This Month on Maction Planet – September 2023

September and October 2023 are very special months on Maction Planet as Mac, our Founder and Lead Guide, is attending the entirety of the 2023 Rugby World Cup – from the opening game to the final! Along the way, he’ll be at all the Japan group games. But enough of this third-person blurb, let’s find out what I’ve been up to!

Featured image: There are a lot of Geisha in my life recently! Here I am with some promoting KI NO BI Gin in Yotsuya!

I began in Tokyo mactioning as usual in Tokyo, and 1 September 2023 was Aloha Whisky’s 4th anniversary! If you don’t know, Aloha is the bar where I film the majority of my whisky reviews. But it goes beyond that – if it weren’t for the support and friendship of its owner, David Tsujimoto, there would be no Kanpai Planet. To celebrate this momentous occasion, David released what I believe to be the first peated single cask bottling from the Kanosuke Distillery. Long-time viewers will know how much I love what they are doing down in Kagoshima. Even the story behind the label above is epic. Here’s to the next four years of Aloha, and beyond!

You can get a glimpse of Aloha Whisky Bar in the latest video on Kanpai Planet, ‘How Japanese Whisky Conquered the World’. Discover the incredible journey of Japanese whisky as it conquered the world over the past two decades. Dive into the rich history, craftsmanship, and innovation that catapulted Japanese whisky to international stardom. Explore its meteoric rise and global recognition! Whether you’re a whisky enthusiast or simply curious about this remarkable phenomenon, this video is a must-watch… if I may say so myself!

I was guiding until 3 hours before my flight to France. But it was worth it to show honeymooners Ryan and Nicole the delights of the World’s Greatest Metropolis. My luggage was stashed at the Ritz-Carlton ready for me to pick up after our twelve-hour tour and head straight to Haneda!

After I landed in Paris, I watch the opening game – France vs New Zealand – before taking the train down to Toulouse of Japan vs Chile. Instead of me telling you all about what I did, why don’t you see for yourselves in my ultimate vlog of the fan experience before, during and after the match!

Post-game I met several of the Brave Blossoms, including the legend, the ever-smiling Keita Inagaki!

Then it was off to Cannes… or so I thought!

From Cannes, it was onto Nice to watch Wales vs Portugal, and then the big one – England vs Japan! You can experience it too in this vlog!

Asahi Super Dry is the official beer of the tournament. This is unfortunate, but when it is the only game in town…

Those two kanji at the top of the glass say karakuchi i.e. Dry

Next up – Paris for a few days before England’s game with Samoa in Lille. I visited the Musee d’Orsay. The benches in the Impressionist section are made by Tokujin Yoshioka, who I met and wrote about for Tokyo Art Beat in 2017!

There is evidence of France and Japan’s mutual love affair everywhere I go – be it fashion, decorative art, manga, but especially good. Have a good time (DYSWIDT?) at Tanoshii in the half-bridged city of Avignon!

On 28 September, Japan played Samoa in a must-win encounter. Win they did. The vlog is still in production. Here’s me with some regular Japan fans, having it large!

World Sake Day is 1 October, but I celebrated early at the pre-opening of the Kanpai London Sake Brewery, Taproom and Kitchen – now relocated to the Southward Beer Mile down the road from London Bridge. All the best to Tom, Lucy and their incredible team in this next chapter of their epic adventure. Kanpai!

More from my adventures on the road next month! Ganbare Nippon!

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