Capture Hawaii: The Royal Hawaiian Hotel

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The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Honolulu

One of the best perks of being a resident of Hawaii, aside from the beautiful beaches and sunny weather, is its resort hotels! When I was in high school, one of my favorite past-times was leisurely walking around the various hotels in Waikiki…and if I was really lucky, my family would have a staycation, and we would get to spend the night for a couple of days! The Royal Hawaiian’s signature pink buildings were always a treat to visit, especially around the holidays. The hotel puts out decadent and elaborately designed Christmas trees and decorations for the holidays. Definitely worth walking around if you’re in town!

Taste Hawaii: The Signature Prime Steak & Seafood

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Happy Hour at Signature, Ala Moana 

If you’re ever in town and looking for a bar with a beautiful view, I recommend The Signature Prime Steak & Seafood restaurant found on top of the Ala Moana Hotel. The steakhouse is famous, of course, for its delicious high quality meat and seafood. Occasionally they serve a Wagyu Tomahawk Longbone on the special menu (which is my recommendation along with the truffle mashed potatoes)! In any case, the restaurant has a stunning view of the harbor, which is even more breathtaking at sunset. Sipping cocktails, overlooking the beautiful Hawaiian sunset… now that’s my ideal way to spend Happy Hour after work!

Capture Hawaii: Omiyage

Hawaii Omiyage

Whenever I travel, there’s one thing I can’t afford to forget! Omiyage. It’s always custom for my family to bring a little something back for our family, friends, and coworkers whenever we travel. The tradition of omiyage or souvenirs originally stems from Japanese culture; however, it’s still strongly practiced in Hawaii! It’s quite similar to the Hawaii local custom of never showing up empty handed when visiting someone’s home. Anyway, this time I brought back some goodies from Hawaii for my friends and coworkers in Japan: Big Island Candies chocolates, Hawaiian Cookie Company cookies, Li-hing powder, Li-hing gummies, Kona coffee, lilikoi butter, hibiscus tea, and Maui garlic salt! It’s always interesting to see what people bring back from their travels

 

 

 

 

 

Taste Tokyo: Kailua Weekend

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Acai Bowls at Kailua Weekend, Shibuya Hikarie

Coconut Mango and Very Berry Acai Bowls! Although I was a little hesitant with my order, the coconut/mango combination was quite delicious! It was like a little taste of home and was perfect for a mid-afternoon snack. Very refreshing! On a side note, I had the grilled chicken dish last time I came here and that was also to die for. I love the menu since it’s like a healthy tropical fusion cuisine!

 

Capture Hawaii: Ala Moana Beach

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Dusk at Ala Moana Beach, Honolulu

I’m currently taking some time off from my busy work schedule to come back and relax for little in Hawaii ☀︎ Honestly, Hawaii has some of the best beaches, haha! I often come and picnic/BBQ at Ala Moana Beach with my family and friends. I wouldn’t say it’s the most beautiful beach in Hawaii, but it has its perks…such as the lovely city view pictured above. Parking can be horrendous though, so try to arrive early if you’re going on the weekend or any major holiday! They occasionally put on beautiful firework shows as well!

 

Capture Hawaii: Eat the Street

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Eat the Street, Kaka’ako Honolulu

One of the aspects I love most about Hawaii is the local community… and the food! Hawaii definitely has one of the most unique and delicious cuisines around (although I know I’m incredibly bias, haha)! Just to be clear though, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Hawaii, there is a difference between local food and Hawaiian food. Traditional Hawaiian food are dishes like poi, lomilomi salmon, haupia, etc., while local food is more of a blend of Hawaiian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, American, and Portuguese cuisines (i.e. loco moco, mochiko chicken, saimin, spam musubi, etc.), which is reflective of local Hawaii culture as well. Hawaii is often referred to as a “cultural melting pot,” and local food is a great representation of that! Anyway, in Hawaii we also have this great event called Eat the Street, which is usually held a couple times per month. There is usually a set theme for the event and local food vendors will set up dozens food trucks where people can go and enjoy the various dishes. The last time I went the theme was garlic, haha! Anyway, it’s a great little event to check out if you’re ever in Hawaii to get a small taste of the delicious local cuisine!

Capture Tokyo: Blush Roses in Yoyogi Park

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Blush Roses in Yoyogi Park

It’s beginning to look a lot like….. Summer ☀︎! It’s been quite humid and hot in Tokyo these past  couple of weeks, and I can already feel the dreaded summer heat slowly beginning to creep in. Living in Hawaii the majority of my life, most people automatically assume I love and thrive hot weather, which is true to some extent; however, I must clarify that Hawaii heat and Japan heat are two completely different things. Summer in Hawaii is hot, yes, but Hawaii has trade winds to make the summer heat bearable, which are nice, cool, breezy, beautiful winds (I am so thankful for) that originate from the Northeast across the Pacific Ocean. Japan, however, lacks any sort of cool breeze in its humid summer. It’s like walking through sheets of warm, wet, soggy water, and when the wind blows, it’s equivalent to the burst of heat you get when opening an oven (August is the worst)! That being said, May/June are one of my favorite months in Japan, since it’s right in between the chilly, windy early-Spring weather and the blistering late-Summer heat. Perfect weather for picnics and barbecues! Plus all of the flowers are in bloom🌺  I took this picture a while back during a picnic in Yoyogi Park with one of my friends and his family. Although Yoyogi can be incredibly crowded on the weekends, its mini rose garden and lush greenery is a breath of fresh air in the city… and I might as well enjoy it before it gets too hot to go outside!