Return to Mount Kumotori

Having immensely enjoyed the same trail in 2017, in early February this year, I embarked on the overnight hike from Mitsumine Shrine (三峯神社), up to Mt. Kumotori (雲取山), and down to Kamosawa (鴨沢) for the second year running. This time I did it alone and, with snow up to my knees at some points, it was a bit of an invigorating ordeal. Read more

Tokyo Snowzilla 2018

The first heavy snow I experience in Tokyo was back in February 2014 when a number of records were broken. The skies remained clear of the white stuff until January 22 of this year when the heavens opened and dropped another mother lode on the capital during a weekday. Read more

Zürich Botanical Gardens

We reached Zurich from Salzburg by way of a fantastic 5-hour train trip through the Austrian Alps, clipping the corner of Lichtenstein before gliding along the shore of Lake Zürich to the main station. Read more

New Year’s Eve in Salzburg

Upon arrival in Salzburg from Munich, it was overcast and wet so we decided to take it easy at our Airbnb apartment and check out the local supermarket which was actually quite fun given the ample supply of meat and cheese not readily available in Japan. Read more

Neuschwanstein Castle

I spent Christmas 2017 with family in the UK but after the festivities and before the New Year managed to squeeze in a short trip to Munich, Salzburg and Zurich.

It was the first time for me to visit all three places and, after spending the last decade predominantly in Asia, I’d almost forgotten just how exceptional the old European cities are. Read more

Autumn Around Tokyo

Autumn, and indeed the entire year, seems to have passed in a heartbeat but before we enter 2018, I wanted to share some photos of the marvellous fall foliage that we are blessed with in Japan each year. The red leaves (koyo) of late autumn are a breathtaking sight, especially against a backdrop of a temple or a well-groomed garden. Read more