Fantasy Meet Reality: An Afternoon at a Japanese Maid Cafe

Tokyo Maid Cafe Card - Japan

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 … [Read more...]

Travel-Reinforced Life Lessons and The Why (Our WDS Presentation on the Short)

WDS 2012

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 … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Where Sushi Gets its Start

tokyo fish market

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. … [Read more...]

Speaking at Conferences, Hiding in Yurts: An Update

Mt. Rainier on a Clear Day - Seattle

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. … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Fushimi Inari Shrine and the Vermillion Gates — Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto fushimi inari shrine

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 … [Read more...]

From Remote Control Toilets to Konbinis: Japan First Impressions

Remote Control Toilet in Japan

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 … [Read more...]