Hair today…

One of the great things about the internet is the way that it has democratised writing. Once upon a time, getting your work into print was the hard-won privilege of the favoured few – at least, those who didn’t want to stump up the cost of vanity publishing. Now we have Amazon, and anyone with…

Inter-Stella

In the recent film Interstellar, a team of astronauts are sent far from Earth to try to find a new home for humanity. Due to the effects of gravity, time appears to run differently for the astronauts and for those left on Earth. With each message the astronauts receive, greater and greater amounts of time…

Indiana Jones and the Soiled Underwear – Part II

In the last instalment, your humble scribe had managed the impressive feat of falling off a mountain along a precise magnetic bearing. Muddied but otherwise unhurt, he now prepares to continue – but more surprises await! Feeling somewhat relieved, I headed off on the well-defined path. But while I was quite sure that the worst…

Bear Grylls eat your heart out

As recounted previously on these pages, I have been somewhat frustrated of late in my efforts to get out hiking. In particular, my urge to get out for an overnight trip. I had originally planned to do a 2 or 3 dayer to Oze Marches, but time has just run out. So instead, I thought…

A hidden threat to health?

Grab a coffee – it’s another long one… I’ve just been reading a very interesting article about so-called gluten intolerance. Normally I have no truck with food fads, the latest food panics or indeed people who claim they are intolerant of/allergic to this, that and the other, when most of the time they do not…

Speeding up and slowing down

There is nothing worse than being stuck indoors when the sun is shining. Now the weather is really warming up, your humble scribe is itching to pull on his boots and head for the hills. But – alas – there just seems to have been one thing after another that has delayed my departure. I…

Takao san warm-up hike FEB 2月8日

I’ve discovered a neat little app on my tablet called MicroFilm that creates simple little video dittys from still images. After some farting around I have worked out how to drive it. Herewith is my first little vignette from my recent short walk around Takao san. Sorry about the crap music

Capel Curig revisited

Last year, I returned to the UK for a bit of a break. Being a complete knob, rather than opting for a nice restful time I decided to go hiking in Snowdonia, spending 4 days lugging an 18kg pack up and down mountains, whilst being rained on and blasted by gale force winds. In case…

The sound of Spring

Spring has pretty much arrived in Japan. One of the greatest pleasures is to hear again the call of the Uguisu 鶯 or Japanese Bush Warbler. I am not much of a Rock Watcher, and I must admit that I’ve spent more time looking at wildlife through telescopic sights than I have binoculars. But there is…

The fragility of the sakura

Spring is now well on its way in Tokyo. This morning I extended my Sunday morning run out to 15km along the Zenpukuji and Kanda rivers, sweeping round in a wide loop to take in a few of the local parks along the way. The local authority has done a splendid job of creating a…

A pleasant walk to start the year

Well, at just over a year later, welcome to my next blog post! This episode finds your humble scribe once again pitching himself against the savage wilderness of Takao san, but this time in a lot more enjoyable way. And accompanied by half of Tokyo… Takao and the surroundings are a great warm-up for longer…

The white stuff

It’s probably true to say that most gaijin Tokyo-ites’ first experience of mountain hiking in Japan is a trip to Takao san. Located about an hour away by train, it’s readily accessible and extremely popular for family outings and afternoon strolls in the woods. There are a number of generally well-signed trails up the mountain…