How Voyagin Came About

Story by Founder, Masashi Takahashi


When I first traveled to Dharamsala, India to see the Dalai Lama in December 2007, I didn't know anyone and struggled to find things to do. I managed to figure things out by sifting through a messy collection of flyers. It was perpetually difficult to determine the quality of the activities I was interested in. Never knowing what I was actually going to get made process was a little stressful. With little information at hand, showing up to a meeting place was always a real leap of faith. Thankfully, I was fortunate to meet a few great people who took me to local homes, ashrams, and hidden places I would have never found in any guidebook. I had a once-in-a-lifetime experience in India because I made local friends. After returning from my travels, I began hosting international guests in my apartment in Tokyo. I eventually became the top Airbnb host in Tokyo, hosting several hundred guests in my living room over the course of three or four years. Frequent guest complaints made me realise that similar to India, Japan was extremely difficult to navigate without a reliable source of information or local help. In January 2011, based on my travel and hosting experiences, I created FindJPN—a travel marketplace for Japan visitors—to address issues presented by fragmented information and low transparency. In December 2012, FindJPN evolved into Voyagin as we extended our reach to the rest of Asia. I suppose one could say that Voyagin was really a pioneer in Asia before the trend caught on. It is my sincere hope that Voyagin will change the way people travel, giving everyone an opportunity to truly discover Asia in a unique and personal way.