Sunday, November 26, 2006


The following is mostly a waste of time but so is most of my drivle.

When I was first approached or should I say told that I was going to Japan I was both excited and worried about the aspect of going overseas. It had been a long time since I was anyplace other then North America and it’s along way from home. With my passport in hand and the corporate credit card I was ready to go.

My thinking before the flight was to stay up late the night before so I would fall asleep during the 13+ hour trip. I eventually hit the hay around 1 am which is actually earlier than a typical Friday night.


At 7:00 I’m up and going and we’re out of the house by 9:00. The 12:02 flight took off as scheduled and my companion Marc and I are ready for the long flight. The drinks were free but I didn’t take advantage of the free alcohol right away but gin & tonic helped the time go by. Entertainment was watching movies including The Lake House, Cars, Monster House, and Pirates of the Caribbean. I also load the new laptop with a NL hold’em tournament program to help pass the time. The downer here was forgetting to shut it off and running the batteries out of juice. We eventually landed around 4:30 pm on Sunday afternoon, 28+ hours by clock after we left. Narita Airport near Tokyo was easy to navigate and we eventually got through customs to meet our guide Mr. Sumita. We found the correct train and we were on our way. The lights of Tokyo were interesting to watch as we headed to our destination. We hit the Keio Hotel around 8:00 and went to dinner at a near by restaurant. We had Shabu Shabu, thinly sliced beef that you boil in water and then dip in different sauces. A few Japanese beers and it was time for bed.


We check out of the hotel by 7:00 am and headed to Yamamachi to get a tour of the plant. It was interesting stuff for me but of no importance to you. The only thing of consequence was going to the conference room and being served coffee by one of the female employees. She got down on her knees when she handed me the coffee. It was disturbing that this is an expected action by women there and it made me feel uncomfortable. Marc and I talked about it later and we both felt it was quite unnerving. Well, when in Rome. For dinner we went to a Japanese restaurant where I had a steak and a corn chowder type soup along with the rice. When we checked into our new hotel I thought we were staying in a convenience store. There were snacks every place I looked and the lights were very bright. We had to take our shoes off and headed to our rooms. No internet. No American TV. No bar. Beer in vending machines. 300 yen for a regular size can and 400 for a big can. It was even good. At least I had a book.


The day started with a trip to a testing lab to do some testing on one of our products. After words we headed to a tourist trap to see the springs from Mount Fuji and try some local eats. Some of it was good but meso (spelling?) was terrible. I got a spoon for my niece and had ice cream covered in different honey flavors. Dinner was a Chinese place and wasn’t much different then what we get here. Later I spent another lonely night in my room.


The day was spent in the clean room looking at process and machinery. It was an uneventful day but we got a lot done. Sushi was our dinner and it was pretty good. The wasabi helped and the beer was cold.


More training. End of story. We at an Italian which included seafood pizza and spaghetti with a mushroom and shrimp red sauce. It was outstanding. I didn’t think Iwould like the seafood pizza but it was a nice change. The local red wine was ok but didn’t complement the meal very well.


The morning was a bit of a waste in that we had a tour of another section of the company that didn’t relate to our products. We eventually headed back to our original hotel after a brief tour of the headquarters about half and hour or so away. This was the point I railed Iak during his final table run in the FTOPS PL hold’em event. I had to leave for dinner before he was finished. Anyway, We went to a traditional Japanese place and ha a 3 hour dinner. Suki Yaki was the main dish with some squid and other delicacies. The saki was strong and moderation was a must. Eventually, we headed back to the hotel after some window shopping and walking of the dinner. After getting to my room I played a little and hit the hay around 3:am in hopes of sleeping on the plane.


Got up early and took a bus to the airport. The United counter didn’t open for a couple of hours so we got some coffee and sat down on a bench waiting to check in. An hour later airport security questioned us because we were sitting in one place for to long. The end of the trip saw us sitting next to a couple of guys retuning from Bangkok. We had a nice conversation about baseball (they were Met fans) as we prepared to take off. An hour or so into the trip, I notice that the two of them were very close and I realize they are a couple. No problem until one of them starts to give the other a hand job under the blanket.

Overall, the trip was a business success. The let down was not being able to do much while we were. I didn’t expect to see 7-11’s all over the place but McDonalds was anticipated. The forced submissiveness of the Japanese women is unfortunate but the literacy of the population is fantastic.

After a week of non pokery play I stayed up until 6:00 am Sunday morning and played 5 tournaments and cashed in 4 including a 4th palace finish so I guess you can say it’s great to be home.


jl514 said...

Thanks for the link, cya this week at the mook?

The Poker Enthusiast said...

probably not. I'm swamped at work