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ISSUE 67 SPRING 2018

TRAVELER

EVERY SEASON IS A NEW ADVENTURE

GAPPAI: BALANCING FAME SCALING FUJI IN SPRING THE REEMERGENCE OF ARAI NAKASENDO: A FLASH FROM THE PAST BEER BUZZ CHASING DRAGONS IN KOMODO OUTDOOR JAPAN ADVENTURES

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Lim i t ed E d it i on Pata l o h a ®

)NM_LMKILM[IOW:MTT;]VVOI^MA^WV+PW]QVIZL\PMI‫ٺ‬MK\QWVI\MVQKSVIUM Opihi Man. It was a reference to the Hawaiian delicacy they both loved to eat, IVL\WA^WV¼[XMVKPIV\NWZKTQVOQVO\W[\MMXZWKS[R][\I[WXQPQKTQVO\W_I^M[_MX\ Q[TIVL[PWZM[?Q\PQUIOM[WN VM\Å[PQVOIVLQV\MZ\QLITTQNMNZIUMLJaÅ[PQVOIVL KTQUJQVOZWXMW]ZVM_7XQPQ5IVXZQV\KMTMJZI\M[W]ZWZQOQV[I[KTQUJMZ[[]ZNMZ[ IVLVWUILQK\ZI^MTMZ[_PWLZM_\PMQZ[][\MVIVKMNZWUJW\PTIVLIVL[MI In the islands, aloha shirts are appropriate attire in pretty much any situation. Reo Stevens at home on the North Shore, O’ahu, Hawai’i. STEPHEN WHITESELL © 2018 Patagonia, Inc.


INSIDE ISSUE 67

SPRING 2018

26

FEATURES

Gappai: Balancing Fame 16 Scaling Fuji in Spring

24 The Reemergence of Arai 30 Nakasendo: A Flash from the Past 36 Urban Taiheiki 40 Chasing Dragons in Komodo INSIDE

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6 . . . . From the Editor

14 . . . . Minakami Mofest

22 . . . . Cycling Japan

8 . . . . Spring Events

18 . . . . Antenna America

23 . . . . Market Watch

10 . . . . Outdoor Japan Adventures

20. . . . Local Brew

39 . . . . Plogging

13 . . . . Golden Week Specials

21 . . . . Beer Buzz

46. . . . Travel & Adventure Directory

TRAVELER


FROM THE EDITOR Published Seasonally

O

ver the years we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing a wide range of people, from average Joe’s doing extraordinary things, to professional athletes pushing the limits of what is possible, like slackliner Gappai who graces our cover. We’ve talked with local entrepreneurs and industry pioneers, such as one of my earliest interviews which took place in a nice, but nondescript office in the fashionable Omotesando area of Tokyo with Hideo “Joe” Morita. While you may not have heard of Joe, you probably know his father, Akio Morita, who was one of the most recognizable business leaders in the world when leading Sony to global prominence. As the eldest son, Joe was the heir to his father’s fortune. His family’s success began in their Nagoyabased food and sake business that went back many generations. Joe tried to make a name for himself with projects that included a luxury floating fishing lodge in Western Canada, a dolphin rehabilitation center in Palau and the Arai Mountain & Snow Park, a world-class resort he built in Niigata. At that time, Arai had held several World Cup ski races, attracting ski legends such as the Mahre brothers and Alberto Tomba, and had hosted World Cup MTB races. The resort’s facilities were over the top. Their hot spring boasted imported salt from the Dead Sea and hotels surrounded a heated courtyard. Best of all, the skiing and boarding was fantastic. Then one day, it was gone. The resort became buried under debt and several meters of snow, until the Korean giant Lotte purchased the resort. The Freeride World Tour made a stop here this past March with a clear message that Arai is back. Like the rebirth of Arai, spring is when Japan comes alive. If you’ve been feeling restless we’ve got countless ways for you to enjoy the season as the greening begins and the steep canyons and valleys fill with fresh water. It’s a great time to travel in Japan and we hope this issue will help get you out the door. I’d like to take a moment to remember our dear friend and long-time copy editor Wayne Graczyk who passed away a year ago. His annual “Japan Pro Baseball Fan Handbook & Media Guide” is a must-have for Japanese baseball fans. I received a package this week to find the 2018 guide with a nice note from Wayne’s wife and kids. With a lot of hard work, they made sure the guide was published. What a great way to honor one of the good guys. Wishing everyone a golden spring, get out there and seize the day!

れまで弊誌はアウトドアで活躍するさまざまな人々をインタビューしてきました。日常は普通の生活を送っているけれども、 ユニークなことに取り組んでいる人や、限界をプッシュして乗り越えようとしているプロのアスリート。たとえば今号の美しい カバーショットを飾ったスラックライナーのガッパイさんもそんなプロフェッショナルです。さらに私たちは地方の起業家やさま

ざまな産業の創立者たちにもインタビューを試みてきました。最近、私はヒデオ・ジョー・モリタ(盛田英夫)という方とお会いして話を たたず

うかがう機会がありました。彼のオフィスは東京の表参道のエリアにありながらも質素な佇まいでした。おそらくジョーのことを知る人 は少ないでしょうが、彼の父、盛田昭夫という「ソニー」を世界的な大企業に育てた経営者のことは知っていると思います。盛田家の長

Publisher Outdoor Japan Media Editor-in-Chief Gardner Robinson Editor Bill Ross Media Coordinator Rie Miyoshi Design Mojoworks Contributing Editors Rie Miyoshi, Shigeo Morishita Translators Yoshine Lee, Eri Nishikami, Lana Sofer Contributors Gint Atkinson, Joan Bailey, Amy Chavez, Lee Dobson, Bryan Harrell, Neil Hartmann, Yuske Hirota, Abdel Ibrahim, Pete Leong, Pauline Kitamura, Takashi Niwa, Tim Rock, Justin Stein

Outdoor Japan Media 8782-2 Toyosato Nozawaonsen-mura Shimotakai-gun, Nagano-ken 389-2502

のこ

男として生まれたジョーは父親の遺した遺産の相続人でした。盛田家の成功はテクノロジーだけではなく、名古屋に代々つづいた食品 と日本酒のビジネスが根底にありました。ジョーは父親を超えようと、さまざまなビジネスに挑戦しました。西カナダ地方に豪華な水 に浮かぶフィッシングロッジを、またパラオにはイルカのマリンパークとリハビリテーションの施設もつくりました。そして新潟県には世 界クラスのスキーリゾート、アライ・マウンテン & スノーパークを建設しました。当時、アライは地名度を上げるためにワールドカップの スキーレースの招致や、有名なスキー選手、メーア兄弟やアルベルト・トンバを招いたり、また MTB のワールドカップも開催しました。 リゾートの設備は超一流で、温泉には死海から取り寄せた塩を使い、ずらりと並ぶ 3 スターから5スタークラスのホテルの中庭は暖か くなるように設備されていたのです。高級パンを焼くベーカリーからビール醸造所、そしてスキーやスノーボード関連の施設は至れり尽

Sales & Marketing media@outdoorjapan.com Editorial editor@outdoorjapan.com www.facebook/japantraveler

くせりという驚くほどのものでした。しかしそのスキーリゾートは一夜にして消えてしまったのです。多額の負債を抱えて倒産となり、数

www.twitter.com/outdoorjapan

メートルの雪の下に埋もれて廃墟のようになってしまいました。

www.youtube.com/outdoorjapan

はいきょ

しかし最近、韓国の大企業ロッテが最近そのリゾートを買収し、過去の栄華を取り戻すべく投資に乗りだしました。ザ・フリーライ ド・ワールドツアーが今年 3 月にこのリゾートで開催されて、アライの復活を高々と宣言したのです。

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閑話休題、アライリゾートの復活のように、日本もやっと長い冬眠から目を覚ましましたね。読者のみなさんも春の到来とともに いざな

じっとしていられない気分だと思います。今号はそんなあなたを新しい冒険へと誘います。期待に胸を弾ませてページを開いてください。 さてここである人物を彼の思い出とともに紹介させていただきたいと思います。ウェイン・グラクジーックは私たちの長年の友 じょうし

人で、コピーエディターとしても活躍してきました。しかし残念なことに、彼は昨年この世を去りました。彼が妻や子供たちと上梓した 『Japan Pro Baseball Fan Handbook & Media Guide ( 英語版 )』は日本のプロ野球ファンには最高の一冊です。今週、私はその 2018 年シーズン用を一冊、手に入れることができました。そのページをめくると彼らの努力がひしひしと伝わってきます。 とにかく、ついに春の本格的な到来です。ドアから飛びだし、輝く自然を満喫しましょう!

