Shimokita Peninsula at the northern-most tip of Honshu in Japan has one of the best gravel roads I’ve ridden in Japan. Today we crossed over the Sai Village to Yagen Onsen mountain pass road, and it was pure bliss. Raining, but beautiful. Over a day the most I’ve ever climbed […]

Aomori Cycle Touring Day 6 – Fukuura to Yatate Onsen ...

Today’s route included the transport ferry cum dolphin tour, aka the Mutsu Bay Ferry. We saw at least three pods of the beautiful creatures on the 1 hour ferry ride. The afternoon was a stark contrast – hills and an unexpected early ending to the day in a small fishing […]

Aomori Cycle Touring Day 5 – Odaiba Auto Camp to ...

Japan coastal cycling at it’s finest today. A short-ish 60km, easy day as we meandered along the Sotogahama coast. Highlight for Rob was an amazing raw fish lunch at prices to make city-dwellers weep. Camping in luxury at the picturesque Odaiba Auto Camp. With the promise of a shorter day […]

Aomori Cycle Touring Day 4 – Aomori Prefectural Park to ...

A baptism by fire today…headwinds, hills, and a long day in the saddle. We were rewarded, however, by the beautiful Oirase Gorge – 10km of beautiful forest and endless waterfalls. If you’re ever looking for a place to stay in Hachinohe City (the apocalyptic mess of a port-town) then I […]

Aomori Cycle Touring Day 2 – Hachinohe to Lake Towadako

Haidee and I have lived in Hokkaido, the northern most island of Japan, for over five years now. For at least three of those years, we’ve made sure to get away during ‘Golden Week’ for a short cycle tour. Golden Week Tour 2013 – A door-to-door tour around the Ishikari […]

Aomori Cycle Touring Day 1 – Hokkaido to Aomori by ...

UPDATE – Use this letter to request a bike box (PDF file): When cycle tourists enter or leave Hokkaido, they will often fly in or out of New Chitose Airport (Sapporo Airport). This means that many a cycle tourist finds themselves needing a bike box in Chitose City in […]

A list of bicycle shops in Chitose City (Hokkaido, Japan)

Mt. Tokushubetsu – the mountain with the impossibly complex Japanese characters (徳舜瞥山) – is one of those classic Hokkaido backcountry hills. Similar to Mt. Shakotan further northeast, it makes for a fairly straight-forward half-day spring trip – one that beginners and experienced skiers will enjoy. Rick, Jeff and I headed […]

Hokkaido Ski Touring: Mt. Tokushunbetsu (1,309m) half-day spring ski tour

Winter is slowly but surely releasing its grip here in Hokkaido. In the low-lying areas, such as where we are in Chitose City, there is no snow left. The only remnants are softer-than-usual dirt roads, still settling down after the deep-freeze. So Haidee and I made the most of a […]

Eastern reaches of Chitose City by bicycle (Hokkaido, Japan)

The Yama-no-ie Hut, tucked below Mt. Okuteine on the outer reaches of Sapporo City, is everything you can expect from a mountain hut managed by largely ambivalent Japanese university students: dingy, messy, and a glowing red-hot potbelly stove kept that way by the intrepid first-year students who hauled the coal […]

Hokkaido Ski Touring: Mt. Okuteine, Yama-no-ie Hut and Mt. Tsuge ...

Since moving to Hokkaido here in northern Japan, I’ve been getting more and more into enjoying the winter backcountry hills here. So, I finally got around to attending a two-day avalanche awareness course, run by Whiteroom Tours in Niseko. Overall it was an extremely professional, thorough course with an instructor […]

Whiteroom Tours Avalanche Awareness Course (Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan)

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 ...

I like to have a bicycle wherever I travel. And my recent five-day conference trip to Mexico was no exception. And with many airlines offering free carriage of bicycles as sports equipment, often there’s no need to pack them into a box. Just put them into a bag of some […]

Packing a Tern Verge S27h Folding Bicycle into a Suitcase

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 ...