Who am I?
I’m a Tokyo based outdoor blogger and nature-lover with a passion for climbing mountains, taking photos, and sharing my adventures. Hiking has been a major part of my life since my childhood days in the Scouts and later through my involvement in outdoor sports clubs at high school and university back in Melbourne, Australia. My first taste of hiking in Japan came when I was living in Hyogo in the early noughties where I climbed Mt. Fuji and Mt. Rokko which towers above Kobe and Osaka Bay. Since returning to Japan and settling in Tokyo I have spent a large portion of my free time over the past eight years spreading my love of hiking through writing about my outdoor adventures on this blog.
What is Ridgeline Images?
The website where I post my hiking chronicles is of course here RIDGELINEIMAGES.com. The reason for getting Ridgeline Images started (and continuing it to this day) was the lack of information in English on hiking trails around Tokyo and to inspire more people to engage with the outdoors. I know from personal experience, that when people don’t have much information about the trail, they are less likely to go because of the unknown. Since writing my first blog post in January 2013 I have published over 90 hike reports from my ramblings around the Greater Tokyo Area including more than 1,400 km (870 miles) of detailed trail notes – spanning twelve prefectures.
My main goal when writing these hike reports is to help my readers answer two questions. Do I want to do this hike? And do I have all the reliable information I need to do this hike safely? The routes range from easy half day walks that are well-marked and travelled to long and strenuous multi-day treks. Making the Japanese outdoors accessible to people of all hiking abilities has and will remain a priority of the site.
I have also written numerous posts about exploration of outdoor ruins, sightseeing spots, how-tos, along with some gear reviews. Each month without fail I have written a blog post ALL completely free of maddening display ads. More than 1 million people have visited the site, and I know from your feedback and comments many of you have gotten some inspiration and revelled in some memorable adventures of your own.
What is my Goal?
Put simply, it’s to spend more time in the outdoors, documenting a whole heap more hikes and adventures to share with you. Hiking is one of the most popular pastimes in Japan and has attracted a robust following amongst foreign residents as well as international visitors seeking independent and self-guided walks. To help meet the needs of such hikers, I want to continue documenting every hike with detailed descriptions, lots of photos, directions to the trailhead by public transport and what to expect as far as duration, distance, elevation gain, terrain, and dangers along with downloadable GPX track and PDF map files. It is my goal to be able to provide you with more hikes (preferably 2 new hikes a month) plus one general post sharing my knowledge and titbits about hiking in Japan.
Putting all of this information together and onto the website takes many hours of hard work and maintaining the running costs add up such as website hosting, premium WordPress plugins, and behind-the-scenes services to keep the site fast and secure. I want the blog to be one of the best resources for hiking in Japan and a place where people come to in order to get the answer to common questions. If you think reading Ridgeline Images is worth a few coffees, please consider supporting me on Ko-fi. I appreciate it, and every donation I get energises me to keep the blog going.
One does not climb to attain enlightenment, rather one climbs because he is enlightened.
— Zen Master Futomaki