—Gardner Robinson

AIRLINE PARTNERS

Traveler magazine is available at selected lounges, reservations counters and in-flight libraries with the following airline partners.

トラベラーマガジンは、空港ラウンジや予約カウンターや、右記航空会社インフライト・ライブラリーにてお読みいただけます。

Cover Photo: Gappai slacklining over Lake Inagako,

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TRAVELER

©2018 OUTDOOR JAPAN INC. all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Views expressed herein are not necessarily those of OUTDOOR JAPAN INC. Printed in Japan.

Yamanashi Prefecture Photo: Ayako Kichikawa


May

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Fly! ANA Windsurfing World Cup

ng Events i r p S Earth Day Tokyo Yoyogi Park’s annual Earth Day celebration returns with musical performances, organic food booths and a fun market to support a cleaner and greener world. Highlights include the Earth Day Concert and workshops for kids and families. Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Apr. 21-22 Yoyogi Park, Tokyo www.earthday-tokyo.org

Belgian Beer Weekend To celebrate the friendship between Belgium and Japan, the Belgian Beer Weekend is making its 9th annual tour around the country starting in Nagoya. Beer, food and live music— what more could you ask for? Apr. 25–Sept. 24 Nagoya, Yokohama, Osaka, Sapporo, Tokyo, Kobe www.belgianbeerweekend.jp

Zushi Beach Film Festival The surf town of Zushi is the best location for an early summer beach film festival. This outdoor, pet-friendly cinema held on the beach also offers a restaurant, bar, skate ramp and bazaar. Apr. 27-May 6 Zushi Beach, Kanagawa www.zushifilm.com

Kyushu Beer Festival Sample some of Japan’s best craft beers including Far Yeast, Yamaguchi Beer, Kirishima Kogen, Kirishima Beer and Inawashiro Beer. There are three festivals scheduled this year including Fukuoka (Apr. 27-May 6), Oita (May 2-6) and Kurume, Fukuoka (Aug. 9-12). And beers are just ¥600! Apr. 27-Aug. 12 Fukuoka and Oita www.kyushubeerfestival.com

Rainbow Disco Club This annual art and electronic music festival moved its stage to idyllic Izu Peninsula a few years ago. A truly artistic experience for the senses, this event is held each spring for three days of non-stop music. Apr. 28-30 Higashi Izu Cross Country Course, Shizuoka www.rainbowdiscoclub.com

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Tour de Kunisaki

Sanja Matsuri

The legendary Kunisaki Peninsula famous for a rich Buddhist heritage is the setting for this annual century ride. The 160-kilometer course is hilly with mountain paths and coastal roads for a challenging, late spring ride. There are also three shorter courses for beginners and families.

One of the Three Great Festivals of Edo (old Tokyo), Sanja Matsuri is an impressive sight as Tokyo comes together to carry massive mikoshi (portable shrines) through Asakusa. A truly cultural experience, this festival is held on the third weekend of May.

May 2-3 Kunisaki, Oita www.ture-de-kunisaki.jp

May 18-20 Asakusa, Tokyo www.asakusajinja.jp

Fly! ANA Windsurfing World Cup

Chiba Spartan Sprint and Kids Race

Tsukuihama Beach in Yokosuka will host one of the international Professional Windsurfers Association contests this spring. The top slalom sailors from around the world will compete for the Professional Slalom World Champion title.

You might have heard of the infamously grueling Spartan Race. The shortest version of the series, the Spartan Sprint, will be held in Chiba this May and is perfect for all levels from first timers to seasoned racers. This fivekilometer sprint packs more than twenty obstacles. The kids’ race will also be held that day at the same venue.

May 10-15 Yokosuka, Kanagawa www.pwaworldtour.com

SUP Kerama Blue Cup in Zamami Start spring right with stand-up paddling in Okinawa! Zamami Island’s white sandy beaches and turquoise waters are the perfect backdrop for two days of this challenge for both professionals and amateurs. The festival will also hold SUP and beach yoga sessions and a beach clean up. Be sure to squeeze in some snorkeling or diving while you’re out there too. May 12-13 Zamami, Okinawa www.keramabluecup.com

May 19 Country Farm Tokyo German Village, Chiba www.spartanrace.jp

Greenroom Festival Get a head start into summer at Japan’s premier surf lifestyle festival. Featuring live performances by international artists Jimmy Cliff, Sublime with Rome and The Wailers, surf artwork, film screenings and booths by top surf brands, this two-day event is a definite mustvisit for beach culture lovers. May 26-27 Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, Kanagawa www.greenroom.jp


Nature Ride Niseko

Jun e

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Nature Ride Niseko The first official cycling event of the season, Nature Ride Niseko offers a 110-kilometer course targeting Rankoshi Town along the Sea of Japan and the easier 70-kilometer loop course. This long-distance ride starts and ends at Kutchan and is designed for amateurs, families and people training for more intense rides. Aid stations along the route will supply dishes made with local ingredients. Riders will receive meal and onsen tickets at the goal. June 10 Niseko, Hokkaido www.nisekotourism.com

Himeji Yukata Festival Natural High! Earth Day Camp This folksy, laid-back music festival breathes health and wellness as it runs completely on clean energy and provides organic and delicious meals and craft beer. May 26-27 Doshi no Mori Campsite, Yamanashi www.naturalhigh.jp

Sea to Summit Montbell’s annual triathlon-esque challenge begins this May starting in Tottori Prefecture. Begin by kayaking to shore, followed by biking and hiking to the summit. There are a total of 12 events held all over Japan until November and is a great way to experience local areas. If you’re thinking of signing up, don’t be intimidated—although challenging, this race is open to everybody. May 19-Nov. 18 Various locations www.montbell.jp

Red Bull Air Race Re d B u l l ’s a e r i a l d a re d ev i l s w i l l b e returning to Chiba for the third time for this globally renowned air race championship. More than 20 pilots, including Yoshihide Muroya a.k.a. “The Last Samurai,” will be competing. Muroya stunned crowds by winning in both 2016 and 2017. Let’s hope he makes three wins in a row in his home country this year. May 26-27 Makuhari Seaside Park, Chiba www.redbullairrace.com

Taico Club You don’t have to stay in the city for electronic dance music. DJs, sound engineers and musicians from the world over will convene in the Nagano mountains for one of Japan’s hottest dance parties. June 2-3 Kodama no Mori Campsite, Nagano Web: www.taicoclub.com

The oldest of its kind in Japan, this cultural event celebrates the start of summer with yukata —light and colorful kimonos — worn during the warmer months. Set against the picturesque Himeji Castle, enjoy local matsuri food and games and even wear a yukata yourself! Late June Himeji Castle, Hyogo

Aizen Festival In Japan, summer officially kick starts after rainy season. Aizen Festival is famous for being the year’s first major summer festival in Osaka. Enjoy the region’s food such as okonomiyaki and takoyaki and participate in the Hoekago Parade where a geisha sits in a special seat carried around the area. June 30-July 2 Shitennoji-Mae, Osaka www.aizendo.com/festival.htm

New Acoustic Camp While this music festival is still a while away, ticket sales start in March and tend to run out quickly! With solid acoustic bands, folk dancing and stargazing, this fun weekend festival is held in Minakami which was listed as a UNESCO biosphere area in 2017. Sept. 15-16 Minakami Kogen Resort 200 www.newacousticcamp.com

Japan Ecotrack Areas Expand Since 2015, Japanese outdoor brand Montbell has teamed up with local regions all over Japan to designate Japan Ecotrack areas: trekking, kayaking and cycling trails for the independent traveler. Visitors carrying the Japan Eco Track brochures can receive special discounts or gifts from participating local shops and accommodation along this route. This year, four new routes have been developed along northern Lake Biwa in Saga, Okhotsk in Hokkaido, Aso in Kumamoto and Zao in Yamagata. www.japanecotrack.net SPRING 2018

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n a p a J r o o d t u O

s e r u t n e v d Spring A

ture! n e v d a w e n a is stidays, spring fe er Every season ng lo h it w , ason e in Japan m is se s an exciting ti cover Japan th is D n. fu n o as Spring is alway green se cookouts and vals, outdoor ures. Japan Advent with Outdoor

