Tomodachi Tour III

October 24 - November 6, 2017

This is the third tour to Japan by some members of the Combined Class of '69.

Thirty-nine alum of RHS'69, Kalani'69 and McKinley'69 are taking in Northern Japan this time.

RHS'69 Reunion Committee chair Vincent Yim is your tour reporter...

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November 5 -  Day 12


It's the last full day in Japan and a free day to get the last minute shopping and places to visit before trying to get everything in one suitcase. Several are going to Auga City and Driver Malls before heading back to the hotel for the farewell buffet.

These guys never miss a meal.

Here's breakfast.

The tour is breaking into small groups headed to different places. This one is going to Disneyland Tokyo. Not to go on the rides - but shop.

This group is off to go cart racing through the streets of Tokyo for a couple of hours.

We don't have video so this will have to do. This is what they will be doing.

Another group went with Botbby (the tour director) on the train to Shinjuku to shop and sightsee. They had lunch in Shinjuku where everyone ate the Hamburger Steak. They voted it was the best Hamburger steak ever.

Catching up with the group going to Disneyland. So many great pictures - so little space. Some shopping and some lunch.

After shopping the gang was so tired they caught a cab back to the hotel. Tonight is the sayonara dinner and they have to be ready.

This was the last full tour day in Japan. Tomorrow; goal is pack 80 pounds of stuff into a 40 pound luggage bag and make the 9:00 pm plane back to Hawaii.

The night ends with a farewell buffet - the last time all 39 will be together for awhile and there is a very special guest: Jesse Kuhaulua.

Some explaining for those outside Japan and Hawaii...

Jesse Kuhaulua is a local boy born in Maui. He became one of the great sumo wrestlers in Japan, the first foreign born wrestler to win the top division championship. His Japanese name is Takamiyama and no matter how old you are here, you know that name.

One of the owners of the cart business went to Kalani high school.  How's that for a small world. After the Mari drive threy traveled via subway to the Ginza strip for some sightseeing.

Professional models are posed in the middle of the street for their shoot. Behind one is the line for the iPhone X.

His career spanned twenty years from 1964 to 1984, and he set a number of longevity records, including most tournaments ranked in the top makuuchi division, and most consecutive top division appearances. He is also the first foreign born wrestler ever to own a training stable.

He is, in every sense of the word, a Hawaii hero and beloved by many. To have him at the banquet is an honor many will remember.

The last full day in Japan comes to a close. Tomorrow the scamble to pack and go home.

Not for the claustrophobic. Japan's trains and subways are well known for becoming extremely crowded during rush hour. It's so bad, some stations have people whose job is to push people through the door to pack them in. One goup found itself right in the middle of this.