In continuing to regale you all with stories from the road, I'd like to highlight my stop in Tokyo.
Once our MBA Tour group landed in Tokyo, we actually had a free day to explore. The majority of my colleagues chose to partake in the scheduled group trip but I decided to do something that I had always wanted to do and opted for visiting Tokyo Disney. Yes, I know, I'm a California native and Disneyland is only 45 minutes from home (as one of my Japanese alums noted), but Tokyo Disney was still a must-see and must-experience destination for me.
Here are just a few things that I loved about my trip to Tokyo Disney:
1. It's clear that the Disney spirit knows no borders. In all honesty, I think that our Japanese friends actually embrace and demonstrate the Disney spirit much more enthusiastically than the majority of us Californians. I was amazed to see the number of Disney characters being represented by visiting guests. For example, there were couples who were dressed like their favorite Disney couple - guys wore clothing representing the male Disney character, e.g. Mickey, while the girls wore clothing representing the female Disney character, e.g. Minnie. Of course, this wasn't just limited to couples, I saw groups of friends as well as families all wearing the same character outfit or same t-shirt or jacket to show their love for Disney! I also enjoyed seeing guests throughout the park with their Disney character hats.
2. They had Mickey shaped hamburgers! I think that's all the explanation this point needs.
3. They offered different flavored popcorn throughout the park! My favorite was the strawberry! I'm hoping to recreate it here at home - wish me luck.
4. They offer tons of reusable snack containers! My favorites were all of the options that they had for popcorn buckets. I purchased the little green alien from Toy Story since he was the option with the strawberry popcorn, but I have to admit that I ended up buying a Mickey one (without popcorn) before leaving the park. Not only do they sell the buckets but they also have souvenir snack containers! I also brought home the little green alien snack container from my delicious yogurt-like dessert dumplings.
So yes, while I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Tokyo Disney, my visit to Tokyo also involved work.
The day after Tokyo Disney it was time to get back to MBA recruiting. One of the reasons that I love going to Tokyo is the fact that we have such a stellar group of alums that come out to help and this visit was no exception. I was very lucky to have six alums and one current student who willingly volunteered their time to share their passion for UCLA Anderson and help guide the next generation of UCLA Anderson students. Together we were able to take the time to answer each prospective applicants questions and provide some insight into what UCLA Anderson can offer in terms of academics, culture, and life long network. We're looking forward to another year of strong applicants from Japan who will one day also give back to our community.
Here I am with a few alums and the always supportive Mr. Tadashi Yokoyama.
Until next time...