Archive for the ‘Carols’s diary’ Category

Tokyo 2020 Candidate City !

March 7, 2013

tokyo 2020

 

Hi, I’m Carlos ! Como vai voce ?

Probably you have already known that Tokyo is one of the three candidate cites to host 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, competing with Istanbul and Madrid. Now IOC committee members are visiting Tokyo to evaluate the sites and the plan. So you see many more flags or posters with the logo and slogan “Discover Tomorrow” in many places in the city.

Actually Tokyo lost the bid for 2016 Games and one of the reasons was the public support was not high enough, the IOC poll in last May also shows only 47 percents of Japanese support to host the Games. However the aggressive promotion of Tokyo 2020 Bid Comittee helped to raise the percentage of the public support and recent poll shows more than 70 percents of people are supporting it. I was originally favor to host the Games, and especially after my visit to London last summer I am really eager to watch my city hosting the Games!!

Do you know the true reason why Tokyo lost the last bid? This is because of ME!  I was in Rio De Janeiro on the winning bid day for 2016 Games and Rio was selected, and on top of that I was traveling in London on July 6, 2005 when the 117th IOC Session was held and London was selected for 2012’s Games. Hmm…, this seems more than just a coincidence. So I should really try to be in Tokyo on September 7 this year!

Today is the date to six months to the 125th IOC Session.

IMG_0152

Advertisements

See you again somewhere in the world!

September 10, 2012

Last page of our presentation book

Hi, I’m Carlos ! Como vai voce ?

This picture is the last page of our presentation book which we use for our tour.When we finish our tour at the Imperial Palace, we always show this page to our guests. Hoping to see them again, and yes, actually some of our guests come back to our tour in later time! This is one of the happiest moments for us to meet our previous guests on the tour.

But actually I had never imagined to see them “somewhere in the world” other than in Japan. But it happened this summer to me!!

I was in London this summer for summer vacation. Of course to enjoy the Olympics. Yeah, I enjoyed a lot, I watched football, gymnastics etc. All London was decorated in colorfully and people were walking around with happy faces. Everything was so brilliant!!

On top of those my pleasant memories, one of the best is very happy but big surprise to meet one of my previous guests of TGCT. I was walking in Waterloo station in London one day with my whilte TGCT T-shirt and suddenly I saw one lady was approaching toward me, and she was wearing black TGCT T-shirt!! She is Donna who lives in California U.S.A. and had joined our tour in June this year with her husband Marvin. Can you imagine two people, one is from U.S.A. and one is from Japan with TGCT T-shirts met in very busy Waterloo station! More interestingly, both of us were about to join the bike tours in London and were heading to the meeting place 🙂

So, please say something to me if you see me somewhere in the world!

“The encounter at Waterloo station”

Cycling in Tohoku

September 5, 2011

Hi, I’m Carlos ! Como vai voce ?

I originally planned to travel to Switzerland for my summer vacation this year, but changed my mind to go to Tohoku area where the tourism industry is way down after the earthquake and Tsunami hit those places.  I brought my folding bike as it is much easier to travel by a train, as we have to put in a bag (we call it a “Rinko Bag”.) when we take our bikes into a train.

On the first night I stayed at Togatta in Miyagi prefecture. They are famous as a hot spring town and also not very far from famous Zao hot spring town. A doll standing by me on the photo is “Kokeshi” doll which is a wooden folk art, traditionally made in the northeastern region of Japan.  (Kokeshi /wikipedia)

Besides Togatta, I also traveled to Sendai, Matsusima and Hiraizumi that was recently registered as the World Heritage Site. I found the enjoyment of cycling  every place I visited, and I wish the area’s earliest recovery from bottom of my heart!

Tohoku is a major production area of rice. Ears of rice are freshly green. So beautiful.

Tokyo’s Great Restaurants Vol.2 ~ by Carlos ~

November 1, 2010

Carlos, who is working for Japanese company during the week and has lots of chances to eat outside with his clients, has his long restaurants list.

