As a former resident of both Japan and Hawaii and currently residing in San Francisco, I look to offer not just highlights, but local experiences when putting together a travel itinerary. When I travel, I look for those local experiences that define a trip.
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"I specialize in Japan and Hawaii but also am very familiar with California, Thailand/SouthEast Asia and major cities in Europe. Restaurants, culinary tours, local eats (street food etc.), non-tourist attractions, and adventure, are all things I look at when building a trip together."
How did you get involved in travel?
"Being raised in Tokyo in a multicultural community it created my passion to experience the world through travel. My passion for travel really began while at university, after sailing around the world to 10 different countries in 100 days I was hooked. I've visited 38 countries in the past 10 years and have learned that the best experiences in life are when traveling to a new place, experiencing the local culture through the people and food. I love being able to share my love of travel with others while helping create the best experiences for them."
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"There are too many to choose from but if I were to pick one of my favorite experiences it was while traveling in Laos. I was meeting a friend in Luang Prabang and after arriving from Singapore I forgot that I needed $40 USD for a visa and had no dollars on me because I had been traveling for a few months around Europe, Middle East and Asia before then. I befriended a German couple in the visa line who lent me $40 and I paid them back in Laotian Kip. The lady who was picking up the German couple from the hotel, asked if I would like a ride into town which I gladly accepted and we quickly found out that we had mutual friends in common from Tokyo! She invited my friend and I to come by the hotel the next morning at dawn for alms offering. Everyday in Luang Prabang the monks from the nearby temples walk through the town and the locals give food as alm offerings. We had no expectations, but it ended up being one of the most peaceful and spiritual experiences I had during my entire stay. All because of the $40 I forgot to bring with me. "
Featured trips & expertise
Iceland is a magical place for children - from horseback riding to volcanoes to whale watching, the options for families are endless. Family travel is easy and safe in Iceland where tour companies welcome children and hotels are family friendly. We've compiled a list of our top year-round activities for families with kids aged 5-16.
From Dubrovnik's city walls and limestone-paved streets to the ancient Roman city of Split, this 7-day itinerary features the highlights of Croatia's stunning Dalmatian coast. Enjoy three nights in the "Adriatic Pearl" discovering baroque buildings and medieval fortresses, savor Dalmatian cuisine in Marco Polo's hometown of Korčula, and explore the 14 wooded and rocky islets of the Pakleni archipelago on a guided kayak tour.
Fairytale like, Dubrovnik is a charming coastal city known as ‘The Pearl of the Adriatic’. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is one of the most photographed cities in Croatia. With its ideal location (in southern Croatia) overlooking the clear blue Adriatic, with unspoiled beaches, casual bistros serving top notch seafood, it makes Dubrovnik one of the most unique walled cities worth visiting in Croatia.
Known for beautiful year-round weather, crisp white and robust red wines, summer nightlife, clear turquoise waters—and active outdoor excursions like kayaking, cycling, and rock climbing, Hvar has become one of the most visited islands in Dalmatia. It's surrounded by stunning scenery and is rich in culture (it is the only island in the world with four UNESCO World Heritage Sites) where one can easily escape and find the perfect relaxation they need.
A dynamic port city with a medieval Old Town grown out of the 1,700-year-old Diocletian's Palace, Split bustles with modern life amid its ancient Roman setting. Cafés, restaurants, and galleries cram the cobblestone alleyways, the waterfront and Marjan peninsula teem with outdoor activity, claiming Croatia's second-largest city as one of the Mediterranean's most compelling. Read on and discover the unique ways in which to spend your time in exuberant Split.
Korčula is an island favorite, in part for Korčula Town, a less-crowded miniature version of Dubrovnik, but also for its wealth of outdoor activities and cultural pursuits on offer. Whether you are cycling around the island, or prefer swimming at hidden-away beaches, taking a windsurfing lesson, or spending the day sampling the local Pošip and Grk wine, you’ll likely wish you had more time to spend here. Find out how to make your trip to Korčula worth your while.
Recent trip reviews for Michelle
Highlights of Croatia from Zagreb to Dubrovnik - One Week Itinerary · Croatia - Sep 21 - Oct 1, 2016
Podestine was a little far from town and accommodations of room were not great i.e. Sheet for blanket, shower did not drain, however Lara at the desk was amazing! Sailing trip did not have much time for swimming and snorkeling, majority was sitting on the boat, skipper was nice but would not recommend. Plitvice was amazing as well as accomadations, Dubrovnik is beautiful and Zagreb did not disappoint!
Stockholm Trip · Sweden - Jul 9 - Jul 17, 2016
My experience was wonderful. From helping with itineraries to restaurants, the service was great, even for cities that weren't necessarily advertised. I liked the personal experience with someone responding to my every question. Planning trips can sometimes take forever for me and consume my days, but Michelle allowed me to release that pressure.
It would have been great if in the planning phases, kimkim was able to tell me a route of a few cities to visit and the attraction of each. If I... read more
Honeymoon in Croatia · Croatia - Jul 3 - Jul 15, 2016
kimkim booked us a perfect honeymoon in Croatia. They found the best accommodations, transportation and activity ideas based on our preferences.
Things I liked:
- how easy it is to book a quality trip vs. doing our own research
- the route through Croatia was perfect
- chat communication vs. having to talk to someone by phone, although the back and forth would have been easier via email, instead of having to sign in each time to respond to a comment
- the full itinerary. we referred to it... read more
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel · Hawaii - Mar 24 - Mar 27, 2016
Michele was really great to work with. She was super friendly but also prompt and professional. She made the effort to understand my needs before making recommendations and quickly adapted as new information was given. I would have loved for her recommendations to have more insights and reason behinds them. It wasn't always clear if she was giving me a list of options or making a personalized recommendation. Overall, she was very helpful and I would work with her again!