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nyonin iseko ground for ca Activities at N lleys, Niseko becomes a spring play ysically challenging er at W g in it va ph Exc ko’s rivers and naline-fueled,

re which s into Nise sort’s most ad As snow melt r river section Hanazono Re g off at a slowe tin ing is Niseko ar ep st on de s, ny a nt Ca to . rre in ng d and rafti canyons and cu jump at the en e a network of 308 th a six-meter or wi no pl s zo Ex ar . na fe ity Ha ur tiv at yo ac ts t. Face . The tour mee more turbulen rental and ning Lion Falls soon becomes pped activity ws of the stun ui vie eq e th lly fu in s, ke ta om d ro an er ol ck po lo d ue bl ging an mfortable chan y is a which offers co to ur. A du ck ers. ow sh d an s on a “d uc ky ” fé ca go s, th e e, op of ng sh e le il rc al ta fo re al ch ge rs fe el th e ok in g fo r a re ined nce as pa ss en tra rie Fo r th os e lo of pe e ex ey g ul lin hf ril der the watc rs on ra ft, a th h a larger raft. Un sm al l two- pe ages with lunc they would in an wnriver. Pack th do er le ng dd ro pa to s ill rapids st sk l ca ni staff, gain tech professional view of Niseko joy a stunning d le. ab g tour and en kin ya are avail d with covere ka a ize se ial a ec mmer, join a kayaks are sp Se . rk During the su Pa l na i Natio u Kaigan Quas id es w ho waves. Shakotan Otar pe rie nced gu vigate against na to y ilit ab bi ki ng w ith ex n ai nt ou m decks and the by gi on fu rt he r ’ age and skill. Ex pl ore th e re ing on guests nd pe de s se customize cour

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Summer Camping for Kids

Give your kids the experience of camping this summer with English Adventure. A 100% Englishonly camp experience for children from kindergarten to middle school, English Adventure is nestled in the mountains of Tsunan, just over the border in Niigata Prefecture. This three-day camp emphasizes English-speaking skills, personal development and growth. Kids can look forward to fun camp activities including water activities, cookouts, crafts, outdoor skill workshops, hiking and campfires. There are three programs catered for campers’ language needs: the Immersion Program for native English speakers, returnees and international school students, the Challenge Program for beginner speakers and Challenge Plus for intermediate speakers. During the winter, four-day ski camps are held. Camp fees include round-trip transportation from Tokyo, lodging, meals, activity fees and insurance.

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m adventures.co n a p a rj o o td u www.o

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Green Season Fu n

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Hakuba Valley Hakuba is a mecca for hiking and mo untain biking in Ja hikers boarding go pan during the gre ndolas to start the en season, with ir ascent up the No Evergreen Adventu rthern Japanese res based at the Alps nearly every foo t of Hakuba Happ catered to all lev day. o-One offers cycli els, from families ng and hiking tou with children to int the valley. Downhil rs ermediate riders l tours recommend who want to see ed for intermediat the hills in eastern more of e riders include tra Hakuba. nsportation to the top of To enjoy Hakuba from below, go ca noeing or kayakin purest lakes, fed by g in Lake Aoki. Th melted snow, rain is lake is one of the and natural spring ence one of the mo country’s water bubbling fro st amazing night m below. At night, tours: a canoe tou For more thrill, go you can experir to see Japanese hotar downriver kayakin u (fireflies) dance g on Sai River or above Lake Aoki. grade two whitewa ter rafting down Hime River.

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Golden Week Bloom in Shinetsu

It takes less than two hours from Tokyo to reach Iiyama Station in Shinetsu Shizenkyo, a massive nature park covering nine areas across Nagano and Niigata prefectures. Chikumagawa, the region’s main river, is the center hub for all water activities including SUP and kayaking. During Golden Week, Shinetsu Shizenkyo Activity Center offers a special rafting and cycling combination to enjoy a spectacular view of bright yellow nanohana oilseed flowers in full bloom. Located at Iiyama Station, Shinetsu Shizenkyo Activity Center offers rentals, tours and helpful information regarding MTB rentals, hiking tours, the region’s best onsen hot spring towns and more.

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wn in h an Onsen To ce a bu st lin g on se n tow n ba ck di as on Cycling Throug tra w , a nt ai ad qu am y iy Ka m n enjo

ra you ca Na ga no ’s To gu e today where s for visitors a sleepier plac s it’ d walking tour t an bu , ng ay cli cy ns ru its heyd s gano food ur To Na l o Zukudashi Ec , try traditiona tional Japan. gl ish by s and villagers En er in rm n fa l ru ca e lo ar s ith the ha rves t. To ur e ok an , th to interact w Ry ith ei w es t m even he lp ou ow ne r of Ka d an nt de st si an d pe rh ap s ’s olde inns. lo ng -t im e re one of the town Ty le r Ly nc h, 

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Canyoning in Minakami It isn’t hard to see why Minakami in Gunma was registered as a UNESCO Eco Park in 2017 with its majestic peaks, deep canyons, rapids and year-round outdoor fun. Founded by Mike Harris who introduced canyoning to Japan and is one of Japan’s first rafting guides, Canyons introduces travelers to watersports fun in Minakami. Rappel down waterfalls deep in the valley or raft in Japan’s best rapids including the Tone River which maintains a section of over 10 kilometers of grade 4 whitewater. If you’re looking for a day trip, Canyons runs tours in Okutama in western Tokyo. SPRING 2018

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Freewheeling through

Toky

o Discover beyond the tou rist spots of Tokyo and go "behind the scenes” with Freewheeling Jap an which was recently featured on CNN. Wheth you’re into architecture, er temples, local food or just want to see what livi ng in the “Bi g Mik an” is like , lon g-t ime Tok yo res ide nt Bra d Bennett has a cycling tou r for you. Brad also org anizes hiking tours to Tokyo’s Mt. Takao wit h his loveable Jack Rus sell terrier, “Jacksan.”

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Spring Surf in Chiba

insula is famous tern coast of Boso Pen Hebara Beach on the eas Catch your first . rise sun and an extraordinary for year-round waves who has surfed ett Gill e Dan by st House run waves with Splash Gue pic ked up at be l wil ts n 18 yea rs. Par tici pan in Jap an for mo re tha bus ride fro m r hou lf -ha d-a -an ich is a one Kat suu ra Bus Sto p, wh a surf lesson, you might take a day trip out for Tokyo. While you can and breakfast. bed this at ng a night want to consider spendi

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Sailing and Ocean

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de Cycling in Izu Th e Izu Re gio n in Sh izu ok a is a qu ick mo un tai ns , ocea es ca pe fro m To n an d cu ltu re all kyo an d ha s in on e. Lo ca l Tra countryside tour ve l Pa rtn er s’ Mt in Shizuoka is a ha . Fu ji lf-d ay cy speaking local gu cling adventure wh ides will take you ere Englishalong the Abe Riv of Mt . Fu ji loo mi er. Enjoy pristine ng overh ea d an views d pic k up sh ira su Mochimune Fishin (b aby sa rd ine s) g Port before dro fro m pping by Utsunoya and a historical sh , an Edo-period vil op selling Shizuok lage a sp ec ial ties like rice cake Th eir un iqu e sa ilin s and tea. g to ur de pa rts fro m Sh izu ura po rt, impressive Mt. Fu ji and over Izu’s cle cru isi ng pa st ar waters before Numazu port for stopping for lunch the fresh catch of at the day. Passeng literally learn the ers can get a chan ropes and help sa ce to il the bo weekend except at. The cruise op on certain occasio erates every ns when the sailbo is away on longe at r expeditions, so inquire ahead.

in Izu s an d Sea Kayaking fin d w hi te sa nd y be ac he s, cave nners

begi Iz u to Kayak guides Go so ut h of idges. Surface br g lesson d an kin ya es ka ch natural rock ar cluding a quick in n io rs cu ex full-day on a leisurely er months, ring the warm Du h. nc lu d an keling or sn r e ideal fo the waters ar periex r Fo . ps m ju and small cliff y 10 rs, the One-Da enced kayake le. ab ail av o als Kayak tour is pu la r w ith Th e area is po kayakers y divers and luck ee sea s n e v e might g fis h. in tu rt le s an d fly en jo y , ng ki ya ka Af te r n an d se on Iz u’s fa m ou s d. oo af fresh se

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d Onna-son inawa is blesse on in west Ok a at Tropical Under the Se Okinawa’s best nature views, Onna-s ine life and clear ocean views.

ar e of kite s, abundant m Boasting som P, surfing and s, gentle wave he ac th snorkel, SU be wi ite is th wh dive of s s, e ef ou ag re m l nt fa ra t va co os ad m th wi takes full isit is Japan’s e ouse Okinawa ctors. A must-v e pool lit by th Tropical Surfh essional instru of to with an azur pr ot by gr l ed ra id tu gu na s a , ur ve to Ca ng rfi ue su a and Bl ot, Cape Maed and snorkel sp a floor. se s ou re lca ca e reflection of th

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es.com apanadventur www.outdoorj


Get the most out of

I

f you live in Japan, odds are you are really looking forward to Golden Week, the consecutive public holidays in late April and early May. Major resorts and tourist destinations can get overbooked during this popular time to travel, but here are a few ideas how you can avoid the crowds and enjoy some Golden Week fun.

