Japan Trip 2014

Aloha and I hope your September was filled with warm memories that will last a lifetime. I just returned from my trip to Japan performing with the legendary Jazz clarinetist Yoshimas Kasai and an all-star band that included Hawaii’s very own John Kolivas on bass.  John and I performed two exciting concerts with Mr. Kasai and made a bunch of new friends! Many thanks to everyone in Japan who made us feel at home taking care of many details so we could concentrate on playing our best. Looking so forward to seeing you all again!

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On the plane to Japan. Just got over a cold so I didn’t want to catch something else on the way!

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One of my drum students at Berklee College of Music just hipped me to this album and I found it on my flight. Love Hiromi’s piano playing and arrangements.

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Some of my new best friends in Japan; Masa, Keisuke, Mie, Kumi and Tadashi! Thank you so much for taking good care of us!

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The visionary Yoshimasa Kasai. Not only an incredible Jazz musician but also a big heart and inspiring to be around. Domo arigato gozaimasu Kasai san and to his wife Toshiko san for all of your hard work to make this dream a reality!

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Night view from my hotel room in Shin-Yokohama (New Yokohama).

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Our hotel. Swanky ne?

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The best egg invention since…well…eggs! It’s called an egg turnover and it was oishi (delicious)!

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Another view of our hotel lobby.  That train looking thing in the bottom of the picture is the cab of a bullet train (Shinkansen). It was a simulator for the kiddies.

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Train layout in the hotel lobby! I grew up building several train layouts and this N-Gauge layout was spectacular!

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Future National Geographic photographer at Bic Camera.

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So many iPhone cases…so little time!

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Best massage chairs in the world!

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Liquid energy for the first concert at Minato Mirai Hall in Yokohama.

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Minato Mirai Hall – Yokohama

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Getting warmed up for the concert.

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Now that’s just plain silly!

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IMG_2939 John Kolivas and I with Jazz pianist Hajime Kobayashi. This guy is a wonderful pianist and oh boy did we have fun! Above I am with Hajime san and fantastic trumpeter Nobuaki Komori.

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The Yoshimas Kasai Quartet! Great music and an incredibly enthusiastic crowd made for one heartwarming and fulfilling evening.

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Flower arranging in Japan is truly and art form. This bouquet was so beautiful that I had to make sure it got a good home and gave it to Keisuke’s mom.

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And here is Keisuke’s Oka san (Mother). Lovely flowers for a lovely lady.

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View from breakfast looking down on Shin-Yokohama (New Yokohama).

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With our translators Naoki (left), Daisaku and Manami! They were so kind and wonderful to be around.

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Stop!…Shikansen time! MC Hammer ain’t got nothin’ on the bullet train.

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Daisaku and Minami on the Shinkansen.

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John, Naoki (eating one of my business cards) and…what Daisaku again!

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On the way to Tokyo TUC for our second concert!

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A quick look at Akihabara or “Electric Town.”  This is the comic book, video game, everything electric part of Tokyo.

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Photo of Hajime san warming up at Tokyo TUC.

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John warming up at Tokyo TUC.

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IMG_3066IMG_2994 Warming up at Tokyo TUC.

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I guess all air conditioning repairmen in Japan are skinny.

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John and I with the owner of Tokyo TUC. Such a kind man who books some of the best Jazz musicians from around the world nightly. What an honor to perform at his club!

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Trumpeter Kiyotaka Soga who performed with us at Tokyo TUC. Great player! He is showing me his suit bag that comes with every suit you purchase in Japan.

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Chinese food after the Tokyo TUC concert. On the TV in the background they are showing the volcanic eruption in Nagano that occurred that same day.

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On my last trip to Japan, bassist Mark Tanouye nicknamed me Gyozilla because I ate so much gyoza. I simply had to live up to my name!

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Saying goodbye at the train station after dinner. Hope to see them all again very soon!

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Tadashi san and his wife Kumi. He is Kasai san’s son and drummer too!

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Japanese TV is so entertaining and informative! This was a competition in using those arcade machines that pick up prizes. Never knew there were people out there refining their skills in such games. Watch out arcades everywhere!

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My hybrid Japanese/American breakfast. What wonderful food every morning. I miss that so much!

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Another view from breakfast.

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An artisan at work.

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Did someone say shopping?!!

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Waiting to hit the shops on the next floor.

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With Keisuke and Mie on our last day. Keisuke san also performed superbly with us on Cornet and Trumpet!

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Kawaii ne? So cute ya? Getting ready to drive the Shinkansen simulator.

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Here we go!

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With Kasai san on our last day.

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Now this hot food box takes delivery to another level!

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Picture perfect day in the Tokyo area.

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One thing I noticed throughout the Tokyo area were these yellow tiles on the sidewalks and walkways for blind residents to find their way through the city. Very nice 🙂

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Don’t know who he is but he looks like he’d crush any baseballs within a 5 mile radius!

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Okay we can’t be too serious now…

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Great name! Japan takes things we know and love and makes them better!

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McDonald’s delivery in Japan! Now if we had this in the US, people wouldn’t have to move at all to get their artery clogging McCholesterol….just sayin’.

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Makes sense that this is right next to the McDonald’s….just sayin’.

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I want one! I want one!

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Heading to the airport to fly home. Boy I can’t wait to come back again. I love you Japan!

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The flower arrangement in the hotel lobby. Breathtaking…

2018-03-10T08:44:57+00:00
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