Mount Hotaka Hiking

Yarigadake

Having fully recovered from my epic hike earlier in the year, over a recent public holiday I decided it was time to hit the mountains again, this time heading to the Hotaka Mountains which consists of five peaks; Okuhotaka, Karasawa, Kitahotaka, Maehotaka and Nishihotaka reaching a height of 3,190 m (10,466 ft) in Nagano prefecture. Read more

Hot Metal Typesetting

Hakko type casting machine

A few weeks ago I attended a letterpress workshop at Tsukiji Katsuji (築地活字) print shop in Yokohama. Founded in 1919, the shop specialises in letterpress printing, a mechanical process which went largely out-of-date in the 1980s due to the rise of computers, but has recently experienced a resurgence as an artisan handcraft. Read more

How I Travel

Hand Drawn Henro

Recently I was asked how I manage to capture my adventures without getting overwhelmed and missing out on the present moment. Having lived abroad for over eight years in a state of long-term/slow travel I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learnt which help make this possible. Read more

Outdoor Gear Review

Gear Knolling

Unlike outdoor adventures I’ve undertaken before, the Shikoku Pilgrimage is unique in that you’re rarely far from civilisation and that it takes upwards of 7 weeks to complete. This means you don’t need to worry about food or cooking equipment but any gear you carry needs to be extremely durable and light. Read more

Tokushima’s Cultural Landscapes

Kashihara no Tanada (樫原の棚田)

For my last full day in Shikoku, Masako was kind enough to drive me around Tokushima, starting at Kamodani (加茂谷) in Anan City (阿南市) between Kakurin-ji (鶴林寺 – 20) and Tairyūji (太竜寺 – 21). It was a damp morning and fog hung over the mountains, creating a surreal aura along the valley floor. Read more

Kotohira-gū Shrine

Kotohira-gū Shrine

During my final weekend in Shikoku, one of the places I visited was Kotohira-gū (金刀比羅宮), a huge Shinto shrine that sits halfway up Mount Zōzu and is said to have been founded during the 1st century. Read more

Pilgrimage Epilogue

Bamboo Henro Man

Arriving at my apartment in Tokyo on Tuesday at noon, part of me didn’t want to unpack the bag that had been strapped to my back for most of the past two months. After all the endings of the last few days at Ōkubo-ji, Ryōzen-ji and Kōya-san, this was the moment when I knew the adventure was over and it was time to face a new beginning. Read more