White-clad medical technicians snapped metal bolts through the mesh mask to immobilize my head. Straps constrained my body to the table that would slide me into the radiotherapy machine.
The donut-shaped radiotherapy device emitted clunking noises like a worn-out laundry … Continue reading
Far from the jam-packed streets and unceasing lights of Tokyo lies a region one could easily mistake for rural Alaska or Montana in winter. High mountain peaks stand over barely populated towns, ski resorts, small farms, valleys, lakes, rivers, and … Continue reading
One particular day, fate treated my wife and me to three adventures. After a spectacular snowshoe trek and hot bath, we saw a fantastic village festival. There were towering bonfires, salmon stew, a one-legged shoe-tossing competition, as well as near-naked … Continue reading
If you’re seeking an exotic locale for a snowshoe vacation, Nagano, Japan, offers shockingly beautiful frozen waterfalls, hot springs in the snow, snow monkeys in hot springs, traditional and modern accommodations, food from heaven, and unrivaled views of the … Continue reading
Discover a stunning world of remote mountains infused with thousands of years of Japanese spiritual beliefs when exploring barely-touristed Tottori Prefecture. The ancient shrines and temples, local myths, and hiking paths of Mt. Daisen and Mt. Mitoku revealed long … Continue reading
Tomotaka Koyama, a snowshoe guide for a Japanese nonprofit nature educational association, teaches visitors about the influence humanity exerts upon the amazing natural environment of Matsudai Town, Niigata Prefecture. Koyama discarded his secure job and life in metropolitan Tokyo to … Continue reading
When you read the Alps, what pops into your mind? France? Italy? Switzerland? Perhaps you see images of James Bond skiing down slopes while pursued by villains.
I think of steaming hot springs—both with and without monkeys, stunning panoramic views … Continue reading
The icy two-lane road toward Otaki is surrounded by woods with an occasional deer browsing on brush poking above the snow level. Countless street signs announced waterfalls, park lands, and many other natural attractions. We passed by mushroom farms, log … Continue reading
UPDATE: The following article is about a wonderful tour in natural location Unfortunately, it appears that now some visitors are skipping the tour and walking through private property to try and get to the cave. Absolutely do not do this. … Continue reading
In the midst of a snowstorm on a snow-covered forested mountain in Japan, my wife and I made and shared a bowl of thick green matcha. On the first day of the New Year, my wife, my dog, and I … Continue reading
The cold creative hands of winter continually freeze, thaw, powder, and mold familiar landscapes into new terrains. A magical aspect of winter hiking is that conditions vary so starkly from day-to-day, even hour to hour, that returning to the same … Continue reading
A millisecond after looking at National Geographic magazine photographs of the snow monsters of Zao, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, I was compelled to snowshoe amidst the real beasts in their icy flesh. My first attempt to travel there last year was … Continue reading
The sparkling-white Myoko Highlands of Japan, called Myokokogen (妙高高原), richly deserve the same worldwide acclaim that the snowshoeing meccas of Banff, Alberta; Yosemite, California; and Leysin, Switzerland have garnered. This year, Myoko will host the 16th All Japan Mountain Snowshoeing … Continue reading
In Japan, such firsts as the first dream, the first sunrise, and the first prayers at a shrine on New Year’s Day are very important. My Japanese wife and I eschew the traffic jams and crowded shrines by snowshoeing to … Continue reading