When it comes to traveling, I consider myself to be a pretty adventurous guy. I may or may not have jumped from a few cliffs in the past.
As an actor, I get plenty of cool opportunities to live out some thrilling, action-packed adventures onscreen. During my downtime, I like to keep that momentum going. Scratching things off my bucket list, and experiencing new sights and scenes is what life’s all about!
That’s why I am excited to work with ANA – I like to travel and ANA can get me to anywhere I want to be in Asia, an area that I want to spend more time in after living there a few months for filming. My city of choice to get to know ANA and Asia better was Tokyo, a place I’ve really been wanting to visit. I knew that the city would offer authentic Japanese cuisine (including one of my favorite foods, sushi), unprecedented cultural excursions and an opportunity to explore both the rich history and modern culture of Japan. After visiting Tokyo and being in awe of everything I was able to experience, I’m sharing highlights from my trip to inspire you to make the trip to Japan too!
First, the flight set the tone for what would be one of my most memorable international trips. When I arrived at the terminal, I was greeted with a warm welcome– this welcome is one of the things I really enjoy about Japanese hospitality. Once onboard, I got comfortable in what would be my very plush, spacious seat for the next 10 hours. My time in the air was filled with world class, Japanese meals (some of the best I’ve had in-flight), catching up on some TV and movies, but the best part was being welcomed by the flight crew with a glass of Japanese whiskey.
I was set to begin my trip and it was off to an awesome start—it felt like my journey began the moment I stepped on the plane with the touches of Japanese hospitality that surrounded me on my flight.
Riding the waves
Being an avid surfer, I couldn’t wait to ride the waves in Tokyo. We went straight from the plane to the beach in Chiba. The conditions were great, so I grabbed a surfboard and jumped right in! It was incredible. Immediately after taking a dip, I felt rejuvenated after doing my own version of Misogi (cold water cleanse), a Japanese Shinto practice of ritual purification.
Surfing is such a big part of my life, so I’m glad that I had the opportunity to enjoy one of my favorite sports more than 5,000 miles away from home. Plus, it’s kind of cool to say I got to go surfing in Japan – not many people can say that!
Fishing for adventure
You can’t go to Japan without checking out the fish markets. If you’re going to visit one, you might as well go to the cream of the crop: Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. I’ve wanted to visit for years. As the oldest and largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, I knew that it would live up to the hype, and it did.
With close to 500 hundred different kinds of fresh seafood on display, it was a dream for a sushi lover like me. Getting a glimpse of all the rare underwater seafood up close and personal was pretty fascinating, especially because I love to fish.
I’m a huge fan of yellow tail—I would eat it every day if I could—so I’d come to the right place. In fact, when I go fishing back home, it’s one of my favorite fish to catch and eat.
Since I didn’t bring my fishing rod with me, I left the fishing to the fishermen and grabbed a bite to eat. Not only is Tsukiji a must-see tourist destination, it also offers plenty of nice dining options where you can enjoy the freshest sushi.
Mastering martial arts
Many people might be surprised to know that I hold a blue belt in jiu-jitsu. While I’m no martial arts master, I know some techniques. So, it was only fitting that I flexed my skills while in Tokyo.
To expand my knowledge of Japanese martial arts, I wanted to learn more about Kendo and gain some insight into the history of the bamboo sword-based practice. Luckily, I received some pointers from a wise and patient instructor who showed me how to properly hold the sword and gave me tips on the principles behind the ancient practice.
Sampling the cultural smorgasbord
Japan is jam-packed with rich cultural treasures throughout the country. While it was impossible to see them all during this whirlwind trip, Togo Shrine in Shibuya was high on my must-see list. The bold reds and ornate golds decorating the famous shrine were strikingly beautiful. Dedicated to the late Marshal-Admiral Marquis Tōgō Heihachirō, one of country’s most celebrated naval heroes.
Celebrating Japan’s culture was something that I made a point to do during this trip. So, I hopped on the subway and headed over to Harajuku, which is Tokyo’s epicenter for fashion, shopping and sight-seeing. The street art was amazing!
Exploring Tokyo’s modern culture was just as intriguing as its historical landmarks. Seeing people decked out in fun, colorful Harajuku fashions was pretty cool. You can’t help but smile while admiring the playful outfits that make this popular Japanese style so iconic and eye-catching.
While I didn’t even scratch the surface of all that Tokyo has to offer during this trip, I did get a good taste of what makes this city one of the most fascinating in the world. It was the perfect place to explore, learn and grow—for me, that’s the definition of a successful trip.