Ktchntrvwr Leading the Blind? Japan 2013 Starts NOW

SO EXCITED for the next great adventure, this time navigated with co-captain Mr. Steve Berry. First order of business at team dinner numero uno will be to toast all the amazing people who generously helped plan with us — some with email chains 50 threads long, others with the best 5 text messages a tempura-lover could ever hope to receive. Gratitude hardly captures it.  Thank you Kevin, Paul, and Shin and Toshi especially for the ryokan booking help during our very local (no english!) middle leg.  And, as always, I’m looking forward to filling in the blanks : ) Excited to have my world turned upside down. Sayonara. KAMPAI! Let’s do this!

BLIND KTCHNTRVWR JAPAN 2013 

ITINERARY

Time Difference

JST is EST +13 hours; EST is JST -13 hours

e.g. 6:00 a.m. JST is 5:00 p.m. EST; 10:00 p.m. JST is 9:00 a.m. EST

Monday, March 25 (Miami)

 

PM – Jacquelyn Sayet Flight 1: American Airlines 1048

Miami (MIA)

March 25, 2013 01:10 PM

Travel Time : 2 h 55 m

New York (JFK)

March 25, 2013 04:05 PM

Jacquelyn Sayet Flight 2: American Airlines 135

New York (JFK)

March 25, 2013 07:05 PM

Travel Time : 14 h 10 m

Tuesday, March 26 (Miami/Tokyo)
PM – Jacquelyn Sayet Flight 2 (cont): American Airlines 135

Arrive Tokyo (HND)

March 26, 2013 10:15 PM
Hotel 1 (booked by Jackie): Hyatt Regency Tokyo

2-7-2 Nishi-Shinjuku

Shinjuku-Ku, Japan 160-0023

Wednesday, March 27 (Miami/Tokyo)

AM – Sky Tree
Steve Berry Flight 1: American Airlines 2025

Departure Date: Wed, Mar 27, 2013

Departure Airport: MIA

Scheduled Departure Time: 9:00AM

Arrival Airport: ORD

Scheduled Arrival Time: 11:15AM
PM – Park Hyatt. The traditional Japanese restaurant in the Park Hyatt is amazing if only for the kimonos that the servers wear. Great lunch and some cool adjacent shopping. Also, the New York grill up top of park Hyatt is where they filmed lost in translation. Have a whiskey and check the view.

Steve Berry Flight 2: AMERICAN AIRLINES 153

Departure Date: Wed, Mar 27, 2013

Departure Airport: ORD

Scheduled Departure Time: 1:25PM

 

Thursday, March 28 (Tokyo)

AM – http://www.gojapango.com/tokyo/shinjuku_gyoen.htm

(cherry blossoms)

PM – Steve Berry Flight 2 (cont): AMERICAN AIRLINES 153

Arrival Airport: NRT

Scheduled Arrival Time: 4:40PM

Steve arrives to Hotel 1: Hyatt Regency Tokyo

2-7-2 Nishi-Shinjuku

Shinjuku-Ku, Japan 160-0023

Tel: +81 3 3348 1234  Fax: +81 3 3344 5575

First team dinner in Japan!

Friday, March 29 (Tokyo)

AM – Raku-tei for lunch, the amazing Michelin 2 star tempura.
Address: 6-8-1 Akasaka , Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0052, Japan

Phone:+81 3-3585-3743

Wednesday 12:00–2:00 pm, 5:00–8:30 pm

PM – Yakatori alley next to the Shinjuku train station. On the left when you enter from station about half a block. Maybe block and a half… Yakatori late… Then wander around late late in the seedy area they call The Golden Guy. Hundreds of small whacky bars. Fun! (thanks Paul!)

Saturday, March 30 (Tokyo)

AM – Fish market. Visit train station to activate JR pass and book Sunday’s tickets.

PM – Nihonryori RyuGin* is a 3 star, truly amazing modern Japanese food.
Address: Telephone: +81 (0)3 3423-8006

Side Roppongi Bldg. 1F, 7-17-24 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo

*Need to call for reservation b/w 11:30am-6:00pm JST  http://www.nihonryori-ryugin.com/en/reserve/

Sunday, March 31 (Kanazawa)

AM – Check out Hyatt Regency Tokyo and train to Kanazawa.

