Saturday, December 6, 2008

December 6th Saltys at Chiba, Japan (part 2)

Saltys at Chiba is a magical place. Saltys is not only a great dealer for Point 65 but a really cool and groovy place to hang out, paddle, have fun and party. It is right on the beautiful beach with Mount Fuji as a spectacular back drop and sometimes surfable waves. There are several instructors and guides available.
Tons of kayaks and gear. If surf is to big at the beach, vehicles run you to the optimal launch spot of the day.
Japanese tradion to bow to the sea before heading out

Many customers keep their kayaks on Saltys racks and make the one and a half hour drive from Tokyo over Tokyo bay for a weekend paddle. But the best thing is the crowd. The Saltys staff and the customers. Fantastic people, lots of fun and incredible hospitality.
Susie, Aja, Hiroko, Hiro, me, Saturo and Tsutomo

The empty beach of Saltys

just 1,5 hours from Tokyo!
The Salty building. Lots of space.
There are several guest rooms at Saltys where you can stay the night.
the shop..
and the view!
Every day is paddling day at Saltys. Note Mount Fuji right over my head!
And Fuji again with some good looking kayaks.
Kamemoto and Ike each bought a new kayak. Kamemoto a Point 65 X-Lite and Ike a Point 65 Whisky 16. Japanese custom is to sacrifice some alcoholic beverage for luck. They start of by pouring some into the sea.
Than on the kayak. Ike was cheap on his Whisky with bag in box Sake. I would have thought a 16 year old Whisky would have brought even more luck to the kayak?
Kamemoto more classy with champagne!
Which also tasted better cold than the sake...

What, my flight has been cancelled? No problem, I'm in paradise!
And again, Mount Fuji in the background. Am I repeating myself? But it's really cool... Mount Fuji Mount Fuji Mount Fuji Mount Fuji Mount Fuji Mount Fuji Mount Fuji Mount Fuji.
Heading out in a Whisky 16. The surf was actually pretty hairy. There were some surfers out which is always a bad sign for a paddler...
Posing again. I guess they thought I was a real pain...
Heading back to Saltys after a day on the water.
Tom and Shinju zen after a hard days night.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December 4th, Lost in translation (part 1)

I spent a fantastic week in Japan. Here some impressions from my first day (and night) in Tokyo.
I met this group of typical Japanese joggers outside a restaurant. They took me in as one of their own despite my weird attire...
Tsutomu (Tom) Yamamoto, founder and owner of Scoop-Out, our Japan distributor met me down town...
and he imidiately started me of on a hectic schedule of partying and fun. Tom has an incredible social and professional network and the first night out high powered Microsoft executive and Whisky 16 paddler, Kuro Chan (far right holding the megamagnum of Beaujolais Nouveau) not only invited me and Tom, but also Shinju, Scoop-Outs sales executive and the lovely Yoshiko (far left) to an incredible dinner at his favorite Tokyo restaurant! Thats the kind of customers I like! I think the name "Whisky" attracts the right kind of people!
Yes, we finished the Beaujolais Nouveau to the last drop. This year I found it had a fairly big bouquet of sweet strawberry that was nearly perfumy. The palate was a little chewy with light strawberry flavors and a slightly steely finish. This was pretty straight forward Nouveau and clearly better than last years! The empty tripple magnum and it's wooden case is now proudly on display in Tom's office.

But then we moved on to more exotic (and toxid) things. I actually resisted the egg bottle, whatever it was. And I was glad the next day as my headache would have been so much worse (if possible) had I ventured a sip.

Not only did Kuru Chan invite us all out to the sumptuous dinner (have you seen the restaurant prices in down town Tokyo??? It's shocking) but also to stay the night in his penthouse. Japanese don't seem to be big on beds so we crashed on the hard wood floor. Hard it was...

Now the toilets in Japan are not like ours. It's half space ship, half toilet.
The control panel on the arm rest had some intriguing symbols and I could not resist a try. Push one and it ejects a pretty hard jet of hot water which incredibly hits the sweet spot right on target. WOW. Are we all shaped exactly the same or has the jet some sort of laser that seeks out its target and never misses? The other button created a more ordinary stream of water that splashed between the buttocks. This was not the end of it. The rim was pleasantly heated and a powerful ventilation fan inside the toilet swiftly removed all traces of you.

To finish it of the top of the tank is a basin where you can wash you hands!

We also managed some work and visited Scoop-Out dealer ICI in down town Tokyo. Here Tom posing with an XP.
Looking though the magazine stand at ICI I stumbled on this 6 pages feature about Point 65 and Stockholm. Here two Japanese paddlers in Stockholm.
Here an article about the Stockholm archipelago.
And pictures of me in our flagship store in Stockholm! Well it's hard to see like this but I'm on the left page on the right side middle.

To be continued...