Neil Parick Harris with Mac

This Month on Maction Planet – June 2023

It’s been a busy June on Maction Planet, but that is par for the course as Japan’s post-pandemic tourism boom continues.

Featured image – Neil Patrick Harris on the tape: There I was, guiding at TeamLab Planets on 24 June, when who should I spot but Neil Patrick Harris. I’m looking forward to his upcoming appearances in Doctor Who. We had a brief chat about his whisky tour last summer, snapped a quick photo together and both went on our way. We continue…

Hokutofuji at Sensoji: The month got off to a cracking start as, while guiding in Asakusa, I spotted Okinohama Yoshikazu – a professional sumo wrestler who hails from Shimane, is currently ranked Makushita #58 and who trains at the Hakkaku stable.

Interestingly, he is wearing a yukata emblazoned with the name of his stablemate, Hokutofuji (Daiki). Hailing from Tokorozawa in Saitama, Hokutofuji’s first makuuchi division honbasho was the Kyushu tournament in November 2016. His best rank has been komusubi, but I think he’ll rise higher. Happy birthday to him on 15 July!

Bunnahabhain Rising: I was lucky to be able to attend Aloha Whisky Rising 14: a tasting of the Gentle Giant of Islay, Bunnahabhain, hosted by Stefan Van Eycken on 3 June 2023 at Aloha Whisky Bar in Ikebukuro, where I film many of my Kanpai Planet videos!

The occasion was the unveiling of a 41yo Bunna single cask selected by Stefan and released by Whisky Gallery Global. We also tasted five other drams from the Gentle Giant: two 1989s, a 1990, a 2009 and a Feis Ile exclusive… PLUS some bonus drams courtesy of some amazing fellow guests.

I just wish there was more tablet! Delicious. The drams were good too 🤓

As always, Stefan’s knowledge is a joy to behold. Many thanks to him, Aloha owner David and my fellow tipplers for a devastatingly good afternoon. More photos of the event here. Kanpai!

Photo of a photo of a photo of Matcha/Vanilla Mix ice cream: 4 June was a historic day for photography, as I, along with my amazing guests Lillian and Garrett, created this photographic masterpiece.

In-N-Out of Tokyo once again: In-N-Out Burger were back for another Tokyo pop-up on 7 June. I was lucky to be fifth in line… a line that, with 30 minutes to go before they opened, was already 4 hours long. It was all worth it though as the legendary burger chain delivered – I really could taste that quality.

I wrote a whole blogpost about their last appearance in Tokyo in 2018, and the spike in website traffic around this year’s pop-up was significant!

Tenryo Hita Whisky Museum: I tried to look as cool as Koshiro Takashima, founder, proprietor, collector, bartender and more of the Tenryo Hita Whisky Museum, but couldn’t quite pull it off! Watch me explore his devastatingly good world-class collection of 60,000 pieces of drinks-related memorabilia in the latest video on Kanpai Planet, which I released on 7 June.

Mograg’s Cantina: Don’t mind me… just having a drink in a cantina called Mograg, a tavern in a corner of the galaxy somewhere…

That somewhere is the Diesel Art Gallery, and I was invited to the preview night of their latest exhibition, “CANTINA” mograg VERSE: mograg gallery which runs from 10 June until 7 September. Highly recommended.

Gin-y reckon: On 10 June I was honoured to guide the Matsuoka’s. Tokyo residents, they wanted to get a different perspective on Tokyo, and explore Asakusa and surroundings in depth. Hearing their kind words after our tour, and how much they enjoyed our time together, was incredibly motivating. These are people who have lived in Tokyo all their lives. It was an honour to show a new take on the city we love.

Happy 40th, Disneyland: This year is the 40th anniversary of Tokyo Disneyland. ‘Nuff said!

Choose your Pokemon Latte: It’s the hottest ticket in town, but I managed to get guests into the Pokemon Cafe not once, but twice this month!

Currently, the limited time menu is themed around Chinese cuisine, and the on-message Pokemon designs can be printed as art in your Latte. Gotta catch ’em etc!

Oli, Clare and Mac cross a road: It never gets old! I’ve travelled to 108 countries, and the Shibuya Crossing is still my favourite urban environment on Earth. I love sharing it, and the hidden spots around it, with guests. On 25 June I had the honour of being engaged by Oli and Clare from Singapore. A great night was had by all!

What’re you lookin’ at?: I love guiding in Nikko. Being a Tokugawa nerd helps. However, it seems not everyone was pleased to see me there!

That’s right – Maction Planet is not just for the World’s Greatest Metropolis. We guide all over the Greater Tokyo area, and indeed all over the country. Drop us a line and let us know how we can help!

The Return of Larry and Shayna: I’d been looking forward to 28 June 2023 for a long time… ever since these two incredible individuals emailed me to book me for a second dose of Maction. We spent two evenings together in 2018, and five years on it appears we haven’t changed a bit. Kanpai to that!

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