West into the East: Asia Preview

I was supposed to go on vacation with my wife a few weeks ago (we'd had a Paris trip lined up for months), but we had to cancel last minute when she hurt her knee. I was really in need of that break; the chance to unplug and get away for ten days, but there was no getting around it: she couldn't walk and Paris is no fun when you can't walk.

Instead of getting the rest I was hoping for, I went back and hunkered down with our depleted staff, holding fast on the Redwood City sales floor while some of our co-workers went down with their injuries and flu bugs. That's when my buddy Chris from Anchor Steam reached out to me and said, "Hey man, I heard you had to cancel your vacation. We're going to Taiwan and Japan at the beginning of November. Want to come with us instead?"

Hell motherfucking yes, I do.

I managed to get my days off moved up a few weeks, got all my work done before the deadline, and got a last minute ticket to Tokyo on the same flight as Chris out of SFO. It's going to be a helluva trip.

Tomorrow Chris and I will head to Taipei, via Tokyo, where Ian Cheng from Kavalan will pick us up and take us around. We'll tour the distillery, grab some food, and check out the Taiwanese sights before heading to Sapporo on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The folks from Nikka will be waiting for us there to show us the Yoichi distillery, before sending us southward on a flight to Sendai where we'll check out the Miyagikyo sight. From there, it's a bullet train back to Tokyo and a night out on the town before we head for home.

I'll have my camera, my computer, and my storytelling skills with me, so make sure to check back in with the blog each day. I won't be available to help you with your ordering, but I will be here to share my experiences. Let's just hope I can get a few hours of rest before we leave. It's going to be one hectic schedule!

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll