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Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin

On the cover of of the most recent issue of BRUTUS Magazine, a Japanese popular culture magazine that I follow, were the words: “No Tonkatsu, No Life.” I can relate. I love tonkatsu. My most recent trip to Japan happened because I was craving a taste of tonkatsu that I had on a previous visit. I’ve been known to have dreams of tonkatsu. So when we found ourselves having to run an errand in Waikiki, well, we just had to make a stop at Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin.

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Roy’s Beach House at the Turtle Bay Resort

If you’re on Oahu and looking for a secluded resort, then Turtle Bay would be my recommendation. You’ll be far, far away from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu and Waikiki. You also won’t need to worry about food…Roy Yamaguchi has got you covered. Roy’s Beach House, located on the beach that fronts the Turtle Bay Resort, is the perfect place to enjoy a taste of Hawaii while listing to the crashing waves.

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Okinawa’s American Village

Those in Okinawa looking for an “authentic” American experience will often head to American Village, in Chatan, central Okinawa. As an American, it was interesting to see how Americana has manifested in Okinawa. Of course, the themed shopping district caters heavily to the US military personnel that occupy a large portion of the island.

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Polihale State Park + Kauai Pupu Factory

Kauai is the island that you visit if you’re searching for old Hawaii charm and rugged outdoor beauty. There are places on Kauai where you can truly get away. One of those places is Polihale State Park, a remote beach on the western end of Kauai. About an hour-and-a-half drive from Kapaa, Polihale beach is the westernmost publicly accessible beach in the state…and the drive to get there is something else…

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Dominique Ansel Bakery: Omotesando, Tokyo

I few years ago I visited New York City’s Dominique Ansel Bakery at the height of the Cronut’s popularity. People were standing in line during the wee hours of the morning, before sunrise, so that they could then resell the coveted Cronut for $50+ on Craigslist. Yeah, we weren’t down for that. Instead, we opted for a late afternoon visit with no Cronut’s in sight. Luckily, Ansel opened a shop in the very trendy Omotesando area of Shibuya in Tokyo in 2015 which made it a lot easier for me to taste a DAB Cronut. Let’s check out Dominique Ansel in Omotesando, Tokyo!

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Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe: Osaka Location

If you plan to enjoy breakfast at Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe in Manoa on a sleepy Saturday morning, then be sure to get there early. Even then, lines begin to form shortly after their first drop of coffee is served. It’s a popular spot amongst locals and Japanese tourists. Thing is, the Japanese no longer have to fly very far to get their Morning Glass Coffee fix since there is now a location in Osaka. Of course, I had to fly from Hawaii to check it out.

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