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Grass is always greener syndrome

How many people can say they truly understand everything in their backyard? I think a lot of people who live in Japan, expats especially but also Japanese people, are inflicted with the grass is always greener syndrome. Not in terms of wanting to live outside where they were brought up, that’s me, but in terms of rather than exploring their backyard, they tend to want to go to other parts of the country. At least I was like this, and I have seen it in a lot of other people.

One thing that I’m quite pleased about for the 100 mountains of Yamagata project is that it’s given me good reasons to check out some really cool places nearby that I would never have gone to otherwise. Being able to look off into the distance, recognise a mountain, and say ‘I’ve been there, I know what it’s like’, makes me quite proud.

This I noticed mainly because in recent times when people invite me to climb mountains it’s usually one of Gassan, Chokai, or Haguro. It’s as if there’s no awareness, or no desire to visit the other more than 2000 mountains in Yamagata prefecture.

This could simply be explained by a lack of information. There really is no information of most of the mountains I’m to climb in English. Mt. Atsumi and Mt. Shogadake are perfect examples of this, and it’s hard to blame people. So I guess it’s up to people like me who are able to gather information in Japanese and make credible reliable resources in English.

Japan is an amazing country covered with places to explore. You just need to do a bit of research in advance, but you can find some pretty spectacular places nearby. If more people spent a bit more time on resources for their local region, I think it could be quite beneficial for people wanting to explore the underside of Japan.

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi


Hi, I’m Tim Bunting AKA the Kiwi Yamabushi, a New Zealander who became a Yamabushi Ascetic in the Dewa Sanzan mountains of north Japan. I’m part of the Yamabushido team, and we host life-altering Yamabushi training on the Dewa Sanzan (website link). People come to us for the ultimate mindfulness experience, to reach the next level, or simply connect with nature and themselves.

I’m on a mission to summit all 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture to spread the splendour of this fabulous location, and in dedication to all those who lost their lives out in nature, including my father.

On my daily blog I post thoughts of a practicing Yamabushi that I hope people can use to better themselves and live as fulfilling a life as possible.

Sign up to the weekly Mountains of Wisdom newsletter, follow me on social (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, all @kiwiyamabushi), or send me an email via the link below to stay in touch.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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