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 activities 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 2000s where I climbed Mt. Fuji and Rokkōsan 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 ten 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 140 hike reports from my ramblings around the Greater Tokyo Area including more than 2,000 km 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 1.5 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 would like to help me create new hiking guides and resources, please consider supporting me on Patreon. I appreciate it, and every new supporter that jumps on board energises me to keep the blog going.

Thank you.

David Lowe

  One does not climb to attain enlightenment, rather one climbs because he is enlightened.

Zen Master Futomaki



Ridgeline Images(リッジラインイメージズ)とは?

私のハイキングの記録を残しているウェブサイトは、もちろんここ「RIDGELINEIMAGES.com」です。10年以上に渡りRidgeline Imagesを今日まで続けている理由は、東京周辺のハイキングコースに関する英語での情報が不足していること、より多くの人にアウトドアに興味を持ってもらいたいという思いからです。私の過去の日本でのハイキング経験から、登山道に関する情報が少ないと、そこを訪れる可能性は低くなると身をもって知りました。2013年1月から現在まで、首都圏を中心とした12の都道府県、2,000キロ以上に渡る詳細なトレイルノートを含むハイキングレポートを140回以上公開してきました。





情報をすべてまとめてウェブサイトに載せるには何時間にもおよぶ作業が必要で、さらにはウェブサイトのホスティング、プレミアムWordPressプラグイン、サイトを高速かつ安全に維持するための表には見えないサービスなどのランニングコストもかかってきます。私はこのブログが日本のハイキングにおける最高のリソースの一つとして、また、ハイキングしたいと考えている人の疑問を解消するための場所であってほしいと願っています。もしあなたがRidgeline Imagesを読むことにコーヒー数杯分の価値があると思うならば、ぜひ Ko-fiでこのブログへの支援を検討してくださると幸いです。みなさんからの寄付とそのお気持ちは私がブログを続けていくための活力になっています。


デイビッド ロウ


リッジラインイメージズに関するお問い合わせはロウ・デイビッドまでお願いします(davidlowe25[@]hotmail[.]com – 日本語可)。FacebookInstagramTwitterでも連絡が付きます。

  • Came upon this lovely Website while researching using a GPS device for an October hiking trip to Japan. Thank you for this great service, and yes, I will gladly buy you a coffee.

  • This site has been a great resource for our family since moving to Tokyo last year, planning day hikes with our toddler. Thanks for running it and if you ever decide to collect this wisdom into a book, I’d sign up for a copy. I really wish someone would write a great hiking guide for Japan or Tokyo area!

  • Hi David, delighted to have found your site. I’m travelling to Japan in a few days and will have about 6 days free to hit the hills. I’ll definitely be checking out the site for inspiration and tips. Andrew

  • Beautiful
    Any Recommendations for 2 weeks camping in September Want easy access to Tokyo.
    Is Hanaka the best bet. Probably have a JR pass or any suggestions .
    What about Sainokuni or Shiraiwakeiyuen.
    Those look beautiful too.



    What about

    • I’m not sure where “Hanaka” is to be honest. The other two campgrounds would be good choices especially Shiraiwakeiyuen a beautiful spot along the river. Please check my blog post “20 Places to Pitch a Tent Around Tokyo” for some other ideas.

  • Hi David,

    I’m very glad I came across your site. I will save it in my favorites as soon as I’m finished writing this. My family and I are Americans living in Japan. My daughter will graduate this year and then head to a college in the States. As an “end of an era” expedition, we plan to walk a lot and hike a mountain together each month until her graduation in July. I’m excited to survey the information you have on your site. After my daughter leaves Japan, I still plan to hike more of Japan’s mountains, so I plan to visit your site for the foreseeable future. I’ve hiked a few here already and love the outdoors. I hope to see you out on the trail sometime. Thank you for serving the international community in Japan.

    • Hi Jim, thanks for following the blog and appreciate you taking the time to comment. I wish you and your daughter all the best in your hiking endeavours and let’s hope it won’t be too much longer before all of us can venture back to our beloved mountains.

  • Thanks, David. I’ve found your blog so useful and recommend it all the time.

    Please put me on your blogroll. I like to stay in touch with kindred spirits.

  • Dear David, thanks a lot for giving us the opportunity to find hikes in Japan in English- your maps are so detailed, that our first tour on Mt. Takao was a plain succes. Even though my wife an me are quite experienced hikers, our tour yesterday took us a bit longer than you indicated – namly about 5 instead of 4 hours, partly due to the stairs all along the way, which we are not used to.
    As you really do a great job for the expats here ( there not many garmin/outdoor active trails for available for Japan ) I also decided to sponsor you via Patreon.

    I however would have on question: when I tried to download the GPX Track to send it to my Garmin Fenix 6, the connect app indicated upload error- have you got an idea why? So I used the Ride with GPS app, which worked very well. Best regards, Stephan Heisler

    • Hi Stephan. Firstly, much thanks for your support on Patreon and good to hear you and your wife enjoyed the Takaosan hike. As for the suggested hike times they roughly match up with Yama-to-kogen map along with a little leeway for some occasional rest stops.

      As for why you had an upload error with your Garmin Fenix 6, I’m not sure. The Ride With GPS compatible devices page mentions the Garmin Fenix, Fenix 2, and Fenix 3 are compatible but perhaps Fenix 6 isn’t which would seem a bit strange. Instead of clicking on “Send to Device” where you sync the route to your phone or GPX the other option is to upload the GPX Track using the Garmin Connect website. In order to do this, click on the “GPX Track” (red) button on the blog to first download the file. The advantage of this method is that it includes the Points Of Interest. Unless you’re a RWGPS premium member clicking on “Send to Device” strips out the POI data. I always download the POI-included GPX file myself, and upload that to the blog for people to download.

  • Living in Tokyo 5 years and only just found this whilst researching Nanga sleeping bags. Wonderful resource, thank you for keeping this going it’s a treasure trove of information. I’m hiking and bike packing when time / family allows.

  • Your surrounded by so much different cultures and doing what you love with hiking and sightseeing. I have only hiked in the states so far. Thank you for sharing all your amazing experiences and beautiful sceneries from abroad.