Trip of a Lifetime: Michael Barican Goes Back to His Roots
At Arthrex, we recognize that our families, culture and values make us who we are, which is why we’re proud to offer employees a Trip of a Lifetime to the destination of their choice for every five years of employment. Imaging and Resection Designer Michael Barican recently returned from visiting family in Tokyo and learning more about his Japanese culture during his trip. He shared:
“For my 10-year Trip of a Lifetime, my girlfriend and I went to Japan for an 18-day trip that included visiting my grandparents, exploring Mt. Fuji and the surrounding city, hiking in the 'Japanese Alps,' and, of course, eating delicious food! Japan has the most three-star Michelin restaurants in the world and we couldn’t wait to visit.
This vacation wasn’t only to learn about my Japanese culture, but also to be with my grandparents, who I hadn’t seen in 12 years since they no longer fly. Grandma and Grandpa were ecstatic to see us, and within our first hour there, Grandma had a hot bowl of ramen ready for us to eat! While staying with them, we were able to help out at home and treat them to lunch and dinners out, which is rare for them.
After we adjusted to the local time, we went to Hakone, Japan. Hakone has natural beauty, including gorgeous views of Mt. Fuji and multiple onsens (Japanese hot springs) around town. We hiked around Lake Ashinoko, took a ropeway car up to an active volcano and hiked to the Hakone Shrine at the top of a mountain called Hakonejinja. After all that exploring, we enjoyed more beautiful views and another natural onsen at the Ashinoko Hotel.
Life in Tokyo is nonstop and the food is plentiful and top of the line! Even in little alleyways you can find the best Yaki-Tori restaurants that can only seat 4-10 people. We went to Shibuya, a ward of Tokyo which has the famous pedestrian crossing and tons of shopping. We also visited Shinjuku to see the government building and surrounding business/commercial entertainment areas, Odaiba, which has popular shopping and virtual anime entertainment on a manmade island, and the site of the famous Tsukiji fish market, which unfortunately closed, but the surrounding area still serves every specialty fish dish that you can possibly eat!
Shrines were everywhere and the preservation of them was immaculate. You can easily find them in the heart of Tokyo and surrounding areas, but we decided to take a bullet train, which traveled 180 miles per hour, to Nikko, Japan. At the peak of autumn, we were able to see the different kinds of trees change colors! The Japanese maple tree turns a fire red color in peak season. We explored around town and found some amazing water falls. We then visited the Taiyuinbyo and Rinnoji temples and the Nikkō Tōshō-gū shrine, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was built in the 1600s and is lavishly decorated.
Without Mr. Schmieding’s generosity, we wouldn’t have been able to take such an adventurous trip. We can’t thank him enough for giving us this opportunity to take the time off to see my grandparents and explore more of what the world has to offer!”