ABOUT PMP



ABOUT PMP

 
We discover inspiring destinations in Japan and help you experience them.

From itinerary writers to tour guides, we all share two things: a love for travel and a passion to help others experience all the wonders Japan has to offer. Our greatest reward is seeing our customers return home inspired and fulfilled.

People are at the heart of what we do. Both our travel guides and our tours focus on characterful destinations and the individuals who create them: the restaurant and its chef, the fashion brand and its designer, the coffee shop and its barista. Our mission is to introduce these wonderful people - and their places - to you, and most importantly to help you visit them.

That's why People Make Places is a multi-platform service, with a range of premium travel services and guides including a beautiful hardback book and a handy digital app. Together they provide inspiration, navigation and human-to-human help.

 

MEET THE PMP TEAM

 
Charlies Spreckley, Founder & CEO of People Make Places
CHARLES SPRECKLEY

Founder and CEO

Charles originally moved to Tokyo from the UK in 1998, the result of severe wanderlust and “getting stuck” en route to China. After working as a television producer and journalist, he founded his first travel business in 2007, offering tours with a friend. This eventually became what People Make Places is today, and Charles still personally designs most customers’ itineraries, while also running the business. “We just like helping people,” he says. “Simple as that.” He enjoys wandering around Tokyo’s Daikanyama area, which also happens to be home to the PMP office. “It’s one of the nicest ‘urban villages’ in the city – you never feel the pressures of the rat race here,” he says. His favourite region of Japan is Kyushu, for its volcanic landscapes and amazing ryokans.

 
Charlies Spreckley, Founder & CEO of People Make Places
CHARLES SPRECKLEY

Founder and CEO

Charles originally moved to Tokyo from the UK in 1998, the result of severe wanderlust and “getting stuck” en route to China. After working as a television producer and journalist, he founded his first travel business in 2007, offering tours with a friend. This eventually became what People Make Places is today, and Charles still personally designs most customers’ itineraries, while also running the business. “We just like helping people,” he says. “Simple as that.” He enjoys wandering around Tokyo’s Daikanyama area, which also happens to be home to the PMP office. “It’s one of the nicest ‘urban villages’ in the city – you never feel the pressures of the rat race here,” he says. His favourite region of Japan is Kyushu, for its volcanic landscapes and amazing ryokans.

 
TOHRU OKAHARA

COO

Originally from the island of Shikoku, Tohru moved to Tokyo in 1994. He’s been with PMP since the beginning, and has a hand in every aspect of the business. “I believe that encounters with people are what make a great trip even more wonderful,” he says. “PMP knows this, which is what makes working here stimulating and fun.” In the summer Tohru spends his free time at the beach, and he hopes to one day become an expert on Japan’s many beautiful islands. His most-loved Tokyo area is the one he calls home: Yoyogi Uehara. “Even though it’s in the city centre, the neighbours are friendly with one another, which gives it a village-like feel, and there are a lot of good restaurants,” he says. “I’ve moved to other areas many times, but somehow I always end up back here."

Tohru Okahara, COO of People Make Places
 
Tohru Okahara, COO of People Make Places
TOHRU OKAHARA

COO

Originally from the island of Shikoku, Tohru moved to Tokyo in 1994. He’s been with PMP since the beginning, and has a hand in every aspect of the business. “I believe that encounters with people are what make a great trip even more wonderful,” he says. “PMP knows this, which is what makes working here stimulating and fun.” In the summer Tohru spends his free time at the beach, and he hopes to one day become an expert on Japan’s many beautiful islands. His most-loved Tokyo area is the one he calls home: Yoyogi Uehara. “Even though it’s in the city centre, the neighbours are friendly with one another, which gives it a village-like feel, and there are a lot of good restaurants,” he says. “I’ve moved to other areas many times, but somehow I always end up back here.

 
Laerke Pyndt Steinmann, Head of events for People Make Places
LAERKE PYNDT STEINMANN

Head of Events

Hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark, Laerke first came to Japan in 2006 to visit a friend in rural Gifu Prefecture. This inspired her to study Japanese at university, and she moved to Tokyo in 2014. She is now in charge of corporate and social events for PMP. “I feel very lucky to work with a lot of inspiring people, including our collaborators, vendors and clients,” she says. “And I like to work out the mental puzzle of fitting all the pieces of the event planning together to create a great experience for everyone taking part.” When she’s not working, she loves hiking, exploring small, local Tokyo neighbourhoods, gardening on her balcony, and cooking. Her favourite place in Japan outside of Tokyo is Kanazawa: “I really like the mix of art, culture, history and food, all within biking distance!”

 
Laerke Pyndt Steinmann, Head of events for People Make Places
LAERKE PYNDT STEINMANN

Head of Events

Hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark, Laerke first came to Japan in 2006 to visit a friend in rural Gifu Prefecture. This inspired her to study Japanese at university, and she moved to Tokyo in 2014. She is now in charge of corporate and social events for PMP. “I feel very lucky to work with a lot of inspiring people, including our collaborators, vendors and clients,” she says. “And I like to work out the mental puzzle of fitting all the pieces of the event planning together to create a great experience for everyone taking part.” When she’s not working, she loves hiking, exploring small, local Tokyo neighbourhoods, gardening on her balcony, and cooking. Her favourite place in Japan outside of Tokyo is Kanazawa: “I really like the mix of art, culture, history and food, all within biking distance!”

