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What you Should Know: My Drug of Choice

You’re going to be fine. If there’s anything that the mountains have taught me over the years, it’s this.

Getting out into nature and simply being there and accepting your place in the world is enough to teach you that you are going to be ok.

Nature doesn’t judge, nature doesn’t discriminate, nature simply lets us feel our place in the world.

That’s why nature is my drug of choice.

I used to binge drink a lot, especially as a teenager and in my early 20s. My two front teeth were chipped from getting drunk and falling over. It’s why they appear yellower in my videos (once you see it you can’t unsee it). It’s also why half a life later I am needing to get the caps replaced.

I drank as a form of escape. I drank as a way to fit in. One thing I am proud of is that my teenage friends and I made a pact that I have always kept: never drink alone.

Now, with a lifetime of perspective, I no longer feel the need. About five years ago, I quit drinking altogether, and my life has been all the better for it. I realised it wasn’t the drinking that mattered, what matters is the company. Good company is all you need (most of the time).

There are some things good company can’t help you with. For those things, nature is your best friend.

You’re going to be fine. Go out into nature and you will see.

(I don’t have a problem with other people drinking, just don’t treat me like a leper when I tell you I don’t drink, it’s not the end of the world).

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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