyaki”, “Takoyaki”, “Kushikatsu”, etc..
In Kyoto prefecture:
・Kinkakuji Temple. The second and third floor is covered with “Kin” or gold, in English, which is why this temple is called the “Kinkaku-Ji / Golden temple”.
・Kiyomizu-Temple
In Shimane prefecture:
・Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine. It’s one of the most famous and most important shrines in the country. I love this place so much. I go to Shimane just to visit this shrine, although it takes 12 hours to get there.
In Hiroshima prefecture:
・Itsukusima Shrine. At high tide, the complex seems to float on the surface of the water. At low tide, Itsukushima takes on a different, yet equally captivating, appearance: three ponds appear in the surrounding sands, acting as “mirrors,” and visitors can walk right up to the Torii gate.
・The Atomic Bomb Dome.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Ivana Chubbuck. I’m so lucky that I got to know her and was able to take her incredibly inspiring acting classes in LA. She is truly amazing as a coach and also as a person too. “Courage is sexy” is one of my favorite quotes from her. The Chubbuck technique is absolutely useful for any type of acting . Moreover the technique is about overcoming obstacles spontaneously that effect our daily lives / personalities, too. I feel empowered by using this technique and became brave enough that I can face my obstacles.

Website: https://www.face-gcf.com/international-billngual
Instagram: @6eri18
Other: Contact Info Management in Japan. facegcf.jp@gmail.com

Image Credits
Robinson_Toasura Jim_Lee Guillaume Tauveron Koki Saka

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