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Travel Wise

Here is the Top 10 list of the travel wise items I am so glad I foresaw to have during my trip! These items kept me from being miserable, stressed, uncomfortable, lost and any other negative word you can imagine!

10. Allergy-free, healthy snacks and meal bars by Enjoy Life Foods®, Munk Pack®, GoGo squeeZe®, PROBAR®
9. Tech tools: Hands-free bluetooth headset by LG® and travel battery pack with dual capacity for more hours/charges than I need by BlackBerry®
8. Lightweight, spinner luggage especially my mini spinner boarding luggage by TravelPro®
7. Full-touch leather gloves by U|R Powered ®
6. New Windows Surface Pro 4 computer (compact, lightweight, all-performing) by Microsoft®
5. Warm, comfortable, practical yet stylish clothes, shoes, and layers for the weather conditions. In Japan, you absolutely cannot skimp on comfort, quality and durability due to all the walking outdoors in any weather condition and terrain. And you definitely can’t skimp on style amongst some of the most quality-driven, brand-conscious people of the world where appropriate attire is a expected! Cuddl Duds®-love them! I was layered everyday with warm, comfy layers that hug my body! Three pair of shoes max of one primary color scheme daily: Totes® rain and snow boots; Cole Haan® flat, ankle boots for business; and my faithful, everyday Tsubo® knee-high, flat boots with fleece lining!
4. Pocket WiFi by Telecomm Square Japan
3. Light-weight, stylish down coat Celsius Premium by Yoki Sport
2. Travelon® Bag Bungee™ luggage strap to secure two bags and more!
1. Attitude of preparing for anything and responding to everything as good, meaningful, valuable and part of the journey!

And thanks to Ross®, Marshalls®, TJ Maxx®, Nordstrom Rack, Sam’s Club and Amazon I paid unbelievably low prices!

Leave a comment below, then go back to the interactive Google Map blog of photos and videos to explore more!

A Few of My Favorite Things



When work bites, when the pain stings, I simply remember a few of my favorite things about Japan and then I feel worse! Well, still adjusting back to USA life but it gives me something to look forward to next time in Japan.

1. My host families and friends \(^o^)/
2. Onsen | Natural Hot Spring | http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2292.html
3. Sentou | Public Bath Spas | http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2074.html
4. Walking almost every where, all the time
5. Shinkansen | Bullet train | http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2018.html
6. My Japan Rail Pass for unlimited, nationwide travel on the public transportation network of trains, subways, buses, taxes, and connection to private transportation networks (fee)- you do not need a car! | http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e627.html
7. Washlet Toilet with heated seats for the cold winter months | Bidet | http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2003.html
8. Konbini | Convenient Stores that are all around convenient | http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2071.html
9. Onigiri | Rice balls | https://g.co/kgs/Mu3WIh
10. Ekiben | Bento boxed meals sold at train stations | https://g.co/kgs/9OjGva
11. Ofuro | Heated bath tubs | http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2002.html
12. Kotatsu | Heated coffee table with a futon | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kotatsu
13. Variety of regional food and sake | https://www.tofugu.com/japan/japanese-food-by-prefecture/
14. Fresh, always delicious fruit | http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2347.html
15. Being intrigued and stimulated constantly | http://www.visitjapan.jp/en/

Leave a comment below, then go back to the interactive Google Map blog of photos and videos to explore more!

Trump and Japan

President Trump A.K.A. ガチャン!”Gachan!” is the onomatopoeia for “a slamming noise such as hanging up the phone on someone.” ガチャン became my personal name reference and joke for Trump in Japan after the news on Feb 2, 2017 of President Trump hanging up the phone on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. It was all over Japanese news channels. As a matter of fact, Trump was all over Japanese new channels and shows every day, repeatedly. I found this particular day quite amusing. Not the serious subject matter which lead to Trump’s actions, but the way in which Japanese media portrayed this story. ガチャン was displayed on the TV screen with animation like reading manga (Japanese comic book) or watching anime with sound effects appearing on the screen. It was quite amusing!

I choose to write this post simply to share the sentiments of the Japanese people about President Trump that I encountered. I think this is worthy of a blog post because EVERY person including CHILDREN that I encountered commented about President Trump within 5-10 minutes of our encounter. They expressed their disappointment, dismay, and concern about the future for the whole world. They asked me about my opinion and who I voted for. Trump has a very negative image in Japan–do a Yahoo Japan search for “President Trump” to see the dominant images.

One of my Japanese friends, Takuro, asked me to practice English with him. I would quiz him on Japanese onomatopoeia words in English. I would say the Japanese sound or word and he would guess the English. I said, “what is ガチャン!” He replied emphatically, “Trump!” Now, explain that! That became our personal, memorable and private joke!

Leave a comment below, then go back to the interactive Google Map blog of photos and videos to explore more!

What do you think about the interactive map blog?

Several people encouraged me to do a blog of my travels in Japan. I was very reluctant because I don’t enjoy writing. However, I agreed that blogging about my trip to Japan could be a great educational, professional and inspirational experience for people. That’s when creativity kicked in and I recalled a feature of Google Maps which allows you to add pictures and video. After some learning, testing, more testing, failing and stick-to-itiveness, I finally figured out how to get the interactive map blog of brief comments, picture and video to work! I am curious to know your thoughts and comments about this chosen method of blogging. What do you think about the interative Google map blog of pictures and video?

Leave a comment below, then go back to the interactive Google Map blog of photos and videos to explore more!