I passionate sports fan (Go Seahawks!), the former president of The University of Arizona anime club, and lover of world travel. When in school I studied disability athletics in Japan and traveled all of Japan. It is hard to narrow down a favorite place, but I do have a three top highlights: the natural beauty and winter sports opportunities in Sapporo; the unmatched energy and Skytree views in Tokyo; and Hiroshima for its history and my favorite food of all - the city's signature style okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes).
How did you get involved in travel?
"I have always been interested in different cultures, but it was during a Japanese history lesson that I really found my calling. Inspired by Japanese social constructs (and anime), I went on to study Japanese Anthropology, spending my senior year living like the locals at a homestay while attending Tokyo International University. Returning to the US, I continued my Japanese studies with a Master's at the University of Arizona. I wanted to help spread a love of Japan."
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"My favourite experience in Japan took place in southern Tokyo at a wheelchair tennis tournament. On the first day of the tournament, one of the players came up to me and introduced himself.
He said he recognized me from a previous wheelchair tennis tournament I attended and asked why I was attending these tournaments. I told him about how I was researching disability athletics in Japan.
Delighted about my research topic he introduced me to his friends, then invited me to use his sports wheelchair and play against them. This opportunity to advance my research considerably only happened due to the friendliness of the Japanese people"
Featured trips & expertise
Over 900 miles southwest of Tokyo, Okinawa-hontō—Okinawa's main island—anchors the lesser-known string of islands straddling Japan's two southernmost prefectures. For those who fancy a beach holiday on their grand tour of Japan, its tropical climate and unique Ryūkyūan culture are just a two-hour flight from Tokyo.
Okinawa's attractions have something for everyone. They cater to cocktail-sipping beach bums, history buffs, and active adventurers alike. The island is fairly small, so even a long weekend can make for a refreshing breath of tropical air.
Most visitors to Japan hit up Kyoto's temples, Tokyo's shopping streets, and Osaka's food scene—but there's much more to this country than what you'll find in its cities. Soak in natural hot springs, hike through primeval forest, and spot wildlife on a pristine chain of islands with these under-the-radar suggestions.
Crescent-shaped islands surrounded by deep blue sea, Japan has everything from Buddhist temples to great beaches. Home to both a robot restaurant and an ancient rainforest, it's beautiful, diverse, and never boring. Here are ten essential things to do in the Land of the Rising Sun.