Archive for April, 2010

New Zealand (how not to get bored on vacation)

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

View New Zealand Trip Route in a larger map

We have an exciting trip to New Zealand coming up.  This should turn out to be the most action packed holiday yet.  We will be

  • sea kayaking
  • road biking
  • mountain biking
  • whale watching by airplane
  • swimming with wild dolphins
  • soaking in hot springs
  • traveling on a scenic trans alpine train ride
  • helicopter ride to a glacier
  • ice climbing
  • a unique flight + hike + jet boat ride
  • trout fishing
  • sky diving
  • aerobatic flight ride
  • overnight boat trip on milford sound
  • hot air balloon ride
  • 143 meter bungy jump

all while staying in some of the best accommodations available in New Zealand.  I’ve been working with a local agent for the past few months to put this trip together and it’s one of best yet. Miki and I are both very excited but we have a feeling we may have tried to pack to much into too short a period of time. Nah, I think we still have a few hours free in the itinerary somewhere… what else can we squeeze in?

Make sure to check back later for a full trip review…

Sumo Training

Monday, April 12th, 2010

One of the favorite things I like to do when friends to Japan for the first time is try to get into a Sumo training session.  So, when a friend of mine from the States came into Tokyo earlier this year for visit, I knew exactly what to do.  The problem is that getting into one is hit or miss.  You can’t make a reservation.  It’s not part of any tour.  It’s not in any guidebooks (that I know of).

You can call ahead to see if they are going to be around but there is a chance they won’t let you in when you arrive.  The only way to find out is to show up.  You need to speak Japanese or have someone with you that can.  You also need to bring a gift (some sweets are usually best) as a token of appreciation for letting you watch them practice.

If you do get in then you are in store for an very unique experience.  Enjoy the video slide show of our recent visit.

Check out more pictures here

Jigokudani Monkey Park

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Snow Monkey

We went to the Jigokudani Monkey Park near Nagano Japan earlier this winter. Just getting around to going through the pictures now ;) They are definitely fun to watch and its worth the side trip if you are near Nagano. More information about the park and how to get there at  Don’t forget to pose for the camera which takes a picture once an hour on the hour and posts it online.

For more pictures please check out the gallery at