Gerry Kataoka


Gerry Kataoka

Travels to all continents except Antarctica. Preference for do it yourself trips, meeting locals, and learning local customs and food. I have been doing a daily travel diary through email for the last several years(mostly Asia), and received many compliments from friends. I plan to visit the following in the years to come: Turkey, eastern Canada, and Bolivia. I drove most of the length of Chile with my golf buddy in September 2009. Several African countries and safaris in 2012. The Trans Siberian Railway was completed in May, 2014, from Vladivostok to Moscow, and on to St. Petersburg. I have played golf all over the planet as well. I have been to Wimbledon and rank it behind only the Masters golf as the best sporting event in the world. I have also become more interested in our great national parks, like Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, Glacier, Teton, Yellowstone and Yosemite here in the U.S. I have completed my quest to visit all fifty states, with Michigan as number 50. I also enjoy train travel, having crossed the US three times, as well as taken the Trans Siberian, Cuzco to Machu, Canadian Pacific, and the Aurora Winter Train (Alaska). I may start on the eastern Canadian provinces, and all of the countries in South America. I am also looking for volunteer opportunities overseas now that I am semi-retired. I enjoy writing about my travels, and sharing with others who cannot travel. I also take tons of photos, which I publish.

Recent trip to Antelope Canyon, near Page, AZ was a revelation. The Navajo guide actually had me taking Ansel Adams like photos for a couple of hours. You must go!!!! South Africa and Tanzania just completed in 2012, followed by the Trans Siberian Railway in May 2014.

I also completed my "sports-fecta" with events like the Kentucky Derby, Olympics, Super Bowl, Wimbledon, Masters, Indy 500, NCAA Final Four, World Series, and NBA Finals. I also follow my favorite sports teams around the country. What is next?

North America » United States » California » Aptos December 2nd 2018

Did you see this? From Travel Pulse: With a pool of 2,000 Americans, they discovered that one in four Americans expect something wrong on every single trip they take, and often, those travel fears come true. The study also found that the average American traveler experiences 240 stressful travel momentsin a lifetime. The study also discovered that one in seven Americans believe they are travel cursed, and of those who feel cursed, 73% feel that they are travel cursed for life. In what ways do travelers feel cursed? Forty-five percent revealed that a delayed flight ruins their plans, while 27% pointed out that annoying passengers are a cursed experience. A quarter argued that long security lines are contributors to their travel curse. Losing luggage, ca... read more

We have all thought about what our world will look like in twenty or thirty years. For me, while I probably won't see or experience these changes, I can't help but think about them while I am still able to travel around the world. First, the obvious. The changing face of travel is already upon us. But will it continue? The face I refer to is the Chinese tourist. Their newfound wealth is enabling them to be the "Japanese" traveler of the 80s. And as I have previously noted, this is not a pretty picture. They are loud, and pushy, perhaps owing to the fact they live in a densely populated, busy, and polluted homeland. But along with that are the airline and prices for airline passes and tickets. When I see prices under $500 to ... read more
Cut the selfies!

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shibuya December 2nd 2018

From Time Out Tokyo: Welcome to Japan: we use chopsticks. Whether you’re a lifelong chopstick wielder or an absolute novice, we’re here to help you not offend your hosts. DO: STICK TO YOUR OWN FOOD Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to chopsticks. To use them in a communal bowl, especially with people you don’t know particularly well, is seen as a (unhygienic) faux pas. How to get your food from a sharing platter then, you ask? Well, just turn your chopsticks upside down and use the back to pick up whatever you’re having; alternatively, an extra pair will be provided or can always be asked for. That also goes for receiving food from someone else: don’t try to accept the food with your chopsticks while they’re still holding it, as this is similar ... read more
Two sticks!

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap December 2nd 2018

From Alex Halverson of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Commuting or traveling, it doesn't matter. Both involve surrounding yourself with strangers and their breaches of unwritten social conduct. But sometimes people are just unaware. Whether it's the man who took his shoes off on the plane or the woman who leaned up against a bus pole in a crowded bus, sometimes people travel in their own little bubble. So Genfare released a survey with the top annoyances for air travel, public transportation and ride sharing all ranked based off percentages of responses. There were some duplicates throughout the three lists like loud and talkative strangers, but each list had a different winner. The survey also broke down some preferences for air travel. The percentage of people who were fine wit... read more
EXCUSE me!  Where are your parents?
Blah, blah, blah!!!!!!

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Irkutsk November 22nd 2018

Just be thankful you were not on this flight: From George Steer of TIME magazine: Passengers aboard Air France Flight AF116 to Shanghai were left stranded in Siberia for three days after their plane was forced to make an emergency landing and a replacement plane suffered a technical issue. “The crew of AF116 on a Boeing 777 from Paris to Shanghai decided to divert to Irkutsk in Russia after an acrid smell and light smoke appeared on board,” the French carrier told wire service Agence France-Presse. The plane landed safely, with no one on board hurt. When engineers realized the plane could not be fixed quickly enough, a second Boeing was dispatched by Air France from Paris to pick up the stranded passengers. It arrived the next day without a hitch – the passengers having spent ... read more
Get me home!!!!
Stuck in Irkutsk
How about the train instead?

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 22nd 2018

This was the longest bus ride I have taken. Somehow, it made the list of the world's most beautiful bus rides. Was it? It was certainly long, 12.5 hours, from Ushuaia, Argentina to Punta Arenas, Chile. This article in Lonely Planet mentions taking the bus ride the opposite direction: Argentina: Rio Gallegos to Ushuaia ... read more
Need a warm sweater?
Torres del Paine, simply magnificent!

North America » United States » California » Pebble Beach November 14th 2018

Some of you have asked about my travels, and how Mr. Mike and I have been able to travel the world without any problems, like personality issues. One thing, beside compatibility would be that we are/were both experienced business travelers. But there is more to it than just that. See below: A new survey from Curio Collection by Hilton found that curiosity is the most desired trait that travelers look for in their companions. Sixty-four percent of survey respondents described the perfect travel companion as someone who is curious. In addition, 65 percent consider a spouse or significant other as the best travel partner for new experiences, while 25 percent would prefer to travel alone. Respondents to the study also shared how curiosity motivates the way they travel. About 91 percent of respondents de... read more
Are we both curious???
The journey!
Are we there yet?

North America » United States » California » Lodi November 14th 2018

So, we are going back to Lodi for another bicycle ride. On our previous trip, we found many Lodi wines, particularly the old growth wines, quite intriguing. Here is some more from an "expert" (Russ Winton of Wine Line) in the Bee: He says Lodi has a great wine walk, but I see the wineries far apart for a walk, much less a bicycle. But it turns out that Harney Lane Winery won the 2018 best winery tour from USA Today Readers Choice Awards. Their family owned winery gives a good behind the scenes look at the winemaking process, as well as some wine tasting. My favorite from our last trip was the Michael David Inkblot Cabernet franc. I think I will buy a few more, though rather pricey at $35. Lodi calls themselves "The Zinfandel ... read more
Any direction
I love the Inkblot wines
The wonderful Lodi Wine Center

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