A Snowy Climb to the Top of Takaosan

Enjoying the First Snow for Winter 2020 While the snow which fell last Saturday may not have been Tokyo’s first official first snow or hatsuyuki for 2020 (there were a few snowflakes the week earlier) it was this year’s first sizeable dumping...

Gosha Mountain Shrine: Hinohara Village

A Unique Shrine Surrounded by Nature Hatsumode or the first shrine visit of the year is a big deal in Japan with literally millions rocking up to their local shrine to pray for good fortune in the year ahead. In recent years I haven’t bothered much...

Falconry at the Hamarikyu Gardens

Day of the Falcon Japanese falconry or takagari was a ‘sport’ widely practiced by the noble and samurai class from the fourth century to underscore their status and authority. It flourished until the Edo period but with modernisation during the...

Montbell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket Review

The World’s Lightest Down Jacket When it comes to lightweight down jackets, they don’t come much lighter than the Montbell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket weighing in at a miserly 130 grams (medium size). In fact, according to this Reddit user’s data sheet...

Balcony View: Capturing Mt. Fuji from Tokyo

My Favourite Spot to Photograph Mt.Fuji Over the past seven years I have regularly snapped Fujisan from my balcony in Kodaira City in west Tokyo. As the crow flies it’s 79 km (49 mi) to the centre of Fuji’s main crater but often seems deceptively...

Mt. Makihata 巻機山

Makihatayama Refuge Hut 巻機山避難小屋 – Mt. Makihata 巻機山 . . Vast Grasslands and Limpid Ponds Mt. Makihata is a broad open peak dotted with grasslands, flower meadows and ponds on the border of Gunma and Niigata. It has been selected as one of...

Japanese Outdoor Brands for Hikers

Japanese Outdoor Gear Manufacturers As a follow up to my recent blog post about Japanese outdoor brands I have decided to make the list a little more expansive thanks to some reader suggestions. The aim is to include outdoor manufacturers which...

Mt. Nyoho 女峰山

Futarayama Shrine 二荒山神社 – Mt. Nyoho 女峰山 – Kirifuri-kougen 霧降高原 . . Where the Lesser is Greater While only a metre in height separates the sacred peaks of Mt. Nantai and Mt. Nyoho they have a vastly different feel. For starters Mt. Nantai...

Mt. Kuratake 倉岳山

Mt. Takahata 高畑山 – Mt. Kuratake 倉岳山 . . Tranquil Streams and Expansive Views Mt. Kuratake is the highest peak of the Akiyama mountain range which runs south of the Katsura River on the border between Otsuki and Uenohara cities. It is also one of the...