Japan Day 10 - Flying Home

1 May 2018

Day 10 of the trip was the last day we were in Japan. You can watch the video on my YouTube channel.

Our Airbnb hosts had a lovely breakfast prepared for us when we woke up.

James had to leave super early that morning, but Nicole, Paul, and I decided to go into Tokyo one last time to see the Imperial Palace and eat lunch. The palace was closed but we got to walk around the grounds.

We then got on the Narita Express train to take us to the airport. I said goodbye to Nicole (who I would see the next day because we’re roommates) and Paul and headed to Terminal 2 for my flight back to NYC.

This is the final video of the Japan 2017 Series! Look forward to a lot more travel content to come later this summer, as I’m leaving my job this week to start a new adventure.

Japan Day 9 - Chiba

26 April 2018

On day 9 of the trip we headed back near Tokyo for our last night in Japan. You can watch the video on my YouTube channel.

Our bullet train left Osaka Station at 1:43PM and we arrived in Tokyo around 5PM. We then headed to our Airbnb in Chiba, which is on the north side of Tokyo and closer to Narita Airport, which we’d all be going to the next day.

The house we stayed in was a lovely traditional Japanese home where a family of three lived. The mother and daughter were learning English together, and one of the ways they practiced was by giving guests a tour of their house.

We headed out to find dinner, but on a week night this far outside of Tokyo most places were closing early. We ended up in a mall that was eerily empty but had some snack food to try out. For dinner we of course chose the place that spoke zero english, and google translate wasn’t much help. The meal ended up being really good though.

Afterwards we walked in the rain to an American bar which was run by a Japanese-speaking Persian man. At the bar we watched the movie Bartender starring Tom Cruise, and enjoyed our last night in Japan.

On day ten of the trip: we leave our Airbnb and head into Tokyo one last time, before making our way to the airport to fly home.

Japan Day 8 - Eating Okonomiyaki in Osaka

17 April 2018

On day 8 we travelled to Osaka, where we ate the most delicious meal of the trip and also rode on a ferris wheel. You can watch the video on my YouTube channel.

We left at 11A.M. to head to Kyoto Station. Our Japan Rail train left at noon, and the trip to Osaka was about 30 minutes long.

After arriving we made our way to our Airbnb, then Nicole and I went out to get massages. We had to make appointments for later in the day, so we wandered around a pet store in the meantime.

We all then met at a restaurant for dinner. We chose a place that served okonomiyaki, which is a grilled pancake / omelette from heaven. The restaurant had a map where customers could pin where they were from.

After dinner we went to ride on a ferris wheel!

Brandi then left for Thailand, so we said goodbye to her and then went back to our Airbnb to do laundry.

On day nine of the trip: we take yet another train ride, and stay with a family for our final night in Japan.

Japan Day 7 - Part 2: Shrines in Kyoto

10 April 2018

During the second half of day seven we visited two shrines in Kyoto. You can watch the video on my YouTube channel.

Before getting to the shrines, Nicole and I went in search of an afternoon meal. Most restaurants close between 2 and 5P.M., so all we could find was a cafe that had some alright spaghetti.

The first shrine, Kiyomizu-dera, was under renovation so we could only see part of it.

All of the the buses were packed on account of it being tourist season, so we decided to take a taxi to the next shrine. That shrine, Fushimi-inari, is famous for having thousands of gates winding through trails in the woods. The cicada bugs were really loud here too.

Afterwards we tried to get into a fancy restaurant but it required reservations, so nicole and I split off to get tacos while Brandi, James, and Paul went to eat at a hotpot restaurant.

On day eight of the trip: we eat okonomiyaki in Osaka.

How We Built The New York Times Holiday Gift Guide

7 April 2018

My team at The New York Times built the 2017 Holiday Gift Guide on the same platform that we build How To Guides. It took effort from product, design, editorial, and engineering, and you can read about how we did it on the Times Open blog. I wrote the fun section titled “API and Data Model Updates”.