Backpacking Gear List 2020

3-Day, 3-Season Backpacking Gear (Updated) Glorious Golden Week weather yet confined indoors apart from a morning run and biweekly foray to the local supermarket courtesy of COVID-19. It’s borderline cruel and unusual punishment for us hikers and...

Hiking First Aid Kit Revisited

Lightweight Tailor-made First Aid Satchel Whether out for a leisurely day hike or week long jaunt in the Japanese Alps carrying a first-aid kit is a must. For the lion’s share of my hiking life (in Japan) I have carried this bad boy which came in at...

Some Camping Spots I’d Rather be Right Now

18 Beautiful Places to Camp in Japan With everyone now under stay-at-home requests through May 31 it’s looking increasingly likely the spring hiking will pass without most of us hitting the trail – myself included. To console myself with this...

COVID-19: Hiking in Japan FAQs

Information and advice about hiking in Japan during the current novel coronavirus pandemic. UPDATED ON MAY 25, 2020  (Note: I will update this page regularly as conditions change.) TL;DR Emergency declaration lifted in the five remaining...

On the Trail: Japan Hiking Guidebooks

5 Guidebooks to Help Inspire Your Next Hike Hiking is one of the most popular pastimes in Japan and is accompanied by a near limitless array of Japanese-language guidebooks to savour the demand. Travel guides however catering to foreign hiking...

Tokyo Hiking: Mountain Grading Guide

Choose Your Next Hike with Confidence With so many hiking trails around Tokyo to choose from it can be tough to know where to begin especially if you’re a novice hiker or new to the prefecture. Over the years probably the single most sought out...

Reading “Yama to Kogen Chizu” Topographic Maps

The Low-Down on Japanese Hiking Maps Writing about topographic maps i.e. a map which uses elevation contours may not be the most riveting topic yet it’s a must have item for both route-finding and safely enjoying mountain climbing. Other useful...

Hiking Kanji Cheat Sheet

Navigating the Japanese Wilds with Ease Way back when I first started this blog one of the first topics I tackled was Japanese hiking maps with the emphasise on reading common kanji found out on the trail. This post remains one of the most popular...