Here are a few samples of what you find in my newsletter, Mountains of Wisdom.

Why is this Buddha EVERYWHERE in Japan?
Mt. Chokai above the sea of Japan
The Creepy Legend of the Yokai of Chokai-san (Mt. Chokai)
The Badass Fudomyo’o: Your new Favourite Buddhist Deity
photo of peeled banana on yellow plate and background
The MONSTROSITY that is Tokyo Banana
Chokai-san (Mt. Chokai)
Hiking Guide: Mountains of The Shonai Region of Yamagata
The Astounding Waterfalls of Chokai-san
Japan is in the year 2683?
Mt. Ubagatake in autumn
What does it mean to be ‘Spirited Away’?


Here are a few posts of my adventures climbing the 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata.

I found an abandoned ski field in Japan

Short and quick hike with views of Chokai-zan and near the Mogami River, Shiraito Falls, and Genso no mori, the Forest of Illusions.

Mt. Yamuki (Yamuki-yama) in Shinjo City
The Medieval Castle and Mighty River of Yamuki-yama (Mt. Yamuki)

Tiny peak that was home to a medieval castle along the banks of the mighty Mogami River.

A Jizo statue at the top of Mt. Kyogakura in Sakata
Womb Passes and Monkey Crossings: Kyogakura-san “The Shugendo Peak of Sutras” (Mt. Kyogakura)

This tiny Shugendo peak and how the Japanese language got three alphabets

Zao-san and Why We Climb Mountains (Mt. Zao)

Zao-san: Snow monsters, ski fields, mountain hags, multi-coloured crater lakes, hot springs, and more.

How NOT to climb a mountain in winter

Forget Hakuba. Forget Hokkaido. White-Boy Mountain is where it’s at. 

Panoramas and picnics under the Sakura: Kita-yama (Mt. Kitayama)

Former ski field turned into a Sakura-lover’s paradise on the outskirts of Murayama City

Mt. Atsumi in Atsumi Onsen, a quaint Onsen Hot Spring town in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture
Reaching Peak Tranquility: Atsumi-dake (Mt. Atsumi)

The hidden Onsen (Hot Spring) town of Atsumi's own hidden gem

Mt. Shogadake
Dancing in the Day Lilies: Shoga-dake

Shoga-dake is a former Shugendo peak on Chokai-san famous for its floral brilliance.

Bananas and Cokes, Leaches and Pit Vipers

How a group of elderly Japanese men saved our arses

The Swamp Monster of Yozo

Ancient trail of primeval beech forests, legendary swamp monsters, waterfalls, snow bridges, and more.

This mountain is EVERYWHERE in Japan: Ha-yama

Former Dewa Sanzan peak in inland Yamagata Prefecture with an extensive Shugendo and Mountain Worship history.

The Heavenly Hideaway of Daizumori-yama

The best effort / reward ratio in Yamagata. Bar none.

Mt. Chokai
The best Fuji alternative: Chokai-san

Dewa Fuji, The Fuji of The North, Chokai-san, Mt. Chokai: Tallest peak entirely in Tohoku often said to resemble Mt. Fuji, leading to the name Dewa Fuji (after the former province of Dewa).

Togami-yama and The Castle of Mist

And its role in north Japan's fiercest war

Wetland Wonderland of Takadate-yama

Takadate-yama is short in stature, but packs a lot of punch as home to one of the only RAMSAR wetlands in Japan



brown wooden arrow signed
What it takes
lighted match with smoke on black background
Now you know it’s yours
closeup photography of yellow red green and blue chess piece
If it can’t be helped, don’t help it.
charming child sweeping concrete pavement with broomstick
It’s just a bit of life


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