About TokyoSpark


TokyoSpark is a where maker culture meets education — meets Tokyo, Japanese culture, and the Japanese language.

We teach you about Tokyo & Japanese culture to help you enjoy your time here. No matter if it is a few days on vacation, or a few years with the U.S. military.

This is about trust

Our relationship is about trust. You and I.

You, the reader, the adventurer, seeker of knowledge.

And I… the local. The American who’s lived in Tokyo 24+ years; with a network of Japanese friends and family around me.

I don’t compromise on the guides created here on TokyoSpark.

I won’t *not* create something because it is too difficult or doesn’t “poll well with sponsors.”

I feel like that would be lying to myself.

I promise to never compromise; to never take the easy route. Because if I do…

It would only come back to me — and you wouldn’t enjoy TokyoSpark.

This is the infinite game

As Simon Sinek would say, I’m in the infinite game.

I don’t wake up scoping out the competition. I don’t look around to see who I can “beat” today.

What does that even mean? Under what rules? How does one website “beat” another?

No… instead I wake up and lavish in the idea I will be making TokyoSpark better today than it was yesterday.

Some days a lot better, some days incrementally. But better nonetheless.

I am my own competition.


Chad Thiele, Founder, TokyoSpark

I’m Chad Thiele. I’m an Iowa boy who came to Japan way back in 1996 with the U.S. Air Force. Yea, I know… I had never imagined as a boy growing up in Iowa that I would ever move to Japan.

I spent 8 years in the service, all of it here in Tokyo. I’ve long since separated but continue working on a military installation here (as a side note, the U.S. Air Force and DoD are not affiliated with TokyoSpark in any way).

Thank you for stopping by!

–Chad