Osaka Aug 2014

September 1st, 2014

Wow, as I typed in the year of this post, it's amazing to see that we've made it all the way to 2014. Never imagined to live in the days of space movie dates. No flying cars quite yet, but we have phones of the future, right? I digress, on to my post.

Most of my travels are not as glamorous as most assume. They are mainly based in getting some kind of work done. Every now and then, there are moments that stand out, and fill my trip with a lot of joy. It can be little things, or a little bigger as well.

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Everyday life is a little different in Japan. There's the hustle and bustle that's a change of pace from Hawaii, but the Japanese sprinkle in some neat stuff to break up all the action. Malls are really nice, they're everywhere, ranging from small to big. Every now and then, there are attractions in the halls between subway sections. This time, children games were the theme.

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Canned goods? Yes. Yakitori in a can, "can" do, ha ha.

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Anyone looking for their dosage of 2000 - 3000% of their daily recommended sodium value can always shop on the Great Wall of Ramen. I thought this was impressive!

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After we completed our training sessions in Tokyo, we jumped on the train to head to Osaka. This meant a 3 hour train ride and of course, train food. Unlike the US hamburger and hot dog fare, Japan does things....Japanese! I had a delicious katsu bento and as if that wasn't enough, I also got ten-musu, aka shrimp musubi.

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We visited two of our dealers there, Miki Gakki, and one of our oldest accounts in Osaka, Ohana Ukulele.

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Then it was reunion time! The children of Holy Family Home is always a big motivation for me to ride that train for such a long trip. Here are the ones that visited on a special trip this year. They are ones that missed the annual summer visit for some reason or another.

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We spent time with a lot of them, singing and sharing songs. (I think I need to learn new songs already)

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After a long day of travel and hearts filled with joy, it was time to unwind. I was a little apprehensive at first, but the natural spring water in my hotel does wonders for the body. There's a valve that turns that water on instead of tap. The color, I am told, is because it's rich in minerals. (It's not dirty as I thought)

More to come from Japan and as we head home to more things with kids.

Gym Day, Then Gone to Japan

August 26th, 2014

Flashback to the past, the good ole days here at work. We're close here, like brothers, but even that takes hard work. In this case, hard fun. Every now and then, we schedule a total shut down of the shop and operations. We loosely call theses, "Shop Days". It's a time when we head out to some kind of adventure or another. This time, it was gym day.

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We were graciously hosted by McKinley HS, the alma mater of more than a few in my family's clan of 14 aunties and uncles. Being the townies we are, there have been more than our share passing through the Tiger halls.

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After a good half day of indoor whiffle ball, basketball, and dodgeball, we were pooped, but was so much fun. Aside from a few bruised egos, we survived the first ever gym day.

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Then a good 1 hour 20 minutes of sitting behind the slowest drivers on Earth, we dined at Romy's Kahuku Shrimp. This stuff is so simple, yet sooo sooo good! There must be some kind of secret besides butter, garlic, and shoyu, as mine never really turns out the same at home....

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A literal couple days later, my brother and I flew out to Japan on a private charter. Ha ha, I wish. This is just the view from the ghetto seats as we have early entry privileges because of all our miles. Nice to be able to settle in without tons of people pushing and pushing us.

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Japan was all business, as we conducted training with the staff of Yamano Music Co, our distributor in Japan. After two day's workshops and various meetings with division leaders, I was moved to see such a large company and so many people in support of what we do!

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Towards the end of the sessions, we welcomed our newest artist, Ian Shiroma. He's a Hawaii boy, living in Nagoya. My brother provided the hula and I stood by and giggled, ha ha.

More to come from this trip as we head out to visit the children of Osaka's Holy Family Home.