A RE/MAX Japan! Executive’s 1st trip to Hawaii.
Today was one that I had been looking forward to for quite some time as I was meeting up with longtime friend and business partner, Takeshi Matsukata, in Oahu where he resides, and picking up Yoshi Yamazaki, RE/MAX Japan’s GM of the Sales Division.
Takeshi and I were both excited to welcome Yoshi to Honolulu!
Yoshi flew in from Tokyo this morning and we rendezvoused at Honolulu International Airport. He was visibly excited and remarked that it was a dream come true for him to visit here finally. That was a great pleasure for us to hear, as it is always a pleasant experience showing someone the islands, especially for their first time! This trip is a continuation of a relationship that started in July, was solidified in September, and is now looking forward towards growing further in the future. It will be a marvel to see our 2 companies work together to provide better client service and build this global brand.
Howard Hughes Ward Village/Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki
First, it was off to the Howard Hughes Corporations Ward Village project. Here we went on an extensive tour of their main lobby, where they have incredible models set up of all the different things there going to be doing for the project. Howard Hughes bought this project from General Growth Properties, and it was immensely exciting to see first hand the birth of an entire new community in the Kaka’ako area.
There are 2 towers going up currently, so we previewed both model layouts. Each had very exciting vistas, with views ranging from Ala Moana Park to Diamond Head. Again, we all mentioned how wonderful it was to experience what they’re doing to create this incredible new neighborhood.
From there, I thought it would be great to bring Yoshi to the Hawaii Prince Hotel for their buffet, something I have treasured for decades now! After indulging on many tasty items during our lunch break, it was off to see the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach.
We hopped in our ride and cruised down Kalakaua Ave. towards Kahala, and I couldn’t help but think again, that it’s really quite the thrill to be able to show someone Hawaii for the first time because it’s such a magical place. Upon arriving at the project, one of the first pieces of information the agents representing the Ritz project shared with us was just how much business is being done with the Asian, and primarily Japanese, markets. This perked up all our ears—it was the second time today we heard that, as our question at Howard Hughes was met with a similar response.
It’s been a really tremendous time so far, made even more special when Yoshi brought out his gifts he carried along for us, including a few pieces of RE/MAX Japan’s spiffy new branded gear, like some fancy chopsticks! His overall presentation of presents was very nice, down to the detailed packaging—needless to say, it was quite cool to get!
A Vintage Honolulu Evening
To end our day, it was off to a favorite landmark of mine, the classic Moana Surfrider Hotel, where I had dinner reservations for us to eat out on the lanai of the Beachhouse restaurant. We all enjoyed a spectacular spread of cold seafood as appetizers before some equally impressive main dishes. After our fantastic meal, Takeshi and I wanted to show Yoshi around the Waikiki nightlife for a little, but we quickly realized our long day had left us with little energy, especially for our companion who’d flown all the way in from Tokyo! Besides, we wanted to be fully rested for our day on Maui tomorrow!