Our Adventure Begins

Well, friends, this is it. Mike and Chao are off on our biggest adventure yet: we’re going to Asia. For the next month or so, we’ll be traveling around Japan, over to Hong Kong, down to Thailand, and seeing/eating/drinking as much as we can possibly fit in. It won’t be quite as easy to blog about our trip, but we’ll be doing our best (and bombarding you with more as soon as we get back).

If you’ve got any tips for us or any places we must hit up, please let us know in the comments, on Twitter, wherever.

The All-Star Cast

And now, most importantly, we’d like to introduce some of the people that have helped us get this trip rolling. If everything on this trip goes according to plan, it will be effing epic, and it will be thanks to these people:

So, you all might remember John Gauntner, the sake master we met in this post… John introduced us to Etsuko Nakamura, a travel and sake specialist known for her off-the-beaten-path tours to sake breweries around Tokyo and the rest of Japan.

Shinji Nohara will be picking up wherever Etsuko leaves off. Better known as the Tokyo Fixer, Shinji is the tour guide to the stars and host of Anthony Bourdain for No Reservations Tokyo. He’s pretty revered as the go-to for high end, in-the-know Tokyo tourism, and has a rigorous, VIP nightlife/restaurant tour of Tokyo planned for us. The individual who introduced us to the Fixer preferred to remain anonymous.

And this is where well-connected Chicago contacts come in very handy. Our friend Julia Douglas of Jetset World Travel hooked us up with Eastern Journeys in Hong Kong. They’ll be getting us up to speed and showing us around a bit. Another friend, Greg Hyder, is the Director of Catering at The Peninsula Chicago; he made sure we’re all taken care of at The Peninsula in Hong Kong and gave us a lot of insight for the rest of our Hong Kong plans.

Our trip wraps up with New Year’s in Thailand. Translation: time at Chao’s house, with Chao’s family (#win). When we’re not at Chao’s house near Bangkok, we’ll be in a sick condo in Phuket, thanks to our friend Paul Cohen from Partner Concepts. Paul’s company does all the marketing for Thailand Tourism Bearau, so we’re pretty sure he knows what he’s doing.

7 thoughts on “Our Adventure Begins”

  1. If you’re already in touch with Gauntner, get him to introduce you to Melinda Joe, another sake enthusiast in Tokyo. I met up with her when I visited Tokyo in 2008 and had a lovely evening. Here’s her blog: http://tokyodrinkingglass.blogspot.com/

    Here’s one of my posts where I talk about meeting here…images a bit messed up because I just moved to WordPress: http://www.passportdelicious.com/dining/2008/07/sake-bars-in-to.html

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