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Sometimes you just can’t take the culture out of someone.

Here I am sitting on a bus heading for Hamilton, New Zealand, with a group of about 30 Japanese students. For all of them I imagine it’s their first time to this country, and yet they’re all asleep! Look outside at the beautiful scenery, Huntly’s pretty nice at this time of year. But I guess they’re all tired from a long flight. I’m not going to lie, I had a snooze too.

Well, now I’m reminiscing on my time in Japan, but also long road trips in NZ, like those we took every year in summer to Christchurch to Nana and Poppa’s house to spend Christmas at Greenpark at Uncle Colin and Aunty Carol’s house, then off to Timaru to Chris and Tine’s for New Years. This was basically every year until I was 12. I remember New Years’ when I was 12 because we were in Wyndrum Ave, and Liam had his Pokemon cards that he got for Christmas, I think.

Or the times I travelled up to Auckland for waterpolo. Too many times to count.

Right now, it’s hot. The green grass-covered hills with their customary sheep and cows, and the shrill sound of the cicadas, New Zealand sure knows how to do a summer.

This is the culture I love.

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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Get In Touch

Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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