Click here if you can’t see the video embedded above: Two years ago now, I was lucky enough to be able to take part in some University of Oxford fieldwork research here in Hokkaido, northern Japan. On this particular occasion, we were visiting Bikuni Shrine in Shakotan Village, for […]

University of Oxford fieldwork in Shakotan Village, Hokkaido, Japan

Capitalism on steroids: This is my honest-to-god impression of Miami after visiting that mad place for just under a week for a conference. Luckily, I was able to stay at my friend Markus‘s place. Having lived in Miami for the last 6 years, Markus knew all the best must-see spots, […]

Miami: Capitalism on Steroids

Bifue Campground is one of the best spots to enjoy the views that Lake Shikotsu has to offer. Situated on the western end of this lake in southern Hokkaido, Japan, the well-appointed campground faces east, allowing expansive views of Mt. Eniwa, Mt. Fuppushi, Mt. Tarumae, and of course the lake […]

Bifue Campground at Lake Shikotsu (Hokkaido, Japan)

“I’ve figured out how we might cycle over those hills,” Dirk said over lunch one day. “A mix of gravel road and singletrack trail through the forest,” he said. This was music to my ears. Since moving to the Sapporo region five years ago, I’ve eyed up the range of low […]

A Sapporo bikepacking trip: The Fuchs Loop (Hokkaido, Japan)

In 2008 I spent 5 months skateboarding almost 5,500km across China. I have mixed memories of that trip. Memories of pure joy and memories of pure torment. But the one indifferent constant of that trip was China National Highway 312. This trans-China highway was my home for that 5 months. […]

Revisiting an old friend: The China National Highway 312

My parents were over in Japan in early August, so Haidee and I planned a quick 7-day trip to eastern Hokkaido. The idea was fairly simple: the parents hire a campervan, Haidee and I travel on our folding bikes, and we all meet up at a set location each day. […]

Cycle-drive summer getaway in eastern Hokkaido, Japan

A few months back I traveled to southern Mexico for the International Association for Cross Cultural Psychology conference in San Cristobal de las Casas in the Chiapas region. I was there to do a couple of talks about my own research in Japan. It was a real fly-in fly-out sort […]

A quick conference trip to Mexico – with the Tern ...

On the 15th of November 2007, I was staying at Trellis Bay in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. I wrote a blog post about how lots had happened since I last wrote a blog post, but for reasons that I didn’t divulge at the time, I couldn’t write […]

A story never told: My job as a yacht charter ...

Mt. Shioya-Maryuama (629m) is an easy hike close to Sapporo City. Access is by bus or car, and makes for a nice hike through lowland bush with large expansive views over the Shakotan Peninsula at the top. For most hiking enthusiasts in Sapporo City (in Hokkaido, Japan), a popular summer […]

An easy hike up Mt. Shioya Maruyama near Sapporo, Japan

We were beaten by the hills and snow yesterday, but today we soldiered onward via the alternate route: the magnificent Japan Sea coast road. With a roaring tailwind to boot. One purpose of yesterday’s attempt at crossing the Kariba range was to avoid the Japan Sea coast north of Setana […]

Southwest Hokkaido Cycle Tour Day 4 – Setana to Kuromatsunai

Gravel roads, pushing bikes through snow, and tough decisions…with our cycle touring team now three – counting the addition of Dirk – we set off this morning for what became the most adventurous day of this Golden Week ramble in southern Hokkaido. The day started out easy enough though: a […]

Southwest Hokkaido Cycle Tour Day 3 – Taisei to the ...

This year’s Golden Week in Hokkaido was warm. The warmest it has been for 90 years, apparently. This played out in our cycling today; we might as well have been on our annual summer vacation cycle trip. The day started with a chilly morning, however. Multiple layers and a good […]

Southwest Hokkaido Cycle Tour Day 2 – Assabu to Taisei

Just like in 2013 and 2014, Haidee and I spent this year’s Golden Week holidays (a string of back-to-back public holidays in Japan) to explore a little bit more of Hokkaido, Japan’s large northern-most island. Unlike previous years however, in order to take in vistas further afield we jumped on […]

Southwest Hokkaido Cycle Tour Day 1 – Onuma Park to ...

Mt. Yoichi (1,488m) is the highest peak within the Sapporo City limits. Despite this, it is extremely accessible – it overlooks Kiroro Ski Resort, so take the ski lift to the resorts upper reaches, and you’re more or less there. But to truly experience Mt. Yoichi’s enchanting snowy wilderness, the […]

Hokkaido Back Country Skiing: Mt. Yoichi (Akai-kawa Route)

Mt. Fuppushi (1,102m), around 60km due south of Sapporo City, is the oft-overlooked big brother to his shorter sibling Mt. Tarumae (1,041m). But while everyone gapes at Mt. Tarumae’s smoldering cork,  Mt. Fuppushi awaits the more intrepid climber, keen to tackle something steeper and more off the beaten track; it […]

Hokkaido Back Country Skiing: Mt. Fuppushi (Kitaone Route)

Following on from our mountain loop bike ride yesterday, Haidee and I headed to the sea today to explore the peninsula-like land-form encircling Muroran Harbor: one of Hokkaido’s largest and busiest harbors. I call this ride the Muroran Sky Ride, because the route follows a summit road along the ridge […]

Adventure cycling in Muroran City: The Muroran Sky Ride

“I never considered Muroran high on my list of places to live,” Haidee mused a few weeks back. She had just landed a job at Muroran Institute of Technology (MIT) as associate professor, and we were in the process of sorting out a place for her to live there. And […]

Hike ‘n biking in Muroran City: The MIT – Dan ...

Surrounded by the hustle and bustle of Sapporo City, it is easy to forget that just half a day’s bike ride away is one of Japan’s most pristine volcanic lakes. This past long weekend we combined a bike ride to the lake with a hike up the 1,030m active volcano, […]

Mt Tarumae Bike ‘n Hike

Route for today: There are some great cycle shops in Sapporo City, where Haidee and I live. Some are better than others, and usually it’s not the stuff they stock that makes them great. It’s the people working there. Nakamura Cycles is one such shop. Mr. Nakamura himself – the […]

Cycling Across Hokkaido, Japan (Day 13): Hidaka to Hobetsu

Today’s route (the most stressful of the trip): The campground at Arashiyama was an interesting one. Most campgrounds we had stayed in so far on this trip had lush grass to pitch the tent on. Arashiyama’s tent sites were dirt. Which means that the idyllic photo below somewhat belies the […]

Cycling Across Hokkaido, Japan (Day 11): From Arashiyama to Hidaka