I’m about to try to explain why, together with the woman who does the English language voice of Hello Kitty, Audrey and I stalked a couple of girls in rabbit suits, only to end up in a big pink room eating scrambled eggs and ketchup served up by teenage Japanese girls in French maid outfits singing high-pitched children’s rhymes.
A G-rated reality wrapped in the potential for a XXX-rated fantasy.
As Bill Murray said in Lost in Translation, “This is hard.” Continue Reading »
Where in the world can you wander through a market and almost run right into an elephant? Continue Reading »
The following is a selection of twelve lessons we shared in our talk at the World Domination Summit (WDS), plus one of those aha! moments.
When Chris Guillebeau asked us to speak at WDS about our lives and what we’ve learned, we were beyond honored and excited. Then reality hit.
Holy poop. What are we going to say in front of all those people?!
In front of *all* those people at WDS. Photo courtesy of Armosa Studios.
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A visit to Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market is a rite of passage for sushi enthusiasts. For those of us who bow at the altar of raw fish, it’s truly a must-see.
After you’ve visited Tsukiji, you may never look at that piece of tako (octopus) or toro (tuna) in quite the same way ever again. Outside of the seas themselves, it doesn’t get any fresher than this. Continue Reading »
This is a story about crisscrossing North America, speaking to audiences in Vancouver, Miami and Denver, recharging in a defunct hippie commune outside of Seattle, preparing to speak to 1,000 people in Portland, and apologizing for withholding a few pages of our story from you over the last couple of weeks.
Our recent view of Mt. Rainier on a rare, clear day in Seattle.
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Walk through the tunnel of ten thousand vermillion torii (gates) snaking their way up the mountain at Fushimi Inari Shrine outside of Kyoto and you’ll soon realize that no two are exactly the same. Look one way and you’ll see bare, unadorned orange posts. Turn the other and you’ll see the names of all the businesses or individuals who donated each gate as a sign of gratitude for their prosperity. Among the thankful, a range — from men of small business to giants of Japanese industry hailing from companies like Hitachi or Panasonic.
No business is too big to be thankful to Inari, the Shinto god of rice, sake and prosperity. Continue Reading »
When I first set off on the road many years ago, I did so to countries whose toilets were mere holes in the ground. I’ve come a long way – this time to Japan, a country whose toilets are virtual thrones of electronic feature-laden splendor, including some which make music, many which feature remote controls, and most whose seats are heated.
But I digress. (Why I am here on the topic of Japan, talking about toilets? After all, toilet talk is rather un-Japanese.)
Travelers and tourists are often taught to look to historical sites for cultural insight, but Japan evinces plenty of culture in the seemingly everyday. It’s clear that the country has a long and deep history — complex, with nooks and crannies, cultural twists and turns, and sweeping evolutions. However, while I’m tempted to share my first impressions of Japan’s Buddhist and Shinto shrines, I’ll instead first share the cultural bits in the current, the white spaces of travel. Continue Reading »
When you enter Heniyokutu Cave at Daisho-in Buddhist temple, pause for a moment. As your eyes adjust to the darkness, details begin to appear — prayer offerings and written wishes tied to the base of Buddhist statues, Japanese characters tracing the bottom of the lights, faint smiles on many of the icons. In the dim light, there’s a feeling of peacefulness amidst it all.
Open up the 360-degree panorama below to see for yourself. Continue Reading »
For this Mother’s Day, we are in Hiroshima, Japan, the site of the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Although the city was once a site of death and destruction beyond what we could ever imagine, the message here now is one of peace.
A reflection at the Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima, Japan
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When most people think about the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada, Egypt they likely imagine relaxing on the beach, scuba diving, adventuring in the desert, golfing, and lounging at a big resort. Hurghada does have all of that.
Rarely, however, does one think about fresh markets and a taste of local Egyptian culture. It’s there in Hurghada, if only you look hard enough. Continue Reading »