About This Blog

Currently recounting my adventure hiking though 17th century Japan on the 1000 year old trails of the Nakasendo, Kumano Kodo and Shikoku pilgrimages.  The trip began 27 December 2015 and ended 14 January 2016.

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Yokokawa to Karuizawa-on Foot

Following the original Nakasendo, we have reached the end of the rail line at Yokokawa. Here we continue on foot. Our goal is the modern resort town of Karuizawa, about five hours away.

Walking through 17th Century Japan

The ridge trail beginning at Sakamoto through the ancient forest is at least as old as 1604, and little changed since then.   With the dissolution of the Samurai class, it’s been a hundred and fifty years since anyone walked this route wearing a sword.   Continue reading “Yokokawa to Karuizawa-on Foot”

The Nakasendo 中山道

Much of what we understand today as Japanese excellence, trace its roots to the Samurai warrior class which dominated Japan for over 600 years. We will walk in the footsteps of fierce warriors from Sakamoto to Karuizawa, one of the more challenging passes along the Nakasendo.

Continue reading “The Nakasendo 中山道”

Tokyo: Kichijoji

I nod and smile at a uniformed policeman, he bows back an even deeper bow. I am humbled and pleased by this sign of respect. Respect seems to be a dominant characteristic of this Polite Japan, even in this most Europeanized of Japan’s cities. So far, the familiar Japan in the europeanized Tokyo is delightful. I drink in each treasure. Our own glimpse of unfamiliar Japan continues. We’ve planned a trip walking along the Nakasendo, the ancient route from Tokyo to Kyoto.

The first charm of Japan is intangible and volatile as a perfume   — Patrick Lafcadio Hearn, 1894

First Impressions of Tokyo

More than a hundred and twenty years ago, Patrick Lafcaido Hearn, whose musings about Japan seem fresh today, opined on the charms of Japan in his series of books “Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan”.   Although I spent time as a child in Kindergarten in Kobe, Japan, Japan is unfamiliar to me, and yes, quite charming.    Continue reading “Tokyo: Kichijoji”

Hiking Through 17th Century Japan

It’s a romantic notion, to be immersed in Japan:

It’s a romantic notion, to be immersed in Japan:

  • Thousand year old paths that wander through hills and small villages.
  • One of the most stable democracies in the world,
  • Crime is almost nonexistent,
  • Chefs want to die there…best food in the world,
  • Yamato Culture: 2500 Years

Continue reading “Hiking Through 17th Century Japan”