Golden Week Day

Night

Spring Snow Climbing

Located in the northern Iiyama region in Nagano Prefecture, the 1290-meter Mt. Nabekura is a half-day trek. You can still enjoy remaining snow while hiking through a beech forest and taking in the views of the Sea of Japan from the summit. This special guided tour (only in Japanese) costs ¥3,700 and starts from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on April 29 and May 5. This climb is hosted by Nabekura Kogen Mori no Ie (Forest House), a green season tourism center where events, tea ceremonies, education courses and workshops are held. Travelers can also stay at one of their ten log cottages. To explore more of the region, embark on the Shinetsu Trail, the 80-kilometers thru-hike on the Sekida Mountain ridgeline bordering Nagano and Niigata prefectures. It takes roughly four to five days and is best during mid-June to end of October. www.nabekura.net

Green Season at the Foot of Mt. Fuji

There’s more to Shizuoka than Mt. Fuji. The Fuji River is noted as one of Japan’s three fastest flowing rivers, the winding 128-kilometer river maintaining a grade two or three during its peak whitewater season with stunning views of waterfalls, arches and cliffs. Natural Action Outdoor Tours was the first operator to run rafting tours on the Fujikawa. They operate professional rafting, SUP and mountain biking tours to enjoy the region’s mountains and rivers to the max. Guests can also enjoy a hearty BBQ (available after the half-day tours) and hop into the nearby ShinInakogawa U-Trio onsen. If you book a tour with Natural Action Outdoor Tours for Golden Week, receive a readers-only ¥500 discount. www.naturalaction.co.jp

Diving with Manta Rays

It’s hard to imagine going from spring snow hiking to a tropical island all within one week in the same country, but in Japan you can. A threehour flight from Tokyo is Ishigaki island in Okinawa. Wild nature and clear waters teeming with manta rays and other marine life await divers seeking adventure. Diving School Umicoza runs daily dives and is offering a discount only for Outdoor Japan readers. Receive a 10% discount for every fun dive during Golden Week (discount only applies to licensed scuba divers). When conditions are clear, visit a manta ray cleaning station, a special dive site Umicoza’s owners discovered. May to October is the best time to view the mantas as the south wind continues and sea conditions remain calm. Diving School Umicoza has a fully bilingual staff and is a member of the Yaeyama Diving Association, www.umicoza.com

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Mofest 2018

June 8-10

M

inakami has a reputation as one of the top outdoor and adventure towns in Japan, as well as a place of great natural beauty. In 2017 this was enhanced by being chosen as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Gunma’s outdoor playground, which is just over an hour from central Tokyo, has it all—2,000-meter-high mountains, deep valleys with rushing rapids, canyons and waterfalls fed by fresh snow, as well as plentiful hot springs.

Each year outdoor enthusiasts descend on Minakami for one of the biggest events in Japan for outdoor adventure sports—the Minakami Outdoor Festival, or “Mofest” for short, brings professionals and amateurs together for three days of competitions, adventure experiences and fun performances.

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The festival will include races for the first time this year. Japan’s top white water rafting teams will take part in qualifiers for the World Cup, including the women’s rafting team which won first in the World Cup and the men’s team which came in second last year. The nation’s top SUP athletes will also be competing in a SUP event. Performances include mountain bike trials by Japan’s top trials riders Kazuki Terai and Fumiya Miyaji. Trials riding is an extreme test of bicycle balance and skill. Gibbon Japan’s slackline masters will also perform dynamic tricks against Minakami’s dramatic natural backdrop. There’s plenty of fun for all levels too. With the rugged mountains and mighty Tone River, Minakami is the perfect field for trail running, cycling, rafting, kayaking, stand-up

paddling, bungy jumping, rock climbing, canyoning, hiking and ziplining. Participants can choose from either “Festival Adventures”—shorter and easier versions of activities based at the main festival grounds— or “Real Adventures,” which are tours at a special festival price. After a full day of outdoor fun, enjoy live music and DJs in the onsengai (main hot spring street), which will be blocked and turned into a beer garden. The 2018 Minakami Outdoor Festival will be held from June 8-10 in Mizukikokan. For more information, visit www.mofest.jp.

!

M

inakami is a spread-out town in northern Gunma with Minakami Station as its center hub. The region’s iconic Mt. Tanigawa is a 1,977-meter mountain bordering Gunma and Niigata Prefecture. Belonging to Joshin’etsu Kogen National Park, the mountain consists of two peaks: Tomano-mimi and Okinomimi. You’ll still find snow at the top even in June, so hiking is recommended between July and November. From the base of the mountain, you can either take the Tanigawa Ropeway or hike two and a half hours to the ropeway station. From there, it is an additional two-hour hike to the summit. At the eastern foot of the mountain is “Ichinokurasawa,” a must-visit for rock climbers. The deep powder blanketing the mountain in the winter melts into the Tone River, perfect for thrilling grade-four whitewater rafting in May. In summer, the river calms to a grade one or two. Rafting tours during this season involve playing in and outside the boat. Deep valleys and crystal clear waters also make Minakami a world-class canyoning spot for all levels. Canyoning, the sport of making your way down canyons by abseiling, jumping waterfalls and cliffs, cascading down natural chutes and water slides, swimming through pools and using special rope systems, is a challenging, rewarding way to discover a hidden side of Minakami.

Minakami

!

Discover

!!!!!

Onsen Village Culture At the base of the Tanigawa Range, Minakami genuflects its hot spring towns, Tanigawa Onsen and Sarugakyo Onsen. A halfhour drive away from central Minakami is the famous Takaragawa Onsen, a mixed hot spring with some of the largest rotenburos (outdoor baths) in Japan. This onsen is nested in a valley overlooking Takara River. In the south, the secluded 140-year-old Hoshi Onsen is an architectural delight. Its famous bath boasts a natural spring said to help cure gastrointestinal disorders, burns and arteriosclerosis. Traditional crafts are preserved at Takumi no Sato, a cultural arts and crafts village sitting among rice fields and fruit orchards. Recommended as one of the best locations for short trips in the Michelin Green Guide Japan book, Takumi no Sato offers straw and bamboo crafts, pottery, woodworking, silk printing and washi paper craft workshops.

Exciting Events The 7 th E-Boat Race is held at Lake Akaya near Sarugakyo Onsen every May. Lake Akaya is an artificial lake for irrigation and electricity generation, but that doesn’t make

it any less beautiful. In the spring, the kenshin no sakasa sakura blossoms around the lake make it a popular destination. Competing on a 10-person inflatable boat, the race is split into two categories: the nature appreciation course and the sprint. Participation costs ¥3,500 for adults and ¥2,000 for kids. This year, the race will take place on May 26-27. Mt. Tanigawa officially opens for hiking season at the end of June, starting with the Tanigawadake Eco Tour Carnival. Between June 28 to July 4, Minakami celebrates Tanigawadake Week offering hiking and eco education tours, live music, booths and discounted rates for accommodation.

Getting There Jomo Kogen Station is a 75-minute shinkansen ride from Tokyo Station on the JR Joetsu Shinkansen line. From Jomo Kogen station, take a bus to central Minakami in the north or Sarugakyo Onsen and Takumi no Sato in the west. It is recommended to rent a car as public transportation is limited and the attractions are spread out. 

