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active 2 days ago

John McMillen

I am the Agent Business Coordinator in the US Branch of InsideJapan Tours. I run our business development and manage our relationships with all of our travel agent and agency partners across North and South America. I approach trips to Japan as an exciting adventure, with endless possibilities to delight no matter what you are into. Having a trust in serendipitous discovery is essential, and I encourage having space in your itinerary to let Japan surprise you with the unexpected!

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I am an expert in all destinations across Japan, and have specialties in deluxe accommodations, experiences, guides, and transportation. I also personally am an avid hiker and highly recommend active and adventure itineraries in Japan as it has something to offer everyone!"

How did you get involved in travel?

"I first arrived in Japan at the age of 10, and was blown away by how exotic everything was. Since everywhere was safe to explore, I had plenty of chances to develop my sense of adventure - a quality that I have continued to develop as an adult. From my initial interest in Japanese culture through Nintendo games and Dragon Ball Z, I learned the Japanese language and took up kendo and aikido - two Japanese martial arts focused on swordplay. With this early introduction to such a fascinating culture, I had firmly caught the travel bug. And now I find myself spreading the joy of travel to Japan on a daily basis."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"My favorite memory from Japan is the night that my school principal performed an impromptu wedding ceremony for my wife and me at his home after a night of food and drink. He had invited us over for dinner with a few other teachers, and put on an amazing spread.

Throughout the dinner, the teachers kept commenting on how 'Japanese' my wife Kim is (though she was born and raised in Colorado). Toward the end of the night, my principal's wife commented (very forwardly) that she would like to see Kim in a kimono. So, she whisked her away and put one on her. Then, before I knew it, they had me in one too - one of my principal's formal kimono, with a live-bladed sword at my side (he was also a high-ranking practitioner of iaido).

Then, since we were already dressed for the occasion, they broke out their wedding sake set and staged the impromptu ceremony right then and there. My principal did the Shinto chant and the whole nine yards - and we were married! What a great night! Part of me thinks they planned this from the get-go, but it's more fun to think that it was spontaneous."