Today’s are Carlos’ favorites !

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Name :  武蔵 Musashi Shinbashi Karasumori

Category :  Robata Yaki/Izakaya

– Enjoy traditional Japanese Robata-yaki BBQ at very competitive prices @290 yen
– Only 3 mins on foot from JR/Tokyo Metro Shinbashi Station

http://r.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130103/13050871/

ちゃんこ 巴潟 Chanko Tomoegata

– Chanko (Sumo Wrestlers’ Favorite Hot Pot)

– Experiment what Sumo Wrestlers enjoy at Tomoegata run by retired Sumo wrestler

– Located near by National Stadium or 3 mins on foot from JR Ryogoku Station

http://www.tomoegata.com/

柳橋 大黒屋 Yanagibashi Daikokuya

– Tenpura

– Enjoy Tenpura cooked just in front of you in a very authentic mood

– Daikokuya is located near by JR Asakusabashi Station. Reservation recommended.

http://www.geocities.jp/daikokuya_tempura/index.html

ビーフ亭 中目黒 Beef-Tei Nakameguro

– Steak & Wine or Korean BBQ

– Wagyu or famous Japanese beef fostered with beer and massage is available here at only 1,980 yen per 100g

– You can chose Steak & Wine on 2nd floor or Korean BBQ on Ground floor run by a father and his 3 boys

– 2 mins on foot from Tokyo Metro Nakameguro Station

http://beeftei.jp/

水炊き 清水 Mizutaki Shimizu

– Chicken Sashimi & Hot Pot

– Hidden nice restaurant along with Meguro River, famous for Cherry Blossom, 5 mins on foot from Tokyo Metro Nakameguro Station

– Shimizu’s chicken is so fresh, healthy and tasty to the extent you can enjoy Sashimi Chicken!

– Reservation recommended to get the seats facing to Meguro River covered by many cherry blossom trees

Photo @ Musashi / Robata Yaki

Ski holiday in New Zealand

August 24, 2010

Hello, here is Carlos again. After I fully enjoyed cycling in Sydney, I flew to Queenstown in New Zealand. How lucky I am as I can enjoy cycling one day and skiing on the other day!! But please allow me to do this as this is only once a year and normally I’m working very hard as same as other Japanese businessmen. What? On this blog, I seem always to have a fun? … Maybe you are right 🙂

Sydney Great Cycling Tour!

August 22, 2010

Hi, I’m Carlos ! Como vai voce ?

I went to New Zealand for my summer vacation to ski and I stopped over in Sydney for just one day, but I had a really great time there!! My friend Wayne who was originally one of our bike tour guests and joined our tour repeatedly and thus now we are very good friend. He took me one day cycling tour to cover all the interesting places for tourists. It was really Sydney Great Cycling Tour!!! I still can’t believe that happened only in one day. I cycled through beautiful parks, visited Sydney fish market to try fresh oyster and shrimp with crispy Chardonnay, famous Opera House, crossed Harbor bridge etc…

It’s winter in Australia of course, but it is not cold at all but sunny and comfortable. I actually needed a light jacket sometime, but Wayne, he is strong, wear only a T-shirt and a half pants. His T-shirt? Look at his back…

Oh! This is a TGCT shirt!!

Again, I had a great time. Thank you, Wayne.

You can check the route he took me  here

Cycling in Niseko, Hokkaido

June 28, 2010

Perhaps you’ve heard this name of Niseko as a good ski resort on the northern island of  Hokkaido. Since Australian skiers and snowboarders were enchanted by Niseko’s powder snow, this name has passed from person to person in the overseas countries and thus Niseko became very popular destination especially in winter.

I am also one of them who love Niseko’s powder snow and so I was led there to join a ski race competition in this March. This is the picture from the race. Not so bad for 52 years old skier, am I?

