Hachikokuyama Park: One of Tokyo’s Finest

Rainy Season Delights at a Suburban Tokyo Park A mere 25 km (16 mi.) from Shinjuku Station finds one of Tokyo’s most underrated parks that being Hachikokuyama Park 八国山緑地. Together with Kitayama Park abutting to the south it is one of four discrete...

Mountains, Meditation and Mindfulness

Reduce Stress by Spending Time in Nature Focused or mindful breathing meditation is something I have been practising on and off for a long time now. I first came across the method in the mid-90s after reading a local newspaper article titled...

Sayama Hills Loop Hike

Saitama Prefectural Nature Park – Noyamakita-Rokudoyama Park . . A Green Oasis in Tokyo’s Outer Suburbs I’ll go out on a limb and say this is possibly the best 4-hour hike within 30 km of downtown Tokyo. The Sayama Hills measure 11 km...

My Backpacking Cook Kit

A Simplified Backpacking Cook Kit One of my resolutions this year was to lighten my base weight. It’s easier said than done. First up I tackled my first aid kit, followed by some upgrades to my sleep system and shelter with a Nemo insulated...

Mt. Kariyose 刈寄山

Mt. Imakuma 今熊山 – Mt. Kariyose 刈寄山 – Kongo Falls 金剛の滝 . . Terrific Beginner-Friendly Trail Close to Tokyo If you’re after a nature fix close to downtown Tokyo this hike to Mt. Kariyose in Akiruno City may fit the bill. The hike is well signposted...

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...