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Ask any Japanese person—or even foreign residents—if you can climb Mt. Fuji outside of the two-month official summer hiking season, and they will tell you that the mountain is closed or climbing is forbidden. In a sense it is, and there are many signs saying just this, but if you look at the fine print or do a little research, off-season climbing is forbidden with exception to those who have the appropriate equipment, training and fitness expertise to climb the mountain. May and June on the south-facing Fujino­ miya route is by far the best climbing Mt. Fuji has to offer. The weather is stable with temperatures generally above freezing and light to moderate wind on the summit during the daytime. By then, the snow would have soft­e ned up making conditions safe even for novice mountaineers just learning to use ice axes and crampons. Plus, the crowds are nowhere to be seen.  You might think no one would be crazy enough to be on Japan’s highest volcano during

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this “forbidden” season. However, you’ll be surprised to find a group of Japanese men who climb the mountain nearly everyday, weather permitting. And they’re not spring chickens either: they’re retireees in their early 60s to late 70s! One of the climbers, Mr. Jitsukawa, has the world record for highest number of Mt. Fuji ascents. He’s climbed it 1,961 times and is slated to surpass 2,000 summits this July—earning the well-deserved nickname, Mr. Fujisan. Other guys like Mr. Saita has racked up more than 800 summits in the last eight years even though he approaches his 73rd birthday this year. Another guy in his mid-60s speed climbs the mountain three times a week, claiming that an hour and 50 minute-climb would be a slow day. Unfortunately, he always moves too fast for me to catch his name. You may be thinking, with all these old men running up and down the mountain in the snow, surely scaling Fuji in the off season must be an easy task. That is far from the truth. A one-day climb definitely requires a high degree of fitness, appropriate equipment and a guide as the


trail is covered in snow and unmarked. Ice axes, crampons and crampon experience, waterproof jacket and pants and synthetic insulating and base layers are the minimum gear you will need as well as goggles or sunglasses to protect your eyes from snow blindness. For a reasonably fit person, expect the climb to take four to six hours to reach the summit and two to three hours to descend. The descent is sped up even more if you glissade (slide on your bottom using an ice axe for control) or ski down the mountain.

“ Going home is always more important than reaching the summit.”

While this climb is highly recommended for adventure seekers, do not take it lightly. People get lost, fall and even die in the spring season, especially if the weather makes a sudden turn for the worse or if they come unprepared. All off-season climbs are required to be registered with the prefecture’s police department. Off-season transportation to the Fujinomiya fifth station is nearly non-existent, which makes the Yoshidaguchi route very tempting with conveni­e nt transport from May. The Yoshida-guchi side is north facing and remains icy into June, causing numerous accidents. If in doubt, go with a guide or an organized climbing group because going home is always more important than reaching the summit.  

David’s Hokkaidoken Yuki sometimes joins the tour!

David Niehoff is the owner and lead guide of Kanto Adventures, a private climbing guide service for foreign and Japanese customers. To sign up for his Mt. Fuji Spring Climbing Tour, go to www.outdoorjapanadventures.com.

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Y

okohama Station, the central hub of Japan’s second largest city, isn’t the trendiest station. But this spring, Antenna America will help change that. Nagano Trading, the craft beer wholesaler and importer, opened Antenna America taproom back in 2013 as a showroom for their extensive American craft beer line up. AA’s location near Kannai Station is above Nagano Trading’s headquarters, tucked away in a small side street. AA’s name symbolizes their mission to transmit, transport and connect great craft brewers with craft beer lovers as well as offering American food culture in Japan. (The brand’s acronym “AA” is also a nod to the owners’ names, Andrew and Akemi Balmuth.) Eventually this showroom started serving American food including Andrew’s famous chicken wings. Started in 2004, Nagano Trading has always gone against the beer industry’s status quo. Although many advised them that “the consumer would never notice” if their beer wasn’t shipped over in refrigerated containers, the Balmuths decided to implement a strict 100% cold-chain importation system for maximum freshness. This means the beer they import stays cold from the point of origin to their destination in Japan. Nagano Trading’s loyalty to high quality control paid off when they started winning exclusive importing rights for some of the best niche

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breweries in the United States, building credibility with the core craft beer crowd. The percentage of craft beer drinkers in Japan wasn’t increasing as much and demand was still very low, so to attract a wider audience, Nagano Trading went after bigger craft beer names including Sierra Nevada, which was a fiveyear negotiation. “Sierra Nevada changed our life,” Akemi Balmuth believes. “Introducing a major brand like them in Japan opened up possibilities for Antenna America to have bigger retail chains and reach a whole group of beer lovers who don’t drink craft beer yet.” When you think of attracting big crowds in Japan, you think of Tokyo. So why Yokohama? Yokohama is home to Kirin Beer, one of Japan’s biggest breweries, and thereby has a history and culture of beer plus an openness to craft beers. The city also has a sister-city relationship with San Diego, which is home to some of the craft beers Nagano Trading imports. But what really struck a chord in the Balmuth’s hearts was Yokohama’s trademark harbor and portside culture. Akemi had graduated from a university in Kobe, another port town in the Kansai Region, and missed being near the seaside hearing the sounds of container boats docking. “We first ran Nagano Trading from Ginza, Tokyo,” says Akemi. “But when we came to


Yokohama looking for a new location, we immediately felt comfortable.” As Antenna America’s name spread among the food and beverages industry, it caught the attention of high-end grocery chain store Queens Isetan. The two companies collaborated to open their second location in Shinagawa Station’s Atre building. Because of the limited space, this location serves as a bar for thirsty passersby. Beers are mainly served on tap with 20 to 25 varieties of canned or bottled beers available. Akemi hopes that Antenna America’s third location at the bustling Yokohama Station will

attract non-craft beer drinkers open to trying something new. This spacious location is simi­ lar to the Kannai showroom in that it boasts a wide variety of beers from 12 oz. niche brands to barrel-aged vintage bottles that look like wine. During the day, patrons can sample beers with hot dogs and mixed nuts. After 5 p.m., they will serve their famous chicken wings, waffle fries and jalapeno poppers. Depending on the week, you’ll find tap take­ overs of new brands only available at Antenna America, tastings and game and education events. Bilingual staff members are available at all locations. 

Antenna America Yokohama Food & Times Isetan Yokohama Joinus, Shin Sotetsu Building, 1-5-1 Nanko, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa-ken 220-0005 Tel: (045) 548-8733 Antenna America Kannai 5F Yoshida Kosan Building #6, 5-4 Yoshida-machi, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa-ken 231-0041 Tel: (045) 315-5228 Antenna America Shinagawa 2-18-1 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0075 Tel: (03) 6717-6262 Web: www.antenna-america.com

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By Bryan Harrell

O

kayama Prefecture lies in a sleepy location in Western Japan blessed by great weather. This is perhaps the biggest reason the area is famous for its fruit, namely peaches and muscat grapes. These two types of fruit appeared in Japanese beer for the first time in Doppo Peach and Doppo Muscat beers, made by Miyashita Sake Brewery of Okayama. Founded in 1915, Miyashita began brewing beer in 1995, a year after the authorities allowed breweries to be licensed to brew only 60,000 liters of beer annually, down from two million liters annually in the past. By the time Miyashita began brewing beer, they had already established a fabulous reputation brewing sake, and produced many popular

varieties. It was only natural that the beers produced would be of a high standard. In addition to the peach and muscat grape beers, Doppo also produces a yuzu (Japanese citrus) beer, along with regular style beers such as pilsner, dark beer (dunkel), weizen, imperial ale, anniversary ale, a lager made with Omachi sake rice, along with a dark beer made to match grilled eel and a white beer to pair with oysters. The brewing team has made a wide variety of beers in the more than two decades of opera­ tion, with many of them shown on their website although all of them are still available. Perhaps the best place to enjoy Doppo Beer is the restaurant they opened in June 2017, adjacent to their huge brewery complex.