  Luckily I could get the prize and that was free air ticket between Tokyo and Sapporo! 

That’s why I returned to Niseko, and this time with my bike! It was so sunny but not too hot and perfect weather for cycling. I could totally escape from wet and humid Tokyo.

Aoki san at Niseko Promotion Board took me around Mt. Yotei by bike. Mt. Yotei is so-called “Mt. Fuji of Hokkaido”, and it is so beautiful still partially covered with snow. The terrain was moderate, with some hill climbing and some down hill, very comfortable about 50 kilo meters ride. He also took me beautiful natural spring water where we can drink nice and cold water, hidden local hot spring and also very tasty Soba restaurant, bakery, Italian restaurant (I ate too much…!) . Thanks, Aoki san!

I will totally recommend Niseko as summer destination as well as winter!!!

They have a cycle event ” Niseko Cycle Week” in every September. Check their HP for details.

 Carlos @ Niseko

We love cycling! We also love skiing!!

January 25, 2010

Photo Yukiko @ Manza Onsen Ski Area

We are operating the bike tour also in winter season. Actually as we have told many times, cycling on a sky clear, sunny and crispy day in winter is very comfortable. All of TGCT staff love cycling in winter.

However, at the same time, all of us also love skiing in winter, so sometime we are really fluctuating  between cycling and skiing, especially after hearing new snow report at the mountain side!

Last weekend, luckily (or unluckily for our business 🙂 ) we had no tour booking, so all of TGCT staff went together to Manza Onsen in Gunma prefecture as the staff trip.

Same as other ski area in Japan, the size of ski area and length of ski slope are much smaller/shorter than those in Europe or North America, but the best thing for Japanese ski place is Onsen (hot spring) after skiing.

The Onsen warter at Manza is very strong sulfur bath, we could really have a relaxing time to relieve the day’s fatigue.  While soaking the Onsen, we all have developed a new appreciation to living in Japan and this gift from the land – Onsen!!

If you are considering to visit Japan for skiing, we can probably give you some advices or tips about skiing in Japan. And we still suggest you that it is good idea to do bike tour before or after your skiing trip to mountain side! But sorry in advance, if all of us are out of Tokyo for skiing trip 🙂

   Photo  Yukiko @Manza Onsen  : Can you see the hot spring gas? It really smells sulfur!

This time we stayed at…  Prince Hotel Manza  website

Rallarvegen – The most beautiful bike path in the world –

August 8, 2009

IMG_0864Hello, again.  After I left the Netherlands, I visited Norway. It’s another lovely place to cycle. I had heard about Rallarvegen – the former construction road for Bergen Railway from our tour guest, so cycling here  is what I had been looking forward the most this time.

Rallarvegen was absolutely superb! It’ was like a fairyland. This is a must do ride!! 

IMG_0850

Bike tour in Amsterdam

August 3, 2009

IMG_0732Hi, I’m Carlos. I recently took my summer vacation and the first stop was in the Netherlands to see my old friends.

As you know, Netherland is a great bicycle country, so how could I not  join a  bike tour?!  Of course I will! I participated in  Mike’s Bike Tours Amsterdam, as they organize English guided bike tour of the city. No need to book in advance, just drop by their bike storage place before the departure time, very easy. Maybe we should look into such operation in the future for our tours…  5-speed-citybikes were arranged for the tour. “We’ll need the gear to cycle over the  <Dutch Alps> ” the guide said 🙂

The day I joined the tour was a special day for the people in Amsterdam. It was the  “Gay Pride” Festival.

IMG_0726All of Amsterdam was completely packed! According to our tour guide, Sean, more than a half million people visit to see and participate in this special event. Tourists including myself enjoyed watching the decorated boats in the canal full of people dancing, singing and drinking their heats out!

IMG_0758

The bike tour was wonderful, and so was the “Gay Pride Festival”. There are definitely so many ways to enjoy this bike country.