oh, the feeling of it all. all the feelings. even a week away from Kyoto’s embrace feels long, but what adventures! always, always, always grateful and looking ahead. life is bright ❤️

oh, the feeling of it all. all the feelings. even a week away from Kyoto’s embrace feels long, but what adventures! always, always, always grateful and looking ahead. life is bright ❤️

the tree that swept my heart away.  eight meters in circumference and lovable as hell. so much gratitude for northern Japan, the people and places and trees and seas! now a misty ride through mountain tunnels - straight through the mountain kami heart chambers! - and onto the big beating heart of Japan and maybe the world. ▶️

the tree that swept my heart away. eight meters in circumference and lovable as hell. so much gratitude for northern Japan, the people and places and trees and seas! now a misty ride through mountain tunnels - straight through the mountain kami heart chambers! - and onto the big beating heart of Japan and maybe the world. ▶️

Circle Pond (Maru-ike 丸池), a hidden pond at the base of Chōkaisan 鳥海山, unknown even to most locals but my amazing host/guide/friend Sasaki-San knew the way. One of the most magical and mysterious places I’ve been. How can you describe the water color in words? Impossible 🌌🐍👗🔮💚

Circle Pond (Maru-ike 丸池), a hidden pond at the base of Chōkaisan 鳥海山, unknown even to most locals but my amazing host/guide/friend Sasaki-San knew the way. One of the most magical and mysterious places I’ve been. How can you describe the water color in words? Impossible 🌌🐍👗🔮💚

Today was endless rice fields; also pear, soba, blueberry, and persimmon groves. Today was Sake Field 酒田, Moon Mountain 月山, Crane Hill 鶴岡.

Today was entering Dewasanzan 出羽三山, three sacred peaks I’ve waited and wanted for. It was purification at the shrine atop Hagurosan 羽黒山, one of the three, to learn that this very fortuitous day a once-every-140-years revealed image was open! 


Today was being once again the only foreigner but forgetting it and in fact being told that I’m not really a foreigner by a kind and curious old man as we waited to enter the hall with the hidden image of Hagurosan’s revered founder. ;)

Today was descending into a mossy forest cradle - stone steps, vermilion bridge, misty waterfall, thousand year old ‘old man’ 爺 cedar, adjacent to which a 400-year old pagoda (pictured) stands tall, as if learning from the tree. 

Today was tracking down an old stone marker denoting the area off-limits to women, and feeling a tiny sense of accomplishment that almost immediately revealed itself as a humble reminder as I slipped on moss-covered stone and gave my backside a real wake up call. 

Today was meeting a 130-year old mummy whose presence, along with its setting in a temple in central Tsuruoka City, was a bit unsettling to say the least. But still, a mummy!

Today was quiet and secluded Kinpōji 善宝寺, its pagoda, huge stone Jizo, and hidden dragon’s den. I rang the bell, and its surprisingly booming sound must awakened summer’s cicadas, for a few started singing again, thought to be lost already to autumn. 

Today was family-like connections with people who yesterday I knew not. It was misunderstood words but always understood sentiments and smiles and warmth.
Today is now Billie Holiday and a train south to Niigata, late afternoon light basking the landscape and seascape as it zips by. My only complaint besides the sore backside is a slight allergy to some grass that causes unexpected sneezing every so often. So that has been today. It’s 2:48pm. Is this a dream? #japan #mountains #magic #yamagata #dewasanzan (at 羽黒山五重塔)

Today was endless rice fields; also pear, soba, blueberry, and persimmon groves. Today was Sake Field 酒田, Moon Mountain 月山, Crane Hill 鶴岡.

Today was entering Dewasanzan 出羽三山, three sacred peaks I’ve waited and wanted for. It was purification at the shrine atop Hagurosan 羽黒山, one of the three, to learn that this very fortuitous day a once-every-140-years revealed image was open!


Today was being once again the only foreigner but forgetting it and in fact being told that I’m not really a foreigner by a kind and curious old man as we waited to enter the hall with the hidden image of Hagurosan’s revered founder. ;)

Today was descending into a mossy forest cradle - stone steps, vermilion bridge, misty waterfall, thousand year old ‘old man’ 爺 cedar, adjacent to which a 400-year old pagoda (pictured) stands tall, as if learning from the tree.

Today was tracking down an old stone marker denoting the area off-limits to women, and feeling a tiny sense of accomplishment that almost immediately revealed itself as a humble reminder as I slipped on moss-covered stone and gave my backside a real wake up call.

Today was meeting a 130-year old mummy whose presence, along with its setting in a temple in central Tsuruoka City, was a bit unsettling to say the least. But still, a mummy!

Today was quiet and secluded Kinpōji 善宝寺, its pagoda, huge stone Jizo, and hidden dragon’s den. I rang the bell, and its surprisingly booming sound must awakened summer’s cicadas, for a few started singing again, thought to be lost already to autumn.

Today was family-like connections with people who yesterday I knew not. It was misunderstood words but always understood sentiments and smiles and warmth.

Today is now Billie Holiday and a train south to Niigata, late afternoon light basking the landscape and seascape as it zips by. My only complaint besides the sore backside is a slight allergy to some grass that causes unexpected sneezing every so often. So that has been today. It’s 2:48pm. Is this a dream? #japan #mountains #magic #yamagata #dewasanzan (at 羽黒山五重塔)

wallpaper of my heart, revealed at the small mountain temple Yōsenji 永泉寺; lost to time and true to its natural wildness #japan #yamagata #遊佐町 #永泉寺 (at 永泉寺)

wallpaper of my heart, revealed at the small mountain temple Yōsenji 永泉寺; lost to time and true to its natural wildness #japan #yamagata #遊佐町 #永泉寺 (at 永泉寺)

you are that Vast thing that you see far, far off with great telescopes. (the gifts of nature crushed my sweet baby heart today) #japan #yamagata #mountains #magic

you are that Vast thing that you see far, far off with great telescopes. (the gifts of nature crushed my sweet baby heart today) #japan #yamagata #mountains #magic

the evening air way up here in Akita smelled like the sea and Wyoming, with a taste of the mountains. ❤️ #japan #akita (at 本荘公園)

the evening air way up here in Akita smelled like the sea and Wyoming, with a taste of the mountains. ❤️ #japan #akita (at 本荘公園)

Day 28. facing the melancholy seas of the mind is no easy feat. but grand are even the smallest moments of clarity that appear like little rowboats to offer respite.

Day 28. facing the melancholy seas of the mind is no easy feat. but grand are even the smallest moments of clarity that appear like little rowboats to offer respite.

Day 27. Learning from the world; its curves, its faults, its expanses. Learning the same about myself.

Day 27. Learning from the world; its curves, its faults, its expanses. Learning the same about myself.