All these things that I've done

September, October and November are traditionally busy travel months for me and this year is no exception.

Last week, I was in Northeast Asia, touching the Japanese and South Korean markets - you may have seen some of the media coverage.

One thing’s for sure — The aviation landscape sure has changed since my first trip to Tokyo in the early ’90s. Back then, the 747 truly was the queen of the Asian skies: those airplanes were parked at Narita nearly as far as the eye could see. Today, the 767 and the 777 have given Asian fliers much greater choice in routes and flights. And the 787 promises to stimulate still more change.

It’s welcome change in that it gives many more people the opportunity to see Asia, a part of the world I that I have come to love to visit.

On this trip, my cell-phone camera has been handy for capturing the sights — I hope these pictures are clear enough to give you a taste of my experiences this past week.

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Speaking of taste: On this visit, I tried something new, visiting one of the many monjayaki restaurants in Tokyo’s Tsukishima district. I really enjoyed it, but katsudon is still my favorite by far.

In addition to great food, Tokyo’s also the home of my favorite hotel, the Peninsula.

Just a couple weeks ago, I had an opportunity to share my appreciation for this fine place in a “frequent traveler” story in the Australia Finance Review (I’d share a link, but the website is for paid subscribers only).

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Here I am with a Peninsula Hotel bellhop outside one of my favorite hotels in the world. (photo by Rob Henderson)

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Among the people I saw on Insa-dong Street were these three girls in traditional chima skirts and jeogori blouses.

After Tokyo, I headed to Seoul, where I had a walk through Insa-dong Street.. It’s famous as a market street that features fine antiques, street vendors, art galleries and wonderful places to eat.

I love to grab a window seat in a second or third floor tea or coffee house and watch the crowds pass by.

I try to visit local markets whenever I can — my kind of shopping is when I can find something that I just can’t find at home.

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An artist on Insa-dong Street hand-paints a fan.

Even when I’m on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, I can see a little hint of Seattle. But I did have to look twice!

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Yes, it’s a Starbucks — They told me it’s the only one in the world without a sign in English.

Of course, I don’t have to settle for a cinnamon roll to go with my coffee — there’s a lot more choice down the street.

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Yummy street food — Fish cakes, anyone?

I hope you enjoyed this brief insight into all these things I’ve done on my travels. Aviation has truly changed my life in so many ways. How has it changed yours?

Comments (8)

Amelia Aguilar (Madrid, Spain):

Fantastic photos Randy. It is nice to see Boieng Executives really interested in knowing more about local culture.

Lauren (Huntington Beach, CA):

What an incredible trip!! Thanks for sharing, Randy; your travels and stories are always so interesting! I love the reference to The Killers' song!

ML (Kent, WA):

It's nice when senior managers share their personal thoughts and experiences from time to time. Thanks.

Thiagarajan K Rengasamy (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia):

I remember my grandfather used to travel by ship and it would take him days or weeks to reach his destination. Aviation has revolutionized it and made flying a great way to travel.

Ron D. Smith (Everett, WA):

Ah, now we know how to write Starbucks in Korean! (as if we had this pent-up, long-awaited need). Thanks Randy for the glimpse into Tokyo and Seoul street food.

Jay (Redmond, WA):

My first trip to Asia was in the early 1960s as a toddler traveling to Tokyo with my family aboard the S.S. President Roosevelt ... 15 years later I returned as a teenager, this time aboard a Northwest 747. The era of long ocean passages via steamship had come to an end, and not too soon. My parents recall with trepidation sailing into the teeth of a typhoon with 4 small children. The 747 made such encounters a thing of the past, and turned a journey of days into just hours. Truly revolutionary!

Vero Venia (Montreal, Canada):

Millions of people live in or in the vicinity of the aviation industry. Crew, flight attendants, catering, cleaner, baggage handlers, ground crew, travel agents, aircraft manufacturers, engine manufacturers, MROs, you and me. In some way aviation has changed the life of millions people. The impact of aviation on the society is simply huge. It is also a very important catalyst for world's economy. And yes, aviation makes VFR possible.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

It looks like an amazing culinary experience was had in Tokyo. The food from the street vender looks great.

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