 
MICHIE TOMOI

Project Coordinator

Known affectionately around the office as Tomochin, Michie was born and raised in the Tokyo suburb of Machida, and worked in the fashion and dental industries before joining PMP as project coordinator. “I enjoy researching and making travel plans that are carefully catered to each individual customer, and I want to help more foreigners to experience all the wonderful things Japan has to offer,” she says. In her free time she enjoys watching movies and international TV dramas, and shopping for clothes and stylish furniture. Her favourite areas of Tokyo are Shibuya and Harajuku: “I love these neighbourhoods because there are so many people with a really unique fashion sense, and you can find any kind of trendy thing you want there.”

Michie Tomoi, Project Coordinator for People Make Places
 
Michie Tomoi, Project Coordinator for People Make Places
MICHIE TOMOI

Project Coordinator

Known affectionately around the office as Tomochin, Michie was born and raised in the Tokyo suburb of Machida, and worked in the fashion and dental industries before joining PMP as project coordinator. “I enjoy researching and making travel plans that are carefully catered to each individual customer, and I want to help more foreigners to experience all the wonderful things Japan has to offer,” she says. In her free time she enjoys watching movies and international TV dramas, and shopping for clothes and stylish furniture. Her favourite areas of Tokyo are Shibuya and Harajuku: “I love these neighbourhoods because there are so many people with a really unique fashion sense, and you can find you can find any kind of trendy thing you want there.”

 
Shu Kuge, Resident Professor of People Make Places
SHU KUGE

Trip Designer

Born in Tokyo to ceramic artist parents, Shu moved to the United States in 1990, where he studied at UC Berkeley and earned a Ph.D. in Japanese literature and comparative literature from Stanford University. He taught comparative literature at Penn State between 2003 and 2007. Teaching about Japanese culture in the U.S. made him want to return to Japan, which he did in 2008, working as a writer and writing coach. Now he designs itineraries for PMP and also conducts history tours in Tokyo. “I have a bad sense of direction, but I feel that I always discover interesting things in a place by getting lost,” he says. “Then I can introduce those places to visitors in my tours.” His favourite place to go when not working is Kujukuri, a long stretch of beach in Chiba prefecture to Tokyo’s east.

 
Shu Kuge, Resident Professor of People Make Places
SHU KUGE

Resident Professor

Born in Tokyo to ceramic artist parents, Shu moved to the United States in 1990, where he studied at UC Berkeley and earned a Ph.D. in Japanese literature and comparative literature from Stanford University. He taught comparative literature at Penn State between 2003 and 2007. Teaching about Japanese culture in the U.S. made him want to return to Japan, which he did in 2008, working as a writer and writing coach. Now he designs itineraries for PMP and also conducts history tours in Tokyo. “I have a bad sense of direction, but I feel that I always discover interesting things in a place by getting lost,” he says. “Then I can introduce those places to visitors in my tours.” His favourite place to go when not working is Kujukuri, a long stretch of beach in Chiba prefecture to Tokyo’s east.

 
KELLY WETHERILLE

Editor in Chief

When Kelly moved to Japan from the U.S. in 2002, she told her family she would stay about a year, but she still hasn’t left. She works as a freelance writer and editor, and is in charge of PMP’s ever-expanding library of content. “My favourite thing about my job is getting to meet interesting people and hear their stories, and then to share them with the world,” she says. She’s happiest when she’s in or on the water, so on weekends when the weather is nice, she teaches stand-up paddle boarding and SUP yoga from the beaches near Tokyo. She loves living in what she firmly believes is the world’s greatest city, but she also tries to get sneak away whenever possible: “Most people don’t realise what incredible natural beauty Japan has, and how easy it is to get there. I am always trying to discover new places to hike, swim and relax.”

Kelly Wetherille, Content & web coordinator
 
Kelly Wetherille, Content & web coordinator
KELLY WETHERILLE

Content and Web Coordinator

When Kelly moved to Japan from the U.S. in 2002, she told her family she would stay about a year, but she still hasn’t left. She works as a freelance writer and editor, and is in charge of PMP’s ever-expanding library of content. “My favourite thing about my job is getting to meet interesting people and hear their stories, and then to share them with the world,” she says. She’s happiest when she’s in or on the water, so on weekends when the weather is nice, she teaches stand-up paddle boarding and SUP yoga from the beaches near Tokyo. She loves living in what she firmly believes is the world’s greatest city, but she also tries to get sneak away whenever possible: “Most people don’t realize what incredible natural beauty Japan has, and how easy it is to get there. I am always trying to discover new places to hike, swim and relax.”

 

For media inquiries, to apply to work with us, or for more information on People Make Places, our travel services, our social club, or our corporate hospitality services, please click here.

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CORPORATE INFORMATION

PMP Japan Co. Ltd.
Company number: 0132-01-019003

5F Center Bldg.,
15-9 Daikanyama-cho,
Shibuya 150-0034,
Tokyo, Japan

Tel: 03-6455-5154