About TokyoSpark

Over the years I’ve worked hard at my craft. Honing my skills, failing, and trying again… over and over for constant improvement — forever.

This is about trust

Our relationship is about trust. You and I.

You, the reader, the adventurer, seeking nothing but the best information about Tokyo.

And I… the local. The American who’s been living in Tokyo for 23 years with a network of Japanese friends and family around me here.

I don’t compromise on the guides and recommendations I share here on TokyoSpark.

I won’t *not* share something because it is too difficult to write about, too hard to research properly.

I feel like that would be lying to myself.

I promise to never compromise; to never take the easy route when crafting guides on TokyoSpark.

Because if I do…

It would only come back to me.


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).

You may be asking why that’s important.

It gives me a unique perspective. I’ve lived in Tokyo as if I’m a visitor for over 23 years.

Being a part of the military community here means I work in a completely English speaking environment and explore Tokyo like a tourist every weekend and holiday break I get.

My work affords me freedom

I work a job that gives me enormous flexibility. I get to adventure out, find new things, almost any day — especially weekends.

The job doesn’t micromanage me, keep me late hours, or steal my weekends — at least, not usually.

Everyone has stopped working by hand.

With AI, robotics, algorithms and who knows what’s next… people are starting to work less by hand.

Not here.

On TokyoSpark I hand-craft every entry. I personally review for quality, clean up the rough edges, and add just the right amount of extra insight and research to make every piece of information truly helpful for you — without adding a ton of bulk to sift through.