Royal Park Hotel, Tokyo — Our ESCAPESEEKER Advance Research Team (ART) gathered last night at the Symphony restaurant to review and discuss our  extensive Japan Research Tour Itinerary–day 3 of which begins today.  Our team is comprised of yours truly along with Roy A. Henderson, Executive Producer, and the talented photography team of Peyton McCollum and Mary Harris Pappas–all of whom  share my insatiable wanderlust to explore the world, embrace the unexpected, and learn everything we possibly can in the next 10 days as we journey across this fascinating country of JAPAN:  Land of the Rising Sun.
Our home while in Tokyo is the luxurious 5-star,  Royal Park Hotel.  It’s unique approach and distinctively Japanese style of hospitality is world-renowned, and  one we are definitely eager to  experience.  

My research team created our proposed “wish list” of the various cultural/historical areas of significance that we are hoping to see and experience to help us shape an ESCAPESEEKER episode that meets WQED/PBS’ mission to educate and inspire, and submitted it to the very abled  and knowledgeable team members of the Royal Park Hotel headed by the highly respected, Dan Nakamura-san for their review and input.  Well, that proved to be a very wise move indeed–as his superb team took the list and expertly revised it to create one  even more amazing, in-depth itinerary that far exceeds what I had originally submitted.
With our fluent English-speaking guides, Jintaro Nakayama-san  and Hiro Kanno-san, who have already recruited various experts in the field to also assist us,  we are confident that our research team will find the stories we are seeking, and capture thousands of story-telling images of this uniquely  beautiful country…a country unlike any other Westernized Asian society where tradition and modernity are one.  

We are  cognizant that our learning process which began long before we arrived,  will need to be an on-going continuous effort… for how does one cover 3,000 islands lying along the Pacific Ring of Fire in such a short amount of time…where the Tokyo-Yokohama area alone–the largest urban concentration in the world– holds 70 percent of Japan’s population who reside along the Pacific coast stretch between Tokyo and Kyushu.  No worries–our team is undaunted!  We will go forward, eager to learn, and embrace all we can as we begin filling in the blanks of our  “working script” as we strive to turn it into one compelling story…a richly entertaining episode of inspiring, meaningful television viewing.  Hey, no easy task right? But our team thrives on challenges and loves shooting for the stars!  Here’s a sneak peak at our working script…wherein each day we will strive to make the pages come alive:

EPISODE INTRO:  Join us as we journey to the Land of the Rising Sun… to discover the unique culture and unparalleled  landscapes of Japan…if you time it just right, you may  prefer to follow the sakura zensen, the “cherry blossom front” as it advances from the subtropical islands of Okinawa to the northernmost island of Hokkaido…

Walk through sacred Shinto shrines…witness artisans fashion centuries old  traditional crafts of paper-making—and ride the most efficient, world-class bullet train in the world from one end of Japan to another in no time at all…

A visit to Japan lets you experience 11 centuries of history and cutting-edge modernity—all in the same trip…  Join us as we strive to bring you a comprehensive view of how Japan’s culture and vibrant traditions influence the promising future of this ancient land.  After all, few people in the modern world are not affected in some way by the ideas, culture and economy of Japan!
By the way, for all of you expert shoppers–I’ve never seen department stores of the scale found in Tokyo…and those of you who know me well, know that I’ve spanned the globe perfecting the sport.  Well, Tokyo wrote the book on elegant presentation and displays…just visit the food section in the basement of Mitsukoshi…I couldn’t believe my eyes…it makes Harrod’s of London look anemic in comparison.  For all of you avid shoppers, I recommend putting Tokyo on your bucket list!

Please stay tuned as we bring you the latest updates as our ART advances each day across this ancient…modern…ever-inspiring Land of the Rising Sun.

On behalf of our entire team…

Here’s to Blissful Escapes,


PS:  Our special thanks to Richard White-san who spends a great deal of time in Japan, for connecting the dots for us.  We can’t think of anyone who is more passionate about its culture… and who possess such great understanding of  this country and its people than Richard.  Ask even the natives who know him well–from both sides of the Pacific, and they’ll be quick to agree.

Leave a Reply