Richard’s Journey to Japan

So, where to begin…… I went to Japan in the United States Air Force when I was just 18 years old in 1983.

I had been working in restaurants on my off time and when I got out of the Air Force, I worked my way up into Restaurant and Hotel executive management, eventually opening 6 restaurants, a club and I got to be part of two Hotel Pre-opening Teams. Even got to meet Prince Edward at a Charity Event set up by my friend, Rocky Aoki.

I was featured in the May 1995 issue of Hotel & Restaurant magazine, as I was the key person in bring a better way of getting hotel schools and actual employers to work together to improve what is taught so the transition from the learning environment to the actual working environment would become smoother. Yes, I was not a bad looking guy back then. LOL

After taking care of multiple restaurants, producing banquets and weddings on most weekends and training staff for what seemed like forever……. I got into Guiding about 20 years ago and I was happy to do it as I was a little burnt out on food and beverage at the time. I have hiked the bottom of the Grand Canyon to jungles, to the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, getting to watch over 2200 sunsets from there.


I love Japan and everything that goes along with this country, from the food, the culture, the history and the people (well, most of them anyway – lol).


After 37 years of living in-depth Japanese Culture, being married a few times to Japanese women, and taking the hard road to learning things about Japan, well, I think I can really give a good perspective on how Japan runs, it’s customs, the daily life of it’s people and how it has changed over the last 30 years.

With 14 years of Aikido under my belt (pun intended), and learning the disciplines that go along with that, 37 year practitioner of Lotus Sutra Buddhism, a crazy fanatic about Japanese History; well, I am sure it is safe to say, you will get an amazing interpretation of Japan Life from me from both sides of the coin. As a Japanese sees it and as a ‘foreign’ person would see it.

Let me be your Guide. Let me custom make you a tour that will take you where locals go or just around to the amazing places in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Ise and Wakayama. This is called the Kansai Region of Japan and I specialize in this area.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to taking care of you. Please check out my TripAdvisor reviews also. You can get there by clicking again on the homepage.


Kind regards,


Richard ‘Hawk’ Hawkins Holomua