Potholing in the Dragon Cave at Jigen-ji

Misty mountains

I always knew I would return to Shikoku although I hadn’t anticipated it would be quite so soon. A little over four months since I completed the pilgrimage, I find myself back on the island but this time without any strenuous obligations. I’m here to attend a few events and acclimatise before another expedition next week. Read more

24 hours in Hong Kong

Wooloomooloo Hong Kong

I have a soft spot for Hong Kong, the city that I once called home, and I try to visit at least once a year. There’s something about the high-rise, high-speed, highly-textured and humid melting pot that is both dystopian and strangely grounded. Read more

Matcha Heaven

Nanaya matcha

Enjoying matcha (抹茶) tea and other confectionery made from it is one of the great pleasures of living in Japan where access to the freshest supplies is plentiful. A few weeks ago a friend invited me on an early morning excursion to sample some of the richest matcha ice cream in the world, an opportunity I could not pass up! Read more

Kagurazaka Awa Odori Festival

Kagurazaka Festival

Back when I used to live in Waseda, one of my favourite places to hang out was the quaint neighbourhood of Kagurazaka (神楽坂) which provides a snapshot of old Tokyo with its many narrow alleyways and traditional restaurants. Over the summer I paid a return visit one evening to enjoy the annual Awa Odori (阿波踊り) festival which is held along the main Waseda Dori shopping street. Read more

Shizuoka Road Trip

Toraya workshop

After a particularly sticky summer in Tokyo, autumn has arrived and the temperatures are finally beginning to drop. Looking back, it’s been a pretty good season for adventures and while my memory is still fresh I wanted to share a few interesting spots we visited on a recent road trip to Shizuoka Prefecture (静岡県), a few hours west of Tokyo. Read more

Mount Hotaka Hiking


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