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Why do you like air?

Yesterday marked the beginning of my 32nd time around the sun. I was 16 when I realised what I wanted to do with my life, which was simply to live in Japan. That was the first time I came here on a school trip back in 2005. I remember looking out of the plane as it left Narita and thinking, I have to do whatever I can to get back here. Three years later I did that with study abroad, and then two years after that I moved here permanently.

Half a life later, that desire to be here has never gone away, despite recent events really making NZ an attractive option. People often ask me why I like Japan, but it’s like asking why do you like air? It’s really hard to explain why, but I often say it is the culture, language, people, nature and of course, the food. I’m unsure if the true answer but it’s probably somewhere between these.

What I learnt from this experience is that if you don’t know what you want to do with your life, don’t sit there waiting for a divine intervention, that’s a fool’s game. Go out and do stuff. It’s your responsibility to explore your mind, try creative things and see where it takes you. That’s the only way to truly know yourself.

P.S. thank you for the birthday wishes, and happy birthday to anyone who’s having a birthday during my next go around the sun.

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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