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The QALO Team: Japan With Melody

Written By: Nicole Browning

The QALO Team: Japan With Melody

Traveling anywhere is always an adventure – and that’s why QALO Sr. Director of E-Commerce Melody Ichikawa loves it! Check out her story about a recent trip to her favorite adventure destination in the world- Japan!

My family and I would only travel to Turkey to visit family when I was younger, so I never got to see cultures completely different from my own. After studying abroad in London & Paris I caught the “travel bug.” Japan has become my favorite place to visit.

We were there most recently over New Year’s Eve. This time we took my husband’s family with us, too.

We started in Okinawa, a small island off the coast of Japan, and a first for all of us! We went to Cape Hedo and hiked around the surrounding area, and the views were beautiful. The more we went up the mountain, the more we saw spirit statues everywhere – from a guardian cat to a suspicious looking iguana, there were carvings hidden within the trees to protect the island.

The main event of this trip was to experience New Year’s Eve in Tokyo. We were staying next to Shibuya Crossing, so we went to the square for the midnight countdown. Needless to say, it was PACKED. So we just partied in a nearby street, and still felt like we were a part of it.

Later we found this underground bar that named all of their drinks after American movies. The menu only featured the movie title, the base liquor, what type of glass it was served in, and the price. That’s it. So, we decided to pick the most random ones we could to see what we’d get.

The best one was the Titanic – it was just a straight shot of vodka, a hint of Blue Curacao and a GIANT ice cube. Didn’t taste great, but we TOTALLY got the reference.

My future brother-in-law kept ordering the WORST drinks. Somehow - he kept ordering drinks with licorice liquor (which tasted terrible) no matter what he chose. The Dark Knight? Licorice liquor with a peppermint rim. The Great Escape? Just licorice liquor on ice. One of them even tasted like Listerine. Needless to say, it was our entertainment for the night.  

I have always loved learning about new cultures and discovering the local way of living - there’s just something so special about experiencing a new place for the first time and seeing how other people live their lives around the world!


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