President Obama is in the midst of a week-long trip to four Asian nations, and ABC News is with him every step of the way. In the posts below, we hope to take you along for the ride - virtually - giving you behind-the-scenes snapshots of life inside the presidential bubble.
You'll see glimpses of the massive logistical operation that supports independent U.S. press coverage of the presidency in real-time overseas. Also look for some of the lighter and quirkier moments on the road that don't always make it into the papers or on TV.
Dinner With A View At Hotel Okura
The American entourage traveling with Obama, both official and press, have practically taken over the Hotel Okura. It's likely an unexpected (unwelcome?) surprise for other business travelers and guests - including those for dinner at the Terrace Restaurant. This normally tranquil Japanese garden, with its koi pond and flaming torches, has become a stand-up location for correspondents. Check it out:
Obama's Limo Gets Japanese Plates
The two Cadillac presidential limousines rumbled into the Imperial Palace in Tokyo this morning, carrying President Obama for the start of his state visit here. First stop: meeting Emperor Akihito and his wife. Obama is officially the guest of the Emperor, though he will conduct most of his meetings and business with Prime Minister Abe.
Check out the Japanese plates on Obama's presidential limo pulling into the Imperial Palace > pic.twitter.com/f4dSm84TNu
- devindwyer (@devindwyer) April 24, 2014
Ambassador Caroline Kennedy on Dreamy Sushi
The morning after a sushi dinner with President Obama and Prime Minister Abe at the best shop in town, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy tells ABC's Jonathan Karl that Jiro's nigiri are incomparable. Catch the full interview on GMA Thursday ET.
Tokyo Taxis Have Class
It's a race to the sushi counter… With two hours before Air Force One landed in Haneda, there was just enough time to squeeze in dinner before the presidential entourage snarls traffic and sends the city into a security lock-down. As we discovered, Japanese cab drivers are a little different than the ones back in the states:
- devindwyer (@devindwyer) April 23, 2014
Booming Protests Around Obama Hotel
From inside the Hotel Okura, the unsettling noise is unmistakable. Blaring statements over loudspeakers sound like a massive protest is underway nearby. Outside surrounding the hotel, police and security guards stand on alert with their batons unsheathed. But it turns out there are no protesters or massive crowds. Instead, the culprit were these vans owned by right-wing nationalist groups, blasting anti-Chinese sentiment.
Guns On Board - Plenty Of Them
For much of the 14 hour flight from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland to Tokyo, Japan, the cockpit door on the press plane was wide open - and welcoming in passengers for the spectacular view. The jet, which is owned and operated by one of the major American commercial carriers, is apparently not bound by the same regulations when in "charter" status. It also didn't hurt that nearly two dozen armed U.S. Secret Service agents were tagging along for the ride.
The Press Does Not Pack Light
When members of the White House press corps take off for a week-long foreign trip, they pack heavy. All five major TV networks bring camera crews and correspondents on the air charter that precedes the Air Force One. Less than half the seats on our Airbus A330 were filled; but the cargo hold was crammed full. Check out all the lighting equipment, camera gear, tripods, and communications cases. #LiveTV