Doppo-kan Craft Brewery and Restaurant www.doppokan.jp  185-1 Nishikawahara, Naka-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken 703-8258  (086) 270-8111  Shop open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Restaurant open 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (last order 8:30 p.m.) Closed Wednesdays

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By Justin Stein

· Beervana · from Mt. Fuji TOto Mt. Hood

X

I

n the last few years, craft brewers and craft beer enthusiasts alike have become fans of collaborations in which brewers from two or more breweries work together to create one-of-a-kind beers. This column has previously discussed how Japanese craft brewers have worked with innovative brewers from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand to brew creative transpacific offerings. This April, a festival in Portland, Oregon will feature what must be the most ambitious collection of such collaborations to date. The Fuji to Hood Festival (named after these regions’ iconic mountains) will include eleven collaborative brews (ten beers and one cider) made by Japanese brewers visiting Portland. While advance details on the beers offered are not yet available, these collaborations feature excellent brewers teaming up from both sides of the Pacific, including Y. Market Brewing Kitchen (Nagoya) at Cascade Brewing , Far Yeast Brewing Company (Tokyo) at Breakside Brewery, Kyoto Brewing at Upright, and Ise Kadoya at the festival’s host, the small, IPA-oriented Culmination Brewing. In one of the most intertwined collaborations, Son of the Smith, a fairly new cidery in Ōmachi, Nagano that proudly cites how it was inspired by Oregon’s cideries, is collaborating with Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, who make a dry cider called Magnificent Seven (7%) that uses seven varieties of Japan-originated apples grown by a Japanese-American farmer, fermented with a strain of sake yeast derived from Aomori Prefecture. This festival in Portland—a city known as “Beervana” for having the most breweries per capita in the world—will also feature other aspects of Japanese cuisine and culture. Oregon’s sake brewery SakéOne will pour samples of their award-winning wares, and local restaurants will serve Japanese food, including ramen and sushi. Befitting Culmination Brewing’s commitment to environmental sustainability, the festival will feature Bamboo Sushi, a Portland restaurant that is the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant. Moreover, there will be taiko performances as well as decorative Japanese arts. Hopefully this inaugural festival will become an annual tradition, as it is a great way to encourage East-West beer tourism to the Pacific Northwest’s Beervana.

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X

FESTIVAL ROUNDUP Apr 21–22:

Bread and Beer Fest 2018 (Kashiwa, Chiba)

Apr 25–May 6: Belgian Beer Weekend (Nagoya) Apr 26–May 6: BB (Beer & BBQ) Fest (Tokyo)

May 19–20:

Outdoor Park (Osaka)

May 23–27: 2018 Keyaki Hiroba Spring Beer Fest (Saitama) Jun 2–3:

BeerFes Tokyo

Apr 27–May 6: Kyushu Beer Festival 2018 (Fukuoka)

Jun 13–17:

Belgian Beer Weekend (Osaka)

Apr 27–May 6: Yokohama Fruhlings Fest 2018

Jun 15–17:

Tohoku Ji-Beer Festival 2018 (Akita)

Jun 19:

San-In Ji-Beer Fest 2018 (Yonago, Tottori)

Apr 28–30:

Nippon Craftbeer Festival (Tokyo)

Apr 28–May 6: Craft Beer Shinshu Kaikin Festival (Tokyo) May 2–May 6: Kyushu Beer Festival 2018 (Ōita) May 17–20:

Belgian Beer Weekend (Yokohama)

May 18–27:

Hi Beer Garden (Hibiya Park, Tokyo)

X

Jun 22–Jul 1: Belgian Beer Weekend (Sapporo) Jun 29–Jul 8: Tohoku Oktoberfest (Sendai) Jun 30–Jul 1: Fujizakura Beer’s 20th Anniversary Party (Yamanashi)

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unt Fuji gush melt from Mo ound . Rain and snow cade s undergr de ral ve se ding out after spen す 年後に湧き出

Exploring Mt. Fuji’s Foothills ゆ う

す い

富士山麓で湧水巡り

W

hen planning a ride in the Mt. Fuji area, most cyclists think about the hard climb up to go-gome (the fifth station) or charting a full circle around Japan’s iconic mountain. While there surely is an allure to these challenging rides, there is more to see and feel if you avoid the high road and explore the local roads and pathways instead. Start your journey at Kawaguchiko Station on the Fujikyuko Line, and crank along the shores of Kawaguchiko and Saiko Lakes before submerging into the jukai (sea of trees) on Prefectural Road 71. Continue and turn right as you descend onto National Route 139 before a stop at the Asagiri Kogen highland roadside station. From there, go south on Route 139 until you hit a fork about three-and-a-half kilometers down the road. Take a right here and you’ll see a Family Mart convenience store on the left. This area is called Inokashira and is best known for the charming Jinba no Taki waterfall, as well as spring water that irrigates the surrounding wasabi fields. It’s fun to search your map for new routes and visit places like Odanuki Wetlands and Tanukiko (Tanuki Lake). Cruising down along the Shibakawa River, you will ride by irrigation channels flowing into rice paddies; the scenery is especially beautiful in spring. The route is mostly a gradual descent except for a hill just before arriving at Fujinomiya. You can finish the trip here or stay in Fujinomiya and enjoy some local eats, such as Fujinomiya yakisoba noodles, before getting back on the road. If you opt for another day of cycling, start the day by visiting Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha, the head shrine of the Asama and Sengen sects near Mount Fuji and beyond. To the east, Wakutama Springs’ clear waters are a must see, before riding along the Kandagawa and Uruigawa Rivers to Yoshiwara Station. Continue further south to Tagonoura Beach, where a coastline ride of about twenty kilometers ends in Numazu. After a stop at the fishing port for some fresh seafood, and perhaps sneaking into Baird Beer’s Fishmarket Taproom for a quick beer, head for the Mishima via Kakitagawa Springs Park. In summer, children play along the waterfront where streams flow into the sea. From Mishima Station you can take an easy train ride back on a Shinkansen (bullet train) or the Tokaido Line. Distance: Day 1: 56 kilometers, Day 2: 40 kilometers

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数十 た雨や雪が、 富士山に降っ

By Takashi Niwa

イクリストにとっての 富 士 山というフィー ルドは、5 合目までのヒルクライムや山麓一 周など、 チャレンジングであることが多い。 それ はそれで魅力的だが、 メインの道からそれて、裏道をのん びりと走ってみると、 見えてくるものも多い。 スタートは首都圏からのアクセスもよい富士急行の さいこ そして県道 71 号で樹 河口湖駅。 ここから河口湖、西湖、 あさぎり 海の中を行く。途中で国道 139 号に出て、道の駅「朝霧 高原」へ。3.5km 先の Y 字路を右に入り(左側にファミ いのかしら じんば リーマート)、猪 之頭地区に入る。陣 馬の滝も見事だが、 その周 辺 は 湧 水の 宝 庫で、ワサビの 栽 培 地も多い。 お だ ぬ き た ぬ き こ このあたりは詳 小田貫湿原、田貫湖などを裏道で結ぶ。 細な地図を見て、道探しをしてみよう。 しばかわ 芝 川 沿 いには、豊 富 な 湧 水 による用 水 路 や 水 田 がつづき、春 先はことさら美しい。基 本 的には下り勾 配だが、その日、富士宮に着く直前に、 ひと山越えること になる。 ふじのみや 富 士宮をゴールとしてもよいが、せっかくなら富士宮 に泊まって、 ソウルフードの焼きそばなどを食して、翌日も サイクリングを楽しみたい。 ほんぐう せんげんたいしゃ 翌日はまず富士山本 宮浅 間大社を詣でよう。富士山 の周辺にある浅間神社の総本山である。境内の東側の わくたま かんだがわ うるいがわ 湧 玉池の湧水も、それは見事だ。神 田川、潤 井川沿いを よしわら 走り(川沿いに通れないところもある)、吉原駅の南側か た ご 20km ほど海沿い ら田 子の浦で大海原へと飛びだし、 を行く。 かきたがわ 沼津の漁港で魚介類を堪能したら、柿田川の湧水群 に立ち寄り、三島市内へ。 この町も湧水が豊富で、夏なら ば子供たちが水辺で遊ぶ姿をよくみかける。 三島駅は JR の東海道線、東海道新幹線が通ってい るので、帰宅しやすい。

Lake Kawaguchi

河口湖

Yamanashi Pref.

山梨県

Fujiyoshida

Lake Kawaguchi

富士吉田

富士五湖

Kanagawa Pref.

神奈川県

Mt. Fuji

富士山 Hakone

Shizuoka Pref.

Fujinomiya

富士宮

静岡県

箱根

Shin Fuji

新富士 Mishima Numazu

沼津

Rice paddies along the Shiba kawa River are filled with water in spring.

