Archive for the ‘Japan’ Category


Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” to Make Inaugural Flight in October

Boeing’s newest and highly-anticipated aircraft, the 787 “Dreamliner” finally took off for Tokyo last week. It is scheduled to make its first commercial flight on October 26, with Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA).

The Dreamliner provides unprecedented fuel efficiency and travel comforts, and many industry experts expect the aircraft to revolutionize commercial flight.

Photo credit: Boeing

Photo credit: Boeing

The Dreamliner is faster, lighter and more eco-friendly, thanks to new fuel-efficient technology and an external structure of composite materials instead of aluminum.

Travelers will experience more natural light from wider windows, a wider variety of in-flight entertainment, and higher humidity to alleviate dry eyes and headaches. The plane also sports larger drop-down luggage bins, and buttons to adjust light coming into the cabin, in place of window shades.

Experts consider the new 787 to be the prototype of air travel in the future, and that future may be here sooner than you expect. According to Boeing, there are 821 planes on order so far, which means you might be booking your own flight on a 787 in the not-too-distant future.

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Move Over Paris, Tokyo is the New Gourmet Capital of the World

For me, eating is one of the most important parts of traveling—so much that I’d rather stay in an inexpensive hotel, forgo the souvenirs and eat ramen noodles weeks before my vacation just to save the extra cash for gastronomic heaven. And, adherents to the gospel according to Michelin will certainly agree

The famed Michelin Guide, which evaluates the best restaurants and hotels throughout the world, has awarded Tokyo more three-star restaurant ratings in its 2009 Tokyo edition than (gasp!) Paris. Eleven restaurants in Tokyo have been awarded three stars, while Paris followed in a close second with 10 stars. Tokyo also beat out Paris in the total number of stars awarded—Tokyo received 261 and Paris received 197.


Delicious cuisine is plentiful in Tokyo. Photo: Mahiro1322

The Michelin Guide rates restaurants regardless of cuisine style and according to five criteria:

  1. Quality
  2. Mastery of flavor and cooking
  3. The personality of the fare
  4. Value for the money
  5. Consistency between visits

Stars are awarded based on the food alone (not ambiance, service or any other factors):

  • One star indicates “a very god restaurant in its category.”
  • Two stars indicate “excellent cooking and worth a detour.”
  • Three stars indicate “exceptional cuisine and worth the journey.”

According to the Associated Press, the “contest” wasn’t exactly fair because Tokyo is home to 160,000 restaurants, while Paris has 60,000. Don’t worry Paris, there’s always next year.

Learn more about Tokyo culinary vacations.

Learn more about Paris culinary vacations.

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