Local Life

Along the path of adventure we are led away from what we have always regarded as normal. Seeing and experiencing something different can result in both positive and negative reactions but regardless of this, new encounters help us to develop and grow. One thing that makes any journey interesting is observing how the communities we come across live. Learning about local culture through traditions, customs, dress, food, drink, and typical lifestyle practices leads to more empathy, knowledge, and broader cultural horizons. As we move among the varied peoples of this planet, the richness in diversity of our species is presented in full colour and we become more aware of our interdependence and the need for tolerance and cooperation. We may even discover that the doors we open to these other worlds allow us access to ways of living that we actually prefer, and in time we might choose them for ourselves. … More Local Life

Pathways

Every journey and every adventure begins with a single step along some kind of path. We may not know where they will take us or what trials and rewards they will present us with, but we can be certain that starting out along one of them will open up a myriad of possibilities. Some of them are solitary and straight, heading off into the distance on their determined lonely course. Some are winding and carry the traveller around corners to hidden things, while others lead to unexpected destinations via serendipitous intersections. There are pathways that take us back in time through ancient ruins or forests, and ones that transport us into the future towards unknown horizons. In life we occasionally find ourselves traversing one without knowing how we got there, but at other times we need to actively seek them out to grow. They are the arteries of existence that allow us to transform inertia into activity. … More Pathways

The Japan Alps

In a few weeks athletes from all over the world will compete across more than thirty events at the Tokyo Olympics. Recently we have taken it upon ourselves to introduce readers to some little-known adventures that can be found outside of Japan’s capital, and in the final article of this series we head to the majestic mountains of the Japan Alps. When one thinks of Japanese mountains, only one image is likely to come to mind—that of Mount Fuji, which is the country’s tallest and most famous. It dominates the surrounding landscape and when seen from afar, it is easy to understand how it has gained its iconic status. However, some people who have scaled its slopes will tell you that it isn’t a very pretty mountain up close, nor is it a particularly enjoyable hike. The truth is that Japan’s most beautiful, dramatic, and rewarding mountain adventures are waiting elsewhere, amongst its other 3,000-metre peaks. … More The Japan Alps

Calderas, Shrines & Mythology

As the Olympics draw ever closer, we continue our quest to introduce readers to some less frequented parts of Japan and to a few adventurous experiences that can’t be found in the world’s largest city. Tokyo has its merits but the Japanese provinces possess a different kind of richness that can be more endearing. Far away from the seething masses of the big cities, and seemingly even further removed in terms of pace of life, Kyushu’s countryside exudes a certain organised purity. Public transport is reliable and even the smallest of villages has a post office but the air smells more wholesome, the water is cleaner, and the food tastier. The colour green dominates, forcing grey concrete to take a distant second place to nature in more ways than one. There is an idyllic existence to be found in these parts, but it comes hand in hand with a sense of impermanence. … More Calderas, Shrines & Mythology

Mountain Temples & Snow Monsters

In approximately three months Tokyo is set to host the Olympic Games. The run-up to the huge global event, which was originally supposed to take place in 2020, has been fraught with difficulties. Despite ongoing uncertainty and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, at the time of writing it seems that the games will be held—albeit without foreign spectators. This has left many people feeling disappointed. Some international tourists who purchased tickets likely planned to combine their sport viewing with travel outside the concrete megalopolis of Japan’s capital to experience more of the country. That is now impossible. Japan offers some unique travel experiences and stunning environments. As veterans of exploring lesser-known areas of the country we wanted to share a few off-the-beaten-path adventures that may provide readers with a small amount of consolation. … More Mountain Temples & Snow Monsters

Sources of Inspiration – Adventure Stories

The need for escapism has been a constant throughout all ages of recorded human history. Adventure stories cater to this by serving as vehicles that allow us to make enjoyable mental forays into the mysterious and exciting unknown. Some of the oldest myths and folk tales we are aware of have been passed down over centuries, or in some cases millennia. One can imagine the children of Ancient Egypt listening to elders recount the myth of Osiris, or gazing at the stars while attempting to trace the sun god Ra making his perilous nightly journey through the realm of the dead. Who hasn’t heard of Homer’s epic Greek adventure poem The Odyssey, such a significant piece of storytelling that it can still be found in book stores throughout the world today. There are many more surviving examples from antiquity that have endured in one form or another. … More Sources of Inspiration – Adventure Stories