I was born and raised in Port Alberni, BC and am a proud fourth generation (yonsei) Japanese-Canadian. After graduating from Alberni District Secondary School, I spent a year in Japan on a Rotary Club scholarship where I attended high school and lived with home-stay families. That year in Japan had a profound effect on my future endeavours. After graduating from UBC (B.A. - Asian Studies), I moved to Tokyo where I initially worked in lumber sales for MacMillan Bloedel and then as an investment banker specializing in Japanese equity derivatives.
As much as I loved my nine years living in Tokyo, I missed the west coast immensely and after meeting my (now) wife Lea while on a visit to Vancouver, I made the decision to move home. While living in Tokyo, I had always dreamed of opening an izakaya-style Japanese restaurant in Vancouver. Hospitality and service had always been a constant in my life (bagging groceries at Woodward's Food Floor in high school, being a bellman at Canadian Pacific's (now Fairmont) Waterfront Centre Hotel during my UBC years and taking care of my clients in the lumber and financial industry in Tokyo) and I knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Thus, my restaurant, Hapa Izakaya was born on Robson Street in 2003. At one point, Lea and I expanded to locations in Kitsilano, Yaletown and Coal Harbour and staff opened franchises in Toronto in Calgary. Today, Hapa Yaletown continues to thrive and while Lea and I continue on as proud owners, I've stepped back from the operations side of the business to give my full focus to serving my real estate clients.
I found the move from restaurateur to realtor a natural and organic fit. I loved the fact that as a restaurateur, your guests often become your friends and you become part of the fabric of your guest's lives; whether it be observing a first date, an engagement, hosting a wedding reception or being introduced to the newest member of a growing family. As a realtor, I've moved on to the next step in an individual or family's journey; helping them sell their home as their needs change and finding the next stop in where their new memories will be made.
Although I'm passionate about giving great service to my clients, I'm most proud and passionate about my family. Beer league hockey follows closely behind (I'm an immobile, "stay at home" defenceman). I volunteer in and support organizations in the Japanese-Canadian community such as the National Nikkei Museum And Cultural Centre (former board member), the JCCA (Japanese-Canadian Citizens Association) and the Powell Street Festival. I've also coached both of my daughters' softball teams over the years in the Vancouver Minor Softball Association. Since returning to Vancouver, I've made Kitsilano my home. My daughters are in the French Immersion programs at Trafalgar Elementary and Kitsilano Secondary.
Whether you're ready to purchase a home, sell your current home or are simply looking for advice, please don't hesitate to contact me. I look forward to serving you and your family.