CHAPTER 16: Daisen’s Giant Chipmunk

CHAPTER 16: Daisen’s Giant Chipmunk

Mt. Daisen: July 1, 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. At the time of its completion in 2011, the Tokyo Skytree was the largest tower, and the second-largest man-made structure in the world. As of 2020, it remains in the top five, and is easily visible from many of Tokyo’s 23 wards, as well as the neighboring mountains. At night, and on holidays, the tower lights up in a variety of colors. I loved being able to

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Hiking The Lake Trail (Tokyo)

Hiking The Lake Trail (Tokyo)

Last weekend, I hiked the first leg of a multi-year, segmented hike of the Kantō Fureai no Michi (sometimes translated “Kantō Friendship Trail”). The trail is 1,799km (1,118 miles) long, and passes through seven prefectures (Tokyo, Saitama, Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Chiba, and Kanagawa) as it circumnavigates the Kantō (Japan’s largest flatland plain).

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CHAPTER 11: The Mountain Wants to Be Climbed

CHAPTER 11: The Mountain Wants to Be Climbed

Mt. Bandai: June 15, 2018 The images in this photo supplement follow the events in Chapter 11 of CLIMB: Leaving Safe and Finding Strength on 100 Summits in Japan. The captions offer “extra features”: information that didn’t make it into the book. This decorative horse, in the lobby of my hotel near Mt. Bandai, is made in the style of traditional wooden horse carvings that originated in the Tōhōku region. The motif carried through the entire property; the onsen (volcanic hot spring bath) even had small cypress horses floating in it. My first glimpse of Mt. Bandai, out the window of

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Chapter 3: Cherry Blossoms and Liver Spots*

Chapter 3: Cherry Blossoms and Liver Spots*

(March – May 2018)* I started chemotherapy two days after returning from my Christmas trip to Tokyo. That sleepy smile in the photo above is a combination of traveling and the massive dose of Benadryl I received before the infusion. Jaime (left) and Vickie (right) made my chemo treatments as easy, and as fun, as chemotherapy could possibly be. They were happy, loving, and friendly to everyone, and I will treasure their friendship always. You read that correctly. (That isn’t a COVID mask – it’s what an immunocompromised cancer patient wears to try to stay safe in public). My mother,

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Chapter 1: Victory–And Misery–On Misen*

Mountain: Mt. Misen (弥山), Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan (The short caption directly beneath each photo matches the text in CLIMB.) My first view of Miyajima: (original photo taken in June 2015). The Otorii is visible at center left, and the mountain rising just to the left of center is Mt. Misen. Historically, the entire island was considered sacred ground. The first Otorii was built before the tenth century; the existing gate dates to 1875. The Ōtorii (great torii) measures 24 meters wide and rises 16 meters high (measured from the sand on which it sits). Torii are sacred Shintō gates that

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