CHAPTER 31: Rausu Rainbow

CHAPTER 31: Rausu Rainbow

(September 18-19, 2018) This photo supplement tracks the events in CLIMB: Leaving Safe and Finding Strength on 100 Summits in Japan. The captions offer “extra features” that didn’t make it into the book. After leaving Mount Shari, my friend and guide Ido Gabay and I drove to Utoro, on the coast of Hokkaido’s Shiretoko Peninsula, to see the salmon run and climb the next hyakumeizan on our list: 1,660-meter Mt. Rausu. We spent the rest day before the climb watching the salmon run in Utoro, and hiking at Shiretoko Goko (Shiretoko Five Lakes). It was sunny that morning, but a storm had

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Mountain Outtakes: Sharidake

Mountain Outtakes: Sharidake

I shot this image in 2018, on the descent from Sharidake (1,547m), a stratovolcano in Hokkaido’s Daisetsuzan National Park. It’s interesting to look back on it now, because at the time the section of trail in this photo (which is quite a bit steeper than it appears, but clearly not a difficult descent) felt really scary. At that point, I’d climbed fewer than 30 mountains, all of them in the five months leading up to this ascent. I still didn’t really know what I was doing–personally or on the trail. The key is, I did it anyway, and as a

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CHAPTER 30: Water Over Rock

CHAPTER 30: Water Over Rock

Sharidake (Mt. Shari) is a 1,547-meter stratovolcano in northeastern Hokkaido, near the Shiretoko Peninsula. Due to its remote location, my friend and guide Ido Gabay (of Hokkaido Nature Tours) arranged for us to spend the night before the hike in a lovely mountain hut near the trailhead, so we could get an early start…

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Sunset on the Seto Sea

Sunset on the Seto Sea

One of my favorite images from the last six months: sunset on Japan’s Seto Sea, as seen from the deck of the Sunflower Ferry, heading north. The ferry had just departed from Kyushu (Japan’s southernmost major island) on an overnight trip up the Seto Sea to Osaka. I love boats, and the sea, almost as much as I love trains and mountains; I’ll share more about this journey, and the others I’ve made this year, very soon!

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Tokyo From 450 Meters Up: Sunset at the Skytree

Tokyo From 450 Meters Up: Sunset at the Skytree

I’ve lived in Japan for five years–three months of which, I spent in a rented apartment one block from the famous Tokyo Skytree–a 634-meter tower that was the tallest man-made structure in the world when it first opened in 2012. As of 2023, the Skytree is “only” the third tallest (behind the 828m Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the 678.9m Merdeka 118 in Kuala Lumpur) but it’s still an impressive sight.

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What Does it Mean to Live Your Best Life?

What Does it Mean to Live Your Best Life?

I spent much of my life wishing I was somewhere, or someone, else. I felt trapped and suffocated, and unable to break free. Breaking free from that cage took courage–but it also took the willingness to accept that I’d built myself a life that felt like a cage, and the awareness to look around and figure out what tools I had that might set me free.

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