Let The Quest For 100 Summits Begin!

Let The Quest For 100 Summits Begin!

My husband, our cat, and I arrived in Japan on Wednesday afternoon so I could begin the 100 Summits project. As always, Japan was beautiful from the air: The patchwork quilt of green fields interspersed with towns and villages, looks similar to other agricultural areas from thousands of feet in the air. But the plane descended, the curved tile roofs, bamboo groves, and sparkling, water-filled rice paddies of Saitama revealed their distinctive details. We passed through customs and animal import inspection quickly, and hopped on the N’EX (Narita Express) for the 90-minute ride to central Tokyo. (Haneda airport is closer to the city

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We Interrupt This Program…

… for an update on the 100 Summits project and my cancer treatment. I completed my last chemotherapy infusion two weeks ago today. My side effects are mostly gone, with the notable exception of my nearly-bald head, which will likely remain almost completely hairless for at least another week before I start getting “baby fuzz.” If everything goes as expected, I’ll have a little “real hair” within six weeks.

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Kōya, Part 2: A Walk to Danjo Garan

Kōya, Part 2: A Walk to Danjo Garan

Danjo Garan, the primary temple complex on Kōya, sits about two blocks from the “main street” visitor center, shops, and restaurants. Although all of Kōya is considered a single temple complex, Danjo Garan acts as the beating heart of Kōyasan Shingon Buddhism. (To start this series on Kōya from the beginning, click here.)

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Ginza, Visas, and the Start of the 100 Summits Quest

Ginza, Visas, and the Start of the 100 Summits Quest

Yesterday afternoon, I arrived in Tokyo to begin the first official step toward the #100Summits Project: filing my visa application. Japanese residence visas can be difficult to obtain, but I’m hopeful my plans to climb the hyakumeizan and my publishing contract for 100 SUMMITS–a nonfiction book about my quest to scale Japan’s most famous peaks in a single year–will be sufficient for me to obtain a one-year visa.

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100 Summits: Nihon Hyakumeizan 2018!

100 Summits: Nihon Hyakumeizan 2018!

Happy New Year, everyone! Now that 2018 is upon us, I’m officially launching My 100 Summits Project: Nihon Hyakumaeizan 2018! As I mentioned in December, I’m under contract to climb and write a book about the Nihon Hyakumeizan (100 Famous Mountains of Japan) as described in Kyūya Fukada’s 1964 mountaineering book by the same name. Fukada’s book has inspired generations of Japanese mountaineers (and many from other countries around the world) to climb his “Hundred Famous Peaks” – which Fukada selected on the basis of their history, beauty, and essential “Japanese” character.   The world record for climbing all 100 peaks is

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100 Summits, Plus 1 More: Chemotherapy (Day 1)

100 Summits, Plus 1 More: Chemotherapy (Day 1)

In 2018, I will attempt to become the first American woman over 45  to climb the Nihon hyakumeizan (100 famous mountains of Japan) in a single year. Given my recent cancer diagnosis and surgery, I believe I’ll also be the only person of any age to climb them within a year of completing chemotherapy. My oncologist described the journey as “100 summits, plus one more.” I started up the first one yesterday – even though I didn’t walk a step. Since I plan to chronicle the entire 100 Summits experience here on the blog, I’m including my “climb” through chemotherapy also

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