Eat, Meet, Meet, and Eat

July 4th, 2014

Earlier this year, my brother and I took a business trip to Japan to visit our distributor, Yamano Music Company. We work hard while there, but do find time to fill in the gaps with things to do, things to eat and people to meet. I always say that I have the best job in the world.

 photo DBD3A43D-ACF0-479B-84A0-F68989CBB1F6_zpseiodabue.jpg

 photo 237E93CB-09E8-4887-B3F3-67438710561C_zpsdsrnknck.jpg

All onboard Japan Airlines new Airliner. It's a beautiful plane and almost made me forget how much I hate flying. The cabin is clean and modern, with disco-type lighting. Even the windows are cool. Instead of pulling down a shade, you touch the button and adjust the amount of tint that it provides. Just like some kind of spaceship in the movies.

 photo 2CA66569-12D3-4FC4-90FB-47AB956E238A_zps2jdw1ci5.jpg

When we touched down, we hit the ground running, I mean, eating. A short walk over to Ginza and we stopped by one of our favorite sushi places. For me, it's all about the maguro. Is there any other kind of sushi anyways?

 photo C796FCE5-84F2-4602-9883-D113F5CA28B0_zpsxigdrurs.jpg

Then later that night, it was time for my lower carb snack of soba from the convenience store. Better than musubis and chips right? (not that I didn't have those either though....)

 photo 16A35BB0-F1C9-467D-AA0B-521387E1FE51_zpscezlmvqm.jpg

 photo A727F94E-C5D0-4ED2-9707-19314FEC8F4A_zpsguqdfseo.jpg

Next day, we headed to Nakameguro to Aloha Table. We wanted to support our buddy Setsuzo and the chain of eateries that he manages. Don't forget to stop by Goofy's in Waikiki, it's part of the Aloha Table family of restaurants. So what does a boy from Hawaii eat when he goes to Japan? Loco Moco of course!

 photo 7EEB92EF-6913-4843-BCDF-6B2F41410B85_zpscxdstnes.jpg

Then I headed to my main business meeting and was treated to an unreal Matsuzaka steak dinner by the President of Yamano Music. He says that it's way better than Kobe beef. I'll need to take his word for it as I've never had Kobe beef. No pics of the meeting, cause that probably won't evoke much excitement out of any of you, but here's the birth certificate of the cow we had. There were many dishes to eat, but I didn't want to be all rude and snap them up in such a classy place, not to mention in front of the big boss.

 photo 178F3040-C3A2-4D36-855C-C5F53DE186BC_zps4nsun63r.jpg

After the big meeting was done, we meet up with the guys from Kula Restaurant in Odaiba.

 photo CE0BACAA-7549-4020-9E2F-350F5B019578_zpskre6ujmh.jpg

 photo BB623A8E-C6DF-4DF2-B6B5-0C316E3449E0_zpsx1nqgyfk.jpg

They have a really nice view of the waterfront and their decor is really island feeling, but you'll need to catch them in their new location. More of that when I visit them later this year.

 photo 3FE2A3C0-3D66-4355-B031-6ED1F50F7FC4_zps9cjeyv6s.jpg

I'm not a big dessert person, but this thing was amazing. To me, THIS is how you make a cream puff! Talk about onolicious! I can't remember where I got it from, but can still taste it in my mind. I say "mind" because I'm currently drinking coffee as I write this blog....uh, nevermind.

 photo 75D18942-67F3-41C0-9ADB-92AA7D8A9441_zps2lnlnx6i.jpg

Kuu home Honolulu. No matter how great travels can be, how can you beat Hawaii? Just look at this sky, even coming out from the airport immigration, it's gorgeous. Lucky to travel? Maybe. Lucky live Hawaii? Definitely.

Molokai Part 2, 2014

June 25th, 2014

Wow, it's been a month since I've last posted. Sorry for the delay. My days have been going by faster than I can keep up with. Here's the follow up to our latest trip to the island of Molokai, as we work with the children of Kaunakakai School.

 photo 3EBCC437-0527-4B9C-A666-59A612AC3742_zpsmz4stitx.jpg

After the assembly of ukes get done, we head out to the neighboring field where the children apply a hand rubber finish. This is usually where the "assistant" moms & dads let go of the instrument and let the kids do all the work.

 photo 648CF63B-5E8F-4AA7-9D78-53314E2FA514_zpsej59gbu4.jpg
 photo 5BC9E611-E455-476F-A5D0-81F3F5249061_zpseaij07sh.jpg

Then we run some line and hang the ukes to dry. Here is where we got the name, "Ukulele Tree", which will one day become the official name of our community ukulele building projects.

 photo 50723B54-162B-4BFB-B8CA-B800BD218A05_zps9a0zojus.jpg

Once in a while, some other things get caught on the line. We keep some, throw some stuff back....

 photo 7D9AE54A-A8C1-43D8-914E-D66BE473C3AA_zps7lkurwnw.jpg
 photo C842E5D9-44D2-49EC-A476-EBCEA2723BA9_zpsbrefd7mb.jpg

The last day tends to be a super heart filled day with everyone gathering and sharing with one another about what we did over the few days with each other. This year, a hula halau danced for us and our own Dennis sang one of his tunes for them.

 photo DCCD5897-37AD-48C6-93CC-A86237BA4278_zpsl5pp6cie.jpg

Then the children all play a song for us that they practiced for May Day. Hint to Honolulu schools....REMEMBER May Day...??? Bring em back! After this, we usually get loaded up with gifts and ono treats by the parents. We need to pack an extra hug box to take it all home.

 photo EA25FE64-01F8-455F-AA32-73D5537687F4_zpsa0xcs2lv.jpg

In the off time, we hit the pool to relax. This year, we didn't get called the slacking bell boys by a lady from the mainland. Yes, that did happen, and it was rather rude in how it was said.

 photo E3BD125D-3160-4BEC-B2C3-6F478FF14709_zpsreiaz0nl.jpg
 photo 9071F442-2884-4EE0-9C43-77711F0B77F1_zpsprsrxbgc.jpg

Then late at night, down a formerly dark and spooky alley, we go to the hottest night spot. It's not a bar and it's not a club. For those of you experienced Molokai visitors, you know it's the famous Kanemitsu Bakery's Hot Bread, served up with all the toppings you desire.

 photo 9ADB9BDE-87FC-4B1B-BD8C-3664EF34035F_zpsaq0tdwdg.jpg

Swimming pools, sightseeing, and hot bread aside, we go there for one reason. Actually, one reason, close to 500 of these one reasons in the past 10 years. The kids. We're often told that magic isn't real, but we think otherwise. For 3 days each year, we are part of something magical.