My Most Embarrassing Travel Story Involving a Japanese Ryokan

Maikos (geisha apprentices)

In 2005 I went on a Memoirs of a Geisha fam trip where they took me to all the sites that were mentioned in the book/movie.  We checked into an above average ryokan called Sento (a traditional Japanese inn). It was located in the center of Kinosaki and it did not look like much from […]

Travel Contests: Week of September 25, 2013

Monte Carlo 610x

This week’s travel contests: Win a $10,000 trip to Monte Carlo Win a trip for two to Italy Win a 7-day trip for two to Japan Win a trip to South Africa (on Facebook) Win a weekend of wine-tasting (on Facebook)

“Is Japan Cool?” Launches New Season With Ticket Giveaway

Is Japan Cool?

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is currently sponsoring a third season of their tourism campaign, “Is Japan Cool?” . Their special website is designed to stimulate interest in travel to Japan from overseas. Japanese tourism has taken a hit since the earthquake in 2011, and in February 2012 ANA launched “Is Japan Cool?” to illustrate the […]

Japan Airlines to serve KFC onboard select flights to US and Europe

JAL to serve KFC onboard

From December 1, 2012 to February 28, 2013 Japan Airlines (JAL) will be serving Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) onboard select international flights. They are calling those AIR KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN. Customers in Premium Economy and Economy Class on JAL from Narita to New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, London, Paris and Frankfurt, will get […]

Make the Most of Tokyo: What Not to Miss

Tokyo Tower views

Fireworks… Subway system by Jackson Pollock… Monkeys make most sense as pets… Cats are very good luck… Udon, Sushi, BBQ, tempura, yes please… No garbage cans anywhere = No garbage anywhere… PRAY often… Toilets talk to you, this is not God… Bad fortune is Good fortune, you learn more and grow more… Life is one […]

Arriving in Tokyo, Japan


If you haven’t been to Tokyo’s Narita Airport you aren’t missing much. It’s surprisingly unattractive in an old building with low ceilings. From my gate to passport control was a long walk (about 10 minutes). There I waited in a huge line that moved surprisingly quickly – just twelve minutes. The agent was friendly and […]

Maid Café in Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Taxi

Hiroshi, my Japanese friend from college took me and Facebook sensation Hitomi Kumasaka to dinner to a Korean BBQ (you grill your own meat). Afterwards, we walked a couple blocks in the snow to a bizarre place called Maid Café. They have multiple floors and we went to the main one on the fourth floor. […]

Top Nine Reasons to Stay at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

Mandarin Oriental

I was invited to check out the 173 room Mandarin Oriental Tokyo that opened in December 2005. It was billed as the first official six-star hotel in the world and believe it or not I almost passed on the invitation since their lobby is on the 38th floor and after Japan’s 9.0 earthquake I didn’t […]