春先の芝 川沿 いは、湧水で

満たされた水 田がつづく

走行距離:1 日目:56km、2 日目:40km

a Sprin im in Wakutam nbow trout sw Schools of rai Taisha. en ng Se u ng れている at Fujisan Ho ニジマスが群 間大 富士山本宮浅

三島

社の湧玉池は

gs


MARKET WATCH By Joan Bailey

ONOMICHI

FARMERS MARKET

A

t the trailhead of the Shimanami Kaido Bike Trail in Onomichi is a lovely little monthly market aptly named Onomichi Family Kitchen. Started six years ago by local residents who wanted access to organic food and to support nearby farmers, the market spills over into the nearby shotengai (covered shopping street) and is a hub of comm­ unity activity and good food. Nearly thirty vendors and their customers enjoy live music, workshops, puppet shows, story sessions, and most uniquely, a bounty of children’s books that young families swap back and forth each month. The Nagai family of Remondani Farm brings an assortment of citrus—lemons and mikan —as well as persimmons and pomegranates. Practitioners of natural farming for more than forty years, the Nagais are famous for producing fruits with unforgettable flavor and quality. A recent collaboration with a beekeeper helps with orchard pollination and also makes for a deep, rich golden honey that changes flavor with the seasons. Hiroshi Nagano of Umikaze Souen stands behind a table bursting with goodness: squash, deep red potatoes, and katakimame (dried beans). Originally from Hokkaido, the beans were brought south by Nagano’s in-laws nearly thirty years ago. Planted, saved and planted again, the white beans have evolved into an island specialty. Thomas Kloepfer of Pitchfork Farms offers a selection of fresh greens, a favorite with customers here. The combination of red and green lettuces, kale, mizuna and a handful of others makes salad as tasty as it is eye-catching. Like Nagano, he saves and selects his

seeds for growing on his farm across the channel on Mukai Island. Megumi Ninjo of Fukunotane Breads is also well worth a visit. Her loaves of walnut, raisin and rye are as delicious as they are beautiful, but it is the chocolate with bits of mikan peel that flies off the table. Her ten years of baking experience are evident in the quality of her bread and in the line of customers extending out from her table. Visitors can settle in at one of the picnic tables with a coffee from local roasters, Paraiso Coffee, or choose from a variety of sweet and savory breads Okeso Café makes from their own wheat in a newly expanded bakery. Whether cycling the Shimanami Kaido or simply touring the stunning temples and museums the Seto Inland Sea boasts, this homegrown market will certainly satisfy.

Morning Tour

ur

Afternoon To

9:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. Illumination

1:30 — 4:30 p.m.

Tour (Seasonal)

5:30 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.

Price: ¥6,700 + 8% tax

Onomichi Family Kitchen 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Onomichi, Hiroshima Onomichi Station: Turn left and walk down the shotengai to the park on the right.

info@cyclingholiday.tokyo http://cyclingholiday.tokyo

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TRAVELER’S JOURNAL

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Lotte Arai Resort will definitely become a hotspot for western skiers and boarders over the next few years.

B

ack in February I was skiing in the traditional hot spring town of Nozawa Onsen when I first heard the unlikely tale of Arai Resort. The heir to the Sony fortune had spent close to a billion dollars building Arai for the sole purpose of opening Japan’s first world-class ski resort, which he did in 1993 during the tail end of Japan’s “Bubble Era.” The resort is located just over the border in Niigata Prefecture, not far as the crow flies from where Nozawa Onsen is nestled deep in northern Nagano Prefecture. The resort closed in 2006 due to financial problems, and has been sitting under meters of snow each winter until recently, when Korea’s Lotte Corporation purchased Arai and began to rebuild the resort. The grand re-opening of Lotte Arai Resort happened this past December just before Korea hosted its first Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Arai was rumored to have alpine terrain above the treeline with wide open bowls, and some areas that had a reputation of being avalanche prone. I’d also heard some strange whispers that the area was cursed with bad luck. Superstition aside, it did not seem like your typical Japanese ski resort, but it sounded like a great destination for the adventurous skier. I checked out Lotte Arai Resort online and they had a snow depth of four-and-a-half meters with 40 cms. of fresh powder just a few days ago. They were going to host a Freeride World Tour qualifier event, so I teamed up with some snow-

boarder friends and hit the road the next morning to go check it out. After a pretty hour-long drive from Nozawa we arrived to a large and almost empty carpark amidst bluebird skies. We walked straight through the massive hotel and onwards towards the base of the gondola. Everything was bright and shiny, clean and freshly painted. And bizarrely devoid of people. It was clearly a purpose-built luxury resort catering to the higher end of the market, not ski bums like myself. Lift tickets were priced expensively by Japan standards at around ¥6,000 a day, but from what I could see from the bottom of the mountain, the terrain looked rad. We ended up having a fun day riding trackedout powder and finding a few stashes to ourselves. With open alpine bowls up high and tree skiing at the bottom, the mountain had fun ridges and cliffs to jump off. It was steep enough to go fast but nowhere that you needed to worry about getting cliffed out. Quite a few areas were roped off due to avalanche danger or access difficulties. The chairlifts were fast and with only about a hundred or so skiers and boarders, there was plenty of leftover powder to go around. My overall impression was of a less steep and lower elevation version of Jackson Hole and the exclusive, luxury, fur-coat-type vibe of Deer Valley. Also, contrary to the rumors, it was completely safe. I returned a month later at the beginning of March to compete in the Freeride World

Tour 2-star Qualifier. By this stage spring had sprung in Japan and conditions were 10 centimeters of sticky powder on a rain-affected, slightly rotten base of snow. The competition face was a slightly steep alpine bowl with a few features but nothing too extreme. Not ideal, but all the competitors were in the same boat. The eighty-or-so riders were a combination of foreigners spending a winter in Japan like myself and top-end local riders from this area of Japan. There were virtually no other customers at the resort. I stuck my planned line and ended up coming in tenth in open male ski. The top three skiers were skilled local Japanese free riders. I stayed around to enjoy some beers at the presentation party before heading back to Nozawa. Lotte Arai Resort will definitely become a hotspot for western skiers and boarders over the next few years. Curiosity is high but it could take awhile for Japanese customers to begin to visit, possibly due to superstition and also partly a reluctance to patronize a Korean-owned ski area, but perhaps their curiosity will take them there. Personally I loved it for its consistent semi-steep angle terrain and open bowls. I’m sure it would be a great choice for cashed-up families looking to stay at a luxurious base area, onsen facilities and fine wining and dining with the resort at their doorstep. If you’re a rider on a budget, it would be best to wait for a storm and smash out a day trip from a nearby town. 

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Fame i nt e rvi ew w i t h

Toru “Gappai” Osugi

Okayama native One spring afternoon in 2008, 24-year-old king odd jobs Toru Osugi was a few years out of college wor stumbled upon and looking for a new hobby to pursue. He of in Japan, and slacklining, an obscure sport barely heard best trickline in just a decade, became one of the world’s become well athletes. Today, his stage name Gappai has known in the world of tricklining.

め 人生を打ち込 になっていた。 歳 4 2 、 は 日 徹 る 大杉 、あ でいた大杉は 、岡山生まれの い 春 な の つ 年 い 8 食 0 で 0 2 めバイト 会った。それか ために大学を辞 ックラインと出 ラ ス た っ るなにかを探す か な い クラインの とんど知られて えられるトリッ ほ 数 は に で り 本 と 日 ひ だ の ま もベスト ラインの世界で で彼は世界で い」はトリック ぱ っ が 「 らわずか 10 年 ム ー クネ った。彼のニッ アスリートとな 在となった。 広く知られる存 Rie Miyoshi: In 2008, slacklining was very new not just in Japan but all over the world. How did you find out about it? Toru Osugi: My dad is a soccer coach so I had been playing soccer all my life. But I wanted to try something new. Just then, I happened to see on TV – I think it was on the NHK channel or something – a travel show where the host went to Europe. In one of the segments, the host met a group of young people slacklining at a park. It looked really fun and so I looked it up.

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Photos by Ayako Kichikawa

三好利恵(以下、RM):2008 年というと、スラックラ インは日本だけでなく世界的にもまだあまり知られてい なかったと思いますが、どうやって出会ったんですか? 大杉徹(以下、TO):父親がサッカーのコーチをして いた関係でぼくはずっとサッカーをしてきました。でも なにかほかのことをしたいと思っていたんです。ある日、 テレビの旅行番組でヨーロッパの若い人々が公園で、ス ラックラインで遊んでいるところが放映されたんです。そ れを見て、ぼくはすごく面白そうだなって興味を持った のです。


RM: Was it hard to find anything on it in Japanese? TO: It was! But then I found a few videos people had uploaded on YouTube. Also it was perfect timing because Germany-based Gibbon Slacklines, one of the major slackline makers, started distributing in Japan six months prior to this. So I bought a slackline, gathered up my buddies and tried it out. RM: Did your family and friends ask you why you were slacklining? TO: They would joke I was joining the circus, but everyone was interested and wanted to try it out. I was still working part-time here and there so the only time I could practice was in the morning before work. RM: Are there a lot of places to practice in Okayama? TO: Okayama is the countryside so the rules for where and when you can slackline aren’t as strict as they might be in the city. I would practice anywhere there were two trees I could tie my slackline to: the park, riverbeds and open spaces. RM: How did you end up becoming a trickline champion? TO: Remember the YouTube videos I mentioned earlier? A lot of them were home videos that people all over the world had filmed of themselves doing cool slackline tricks. I watched these guys and copied them, then eventually started filming myself performing my own variations of tricks. I was particularly inspired by Gibbon rider Andy Lewis. When he uploaded a new trick, I’d watch it and then upload another new trick I made up. I put up these videos under the username “Gappai.” RM: Gappai? TO: ( laughs ) People always ask me why my nickname is “Gappai” – there’s actually not much meaning to it! Gappai is an Okinawan term for when the back of your head sticks out. Not that mine is sticking out, but because I played soccer, the hair on the back of my head was cut short and stood out a lot. So the other kids in elementary school called me Gappai. It’s stuck since then and when I started uploading videos, I wanted to protect my identity so I went as Gappai online.

