Monday, February 28, 2011


There were a few things I had to do in Tokyo such as eating as much awesome Japanese food as I could like sushi and Kobe beef, and getting a handmade chef’s knife.

My first stop was the fish market in Tsukiji, which opened at 4:30am everyday, closed on Sundays. Only about 167 people a day are allowed to view the tuna auction, but the metro started running at 5:04am from my stop so I wasn't sure if I would make the tour. Luckily, I did some recon the day before and had some idea of where to go, just making the second and also last round of tours.

Most of it was chaotic, cold, and confusing with mini forklifts and other machinery whizzing close by you as you wear a bright green vest following a set walking path. The real reward was having the freshest sushi and sashimi at one of the mini restaurants. Daiwa Sushi is the best one at the fish market and just down the road is another great place called Edogin. Toro, the belly of the tuna, is the best part at about 1500 yen ($17.80) apiece. I had two along with my set meal… it was worth it!

Also, at the fish market was a famous knife shop called Aritsugu. They have been making hand forged knives for over 400 years folding the metal of each blade to press out the impurities. Interestingly they originally made swords using the same technique.

So I got one of the heavier knives for about 10,000 yen ($118.70) and they engraved my name in Japanese on the handle for free. They also sharpened it on a special spinning rock stone. Luckily they took credit cards and were very helpful in explaining the different knives.

On another day my friend Issac wanted to try whale meat. I was like gross, but as I was looking for a good restaurant, Ganso Kujiraya (2-29-22, Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0043), for him that served whale I decided to tag along. Try everything once right? When we got there the hostess pointed to a picture of a whale to make sure that we knew what they served.

After we sat down we saw the menu, which was only whale served in everyway possible. Not knowing if we would like it we ordered just two things, whale steak and BBQ whale. Our dishes came and we both took our first bites with a, “Oh Shit….. we are going to hell.” It was so good I couldn’t believe it. Now we knew why so many people liked whale. Thank goodness I don’t believe in hell.:P

On one of my last days I found a good restaurant, 511, that served Kobe beef. I decided to go for lunch since it was cheaper and took three new friends. We all got the same lunch set for 3,500 yen ($41.54) along with beer of course. The place was really beautiful and when the food came we all went silent. I always knew that Kobe beef would be good, but never expected to be so amazing, after the first bite I was wishing I could eat it everyday and shed a little tear because I knew I couldn't.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


So after about a year and a half of working I was finally able to set some time to travel again, but only for a month. :-(

My first stop was Tokyo, Japan. I always wanted to visit this expensive city, but it was always out of the way of my travels, until now…

I’ve always heard that Tokyo was a great city, but also expensive. Both rumors were right. The best word I can think of for Tokyo would have to be orderly. Everyone followed the rules. No smoking while walking, lining up before the subway approaches, no littering, and etc. The entire city was spotless, not even down in the subway tracks was there one piece of garbage.

Some of my favorite things over there were all the vending machines, some even with beer. You could get both, hot and cold drinks. I would always get the warm sweeten milk tea in a plastic bottle. Even the 7-11’s had a hot rack section where you can get your coffee or tea all pre-heated. But my all time favorite thing has to be the heated toilet seat covers.

I know, you’re thinking what the hell? Me too and I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not, but once I sat down…. Ahhhhh…. Bliss. It was so nice and comfy. Some of the more fancy ones had these complex controllers on the side of you with a zillion buttons. There was also a bidet integrated in the seat cover. So with the fancy controllers you could adjust the pressure and temperature.

One of my new backpacker friends told me that they would all get drunk, crank up the pressure, and trick some new backpacker to use the bidet. That would be a great April fools prank…

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The End of the 2008-2009 World Tour

Okay, I have been really, really slack in my blog post during my time in Myamar so I’ll try and write a brief wrap up so I can write about my current travels.

I did end up going with Sam’s travel guide company and my guide’s name was Taik So who spoke great English and educated me about the surroundings from Kalaw to Inle Lake, my final destination.

The countryside and the people were beautiful, often carrying a pole with two huge baskets of vegetables weighing about 100lbs to sell at the train station. I saw young kids as well as elderly women making long treks down and over a couple of valleys to the train station just so they could make $6-7US from their two baskets.

I also saw Robin, the guide I was going to take, walk by with two other tourists 20 meters behind him and they did not look like they were enjoying themselves.

During my trek there was a cook who traveled ahead of us to prepare meals everyday. They were more like feasts because even I couldn’t finish everything he made. All the meals were amazing vegetarian dishes where the cook used the local vegetables of each village we stayed.

Inle Lake was nice, but my favorite part was the trek. I then took a bus back to Yangon after it was blessed of course, and flew back to Bangkok. I then decided to fly up to Chiang Mai and took some Thai Cooking and Thai Massage Classes. After that I flew back home to figure out what I was going to do next.

I ended up starting my own Immigration Law practice, blah, and created a Non-Profit organization to support Orphans Disabled Arts Association (ODA), the orphanage in Cambodia.