Some readers may be interested in knowing a little bit about me, Jim so I am going to give some background here....probably more than you want but you can easily jump paragraphs, pages, and volumes so feel free to do so.
I was born in 1944 during WWII. Dad's ship had been sunk during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands and he was reassigned to the States for a while. During this period, he went back to his hometown in Edgewood, Iowa and married the girl that he had promised to marry when he saw her on a swing while in high school. Dad subsequently was sent back to the South Pacific and Mom, who was now pregnant with me, went to live with her sister who had gone to Chicago to find work. Mom gave birth to me there and then in 1946 following the end of the war, Dad brought Mom and me out to Phoenix Arizona where Mom's younger brother Jack was then living.
I grew up in the Phoenix area for most of my youth except for two years when Dad took us all back to Iowa in 1956 and '57. After graduating from Glendale high school in 1963 I joined the US Navy and became a specialist in testing and repairing guided missiles and radar. I decided to leave the Navy in 1971 in order to attend Sophia University in Tokyo. There I majored in both Social Studies and Far East Studies and went on to graduate school where I began to major in Japanese Anthropology but decided on changing my career goal part way through my studies.
While attending the university, I taught English at a language school in Ofuna where I met my wife and subsequently had two daughters who are now in their thirties and have long left home to go out on their own and have been rather good at it if I may brag a bit. During the late '70s and early '80s I got into motorcycles and sailboats. In 1986 I established my own company in Japan called DFI, Ltd. I provided numerous kinds of services to Japanese companies ranging from translations to consulting for both US and Japanese high-tech companies. As I was basically a one-man operation, I sold off my motorcycle and sailboats and gave up sailing on friend's sailboats as well so as to devote my time to my new enterprise.
In 1993, when the first Internet browsers were released, I began concentrating on creating websites and providing online strategies for Japanese companies, a business that I continued up to 2010 when I returned to Arizona to take care of my aging parents. They have subsequently passed away and I now return to Japan for 5-6 months ever year.
In about 2006, a good friend of mine that I had known since he was in high school called me up and told me that he had bought a sailboat and asked me to go sailing with him. So I returned to the sea and sailing and have been doing a little bit every year. In 2009, I was basically given a small 16-foot dinghy. I spent about 8 months fixing and having her fixed up. I gave her the name "Deai「出逢い」". Deai means to encounter or meet people and thanks to Deai, I met a lot of wonderful people and saw a lot of wonderful places once I began sailing her. I will introduce her to you and the adventures she introduced to me to other blogs later on.
When not in Japan, I reside in Surprise Arizona, a community located on the northwest side of Phoenix. Basically I spend my time either driving for Veyo or Lyft, working on websites--mainly japantouring,jp and .com, and keeping the house and yards up to par.
When in Japan, I provide customized experiences for guests from abroad. I do not operate as a guide nor do I provide guided tours. Instead I meet with the potential guests who are interested in visiting Japan. We then discuss the various opportunities that are available, the amount of time of their stay in Japan, and the level of expense that they have budgeted for their Japanese adventure. So, if it were you who expressed interest in visiting Japan, we would sit down perhaps at a Starbucks, and discuss what activities you are interested in, what experiences you would like to have in Japan, go over possibilities that may not have occurred to you, whether you want to backpack and hitchhike or go by car.....and the list goes on. Very important to me is the level of rapport that we achieve. Since you would be meeting my friends and acquaintances and possibly staying with them, it is very important that you and I establish that we are fully comfortable "working" together prior to going to Japan. This helps to avoid any disappointments when in Japan.
Depending on your level of comfort, it's quite possible that I may or may not travel with you on some occasions. Often the best experiences are those that occur when you are on your own. At other times, my or a guide being with you will save you time and money by expediting your travel time between places if you have a heavy schedule. It's possible that you may want to rent a car to get around more easily, but driving on the left side of the road with unknown traffic signs and little English guidance available....well this might be the time you would want me to be behind the wheel as we drive to Mt. Fuji or visit various hot springs. On some occasions you may be attended by a local guide that may provide tours for you either free-of-charge or for a fee. Many areas have local volunteers that offer free guide service just to be able to practice their English.
At any rate, you will find yourself with great memories and, more than likely, a deep desire to return to Japan for even more adventure.