Kevin says when you get off the train, find the tourist info center towards those famous architectural pillars.  they speak a lil english and have maps and guides in english too.

Hotel 2 (booked by Steve): Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

Address: 2-15-1 Hon-machi, Kanazawa, 920-0853 Japan

PM – Kanazawa Castle (historical, hinoki) and Dinner at Tsurukou (da big cheese.) Chaya bar after dinner, on kazue machi (ie ‘street’)

Monday, April 1 (Kanazawa)

AM – Check out of Hotel Nikko Kanazawa. Omicho (Market), Eel shop, Sakuda gold leaf shop, Kotobukiya (shojin ryori)

PM – Hotel 3 (Booked by Shin) Yamanoo Ryokan

Address: 1-31-25 Higashiyama, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture 920-0831, Japan

Tuesday, April 2 (Kanazawa)

AM – Kenrokuen (top 3 garden of japan), Katamachi (izakayas,) Morihatchi (wagashi shop)

PM – Dinner at Suginoi (kaiseki)

Wednesday, April 3 (Kaga)

AM – Check out of Yamanoo Ryokan. Train to Kaga.

Hotel 4 (booked by Shin): Araya Totoan spa hotel, Arisugawa sanso.

Address: 18-119 Yamashiro Onsen, Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture 922-0242, Japan (Yamashiro Onsen)

PM – Eat at Kaga Ryori

Thursday, April 4 (Kaga)

AM – Kutani pottery at Museum Iroha Souan

PM – Kaga tea

Friday, April 5 (Osaka)

AM – Check out of Araya Totoan spa hotel. Train to Osaka.

PM – Hotel 5 (booked by Jackie): Cross Hotel Osaka

Address: Chuo-ku Shinsaibashisuji 2-5-15

Osaka, 5420085, Japan

Meet Shin!!!!

Saturday, April 6 (Osaka)

AM – Dotonburi

PM – TBD dinner etc

Sunday, April 7  (Kyoto)

AM – Check out of Cross Hotel Osaka. Train to Kyoto

PM – Hotel 6 (booked by Jackie):

Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto

Address: 1, Taimatsucho Shiokoji-sagaru, Higashi Horik

Kyoto, Japan, JP 600-8237

Monday, April 8  (Kyoto)

AM – Kyoto bamboo garden/Arashiyama

PM – TBD dinner etc

Tuesday, April 9  (Tokyo)

AM – Check out Rihga Royal Hotel Kyot. Train to Tokyo

PM – TBD Hotel 7 (perhaps we book Hyatt Regency on first leg…)

 

Wednesday, April 10 (Tokyo)

PM – Steve Berry Flight 3: AMERICAN AIRLINES 154

Departure Date: Wed, Apr 10, 2013

Departure Airport: NRT

Scheduled Departure Time: 6:15PM

Arrival Airport: ORD

Scheduled Arrival Time: 4:05PM

Steve Berry Flight 4: AMERICAN AIRLINES 1068

Departure Date: Wed, Apr 10, 2013

Departure Airport: ORD

Scheduled Departure Time: 6:00PM

Scheduled Arrival Time: 10:10PM

Arrival Airport: MIA

Thursday, April 11 (Tokyo/Miami) 

Jacquelyn Sayet Flight 3: American Airlines 60

Tokyo (NRT)

April 11, 2013 06:20 PM

Travel Time : 11 h 40 m

Dallas/ Fort Worth (DFW)

April 11, 2013 04:00 PM

Jacquelyn Sayet Flight 4: American Airlines 60

Dallas/ Fort Worth (DFW)

April 11, 2013 05:35 PM

Travel Time : 2 h 50 m

Miami (MIA)

April 11, 2013 09:25 PM

The Sweet Smell of the Season

My first mango of summer 2012.

I don’t know when people started to use touch to test ripeness.  Smell your fruit, people.

It should be pungent, like this mango.  You’d have to be a Dustbuster to smell a mango from Guatemala at your neighborhood Whole Foods Market.

If you can smell your fruit, you won’t end up with a mealy, dry peach or a metallic-tasting mango.

If this isn’t a reminder I don’t know what is.