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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi


Updated Home Page and (New?) Mission

I’ve updated my home page (timbunting.com) and my mission. As you can see I get straight to the point. I asked myself what I most wanted people to know about me, and why they should follow me. Here’s what I came up with:

The Home Page Copy

Kia Koutou. Thanks for visiting. I’m Tim Bunting, the Kiwi Yamabushi.

Struggle is a normal part of everyday life. What matters is how you deal with it.

In April 2016 I received news that no one ever wants to hear. My dad had been out hiking, had a heart attack, and died right then and there. It’s the kind of news that sends shivers through your spine, and for myself it was a true wake-up call. Not only that, my mother is also terminally ill with Alzheimers, a disease so bad you die twice. For someone still in their 30s, this has been very tough to deal with, and I wouldn’t wish anything of the kind even on my worst enemies.

However, less than a week after returning to Japan from my father’s funeral, I had a chance encounter that irrevocably changed my life. I was invited to join the Yamabushido Project providing yamabushi (mountain ascetic, read more here) training to English speakers. I jumped on the chance, and the rest as they say, is history. 

I have found yamabushi training to not only be comforting, but a restorative and productive way to deal with these struggles. 

By becoming a yamabushi, I have learned what it means to appreciate nature, and through this appreciation I feel Ikigai, which I define as the desire to live well. It is my wish for those around the world who are struggling to learn from my experience, to perhaps join yamabushi training (it’s not a requirement, but it definitely helps), and to discover Ikigai for themselves. 

For the past five or so years, I have been working to build the profile of the Yamabushi and the Dewa Sanzan, The Three Sacred Mountains of Dewa where our yamabushi trainings are based here in Yamagata Prefecture. I have written a daily blog since the beginning of 2019, started a yamabushi YouTube channel in 2020, and in 2021 began a project to summit and document the 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture on a blog and YouTube channel. 

Sign up for the Mountains of Wisdom newsletter (link in header), where I send out a round-up of the week’s blog posts and updates of the 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Project, or support my work by following me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok

Any support that helps me get the word out is much appreciated.

The mission

The mission is still similar to what it was before, making a positive impact day in day out. I’ve just made it more specific: teach the world about yamabushi.

This restatement of my mission and reframing of my homepage helps remind me what is important to me, and why it’s important for me to share the lifestyle of the yamabushi. I don’t think this will change anytime soon, it hasn’t changed in the past two or three years, and in fact I think it has only become more and more important as time has gone on.

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.



Subscribe to my weekly yamabushi newsletter


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Get In Touch

Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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