RM:その当時、日本でスラックラインに関連した道具 や人を見つけるのは難しかったんじゃないですか? TO:そのとおりです。でもユーチューブに映像をアップ している人たちがいたんですよ。またタイミングよくドイ ツのスラックラインのメーカーでギボン・スラックライン という大手の会社があるんですが、半年前ほどから日本 でディストリビューションをはじめていたんです。それで 購入して友人たちとやってみることにしました。 RM:家族や友人は、なんでそんなことをしているのっ て不思議に思いませんでしたか? TO: サーカスにでも就職する気かって冗談を言いま したね。でもみんな興味を抱いてくれて、やってみたいっ て言いました。ちなみにぼくは、仕事の前に朝だけ練習 していました。 RM:岡山には練習する場所はいろいろあるんですか? TO: 岡山は田舎ですから、大きな都市のようにルール に縛られることはありません。だからスラックラインが張 れるところは、公園や川原など広いところならどこでもで きますよ。 RM:トリックラインのチャンピオンになった話をしてく れますか? TO:先ほどユーチューブの話をしましたが、世界中の 愛好家たちはクールなトリックをホームビデオで撮って 公開しているんです。そんな映像を見てはコピーし、じっ さいに自分でやったところを撮影して自分のトリックのバ リエーションとして増やしていきました。とくにぼくは、 ギボンのライダーであるアンディ・ルイスから影響を受 けました。彼が新しいトリックを公開すると、それを見た ぼくも新しいトリックを公開して「がっぱい」というユー ザー名を付けたんです。 RM:ガッパイ? TO:(笑)「がっぱい」の意味をよく尋ねられます。と くにはっきりした意味はないんです。「がっぱい」は沖縄 の言葉で後頭部が突き出ているという意味なんです。ぼ くの頭が突き出ているわけではないんですが、サッカー をしていたころに髪を刈り上げてめだっていたことが あって、それを見た小学生から「がっぱい」と呼ばれた のが始まりです。それでユーチューブにビデオをアップ ロードするときに自分の独自性を守ろうと思って「がっ ぱい」という言葉を思いついたんです。

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RM: So the Internet kicked off your slacklining career. TO: Yes, in 2011 Gibbon Slacklines hosted the King of Slackline contest. It’s an online video contest for amateurs, where professional slackliners would choose a certain trick. We’d have to film ourselves doing that trick and if you passed the first round, you advance to the next trick and so on and so forth. I won and became a Gibbon rider. As slacklining got more media hype globally with an increase of events and contests, I got more opportunities to slackline around the country. In 2012 I decided to dedicate my all to trickline training and quit my jobs. Then in 2013, I won first place at the international Gibbon World Cup.

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RM:つまりあなたのスラックラインのキャリアはインター ネットからはじまったというわけですね。 TO:そうです。2011 年にギボン・スラックラインが ザ・キング・オブ・スラックライン・コンテストを主催し たんです。これはオンラインを利用したビデオでのコン テストで、プロフェッショナル・スラックライナーが選ん だトリックを参加者が自演してビデオに収めて公開する んです。最初のラウンドをクリアーしたら次のトリックに 挑戦するんです。それでぼくは勝つことができて、ギボン のライダーになりました。スラックラインはメディアの影 響で世界的に人気が高まっていて、イベントやコンテスト がたくさん開かれています。だからぼくは日本でもっとス ラックラインを普及させたいと願っています。2012 年に トリックラインのトレーニングに没頭するために仕事を 辞めました。そして 2013 年にザ・インターナショナル・ スラックライン・ワールドカップで優勝することができた んです。


RM: Who were you battling against at the World Cup? TO: Usually the Gibbon World Cup athletes include the world’s top eight trickline athletes, local qualifiers and the top winners of online slackline video contests. Your performance is mainly based on the number and variety of tricks you can do in, for example, one and a half minutes, and of course, your balance. RM: You mentioned you created your own tricks. Which one are you most famous for? TO: The “Free Fall.” It’s where I would jump up while sitting on the slackline, spin 360 degrees in the air and land on my chest. It scares me sometimes! My tricks include a lot of variations or combinations of other tricks – if I had to be specific, the number of tricks I’ve created would be over a million. RM: Are there other sports or workout trainings you do? TO: I’ve researched a lot on the body and how to control it. For tricklining, your muscles aren’t as important as you might think they are! Rather than building muscle, it’s about relaxing. The slackline is very narrow so your body’s natural reaction is to tense up and put strength when you get on it. But if you’re shaking, you can’t even get on. The stance you use for slacklining is similar to yokonori sports like surfing, stand-up paddling, skateboarding and snowboarding, so slacklining is great for off-season training. RM: Do you still compete? TO: I compete although recently to broaden my slackline skills, I’m polishing my other slackline skills like high and longline. Also as a member of the Japan Slackline Federation, I’m also putting effort into training instructors. RM: As a leading figure in the world of slacklining, is there a message you’d like to spread? TO: You see a lot of tricklining in the press lately which is awesome, but people associate slacklining to tricklining. It’s impressive and grabs people’s attention, but so acrobatic so if a regular person saw that, they’d just think “Wow!” but not want to try it for themselves. The beauty of the slackline is you can enjoy it in so many different ways. The first time I saw a slackline was a group of young people hanging out at a park, simply balancing on a line. This was what made me think I could try it and I’d like to share this same feeling. Watch Gappai and Japan’s most talented trickliners this spring in Tokyo. The Gibbon Cup 2018 series kicks off on April 14-15 at the main courtyard at Futako Tamagawa Rise Shopping Center. For more information, visit www.gibbon.co.jp.

RM:スラックライン・ワールドカップではどんな人と対 戦したのですか? TO:スラックライン・ワールドカップの選手は世界のトッ プ 8 のトリックラインアスリート、地元でクオリファイし た選手、そしてオンライン・スラックライン・ビデオコン テストの勝者たちです。選手のパフォーマンスは基本的 にトリックの数とバラエティーを、たとえば 1 分半以内 でおこなうのです。もちろんバランスも大切です。 RM: 自作のトリックとおっしゃいましたが、いちばん有 名なのはどれですか? TO:ザ・フリーフォールです。スラックラインに座ってい る状態からジャンプして空中で 360 度水平に回転し、 胸から着地します。ぼくのトリックは、ほかのいろいろな トリックに多くのバリエーションやコンビネーションを含 めます。正確には数え切れないくらいに多いんです。 RM:なにかほかのスポーツやトレーニングをしていま すか? TO: 身体のコントロールについて研究しています。ト リックラインでは筋肉を鍛えることはそれほど重要で はありません。重要なことはリラクシングです。スラッ クラインの幅は狭いので身体の自然な反応として緊張 が起き、力が入るんです。さらにもし怖さで震えてしまっ たら立つことができなくなります。スラックライニング のスタンスは横乗りスポーツと呼ばれるサーフィンや SUP、スケートボード、スノーボードに似ています。だ からシーズンオフのトレーニングとしても効果があるん ですよ。 RM: 試合はつづけていますか? TO: トリックラインの大会はつづけていますが、現在は おもにトリックラインだけでなくロングライン、ハイライ ンなどほかのスラックラインスキルを磨いています。 また 日本スラックライン連盟のひとりとしてインストラクター を養成にも力を注いでいます。 RM:世界のスラックラインのリーダーのひとりとして多 くの人々に伝えたいメッセージはありますか? TO: 年々、トリックラインがマスコミに登場する機会が 増えるようになりました。それはすばらしいことですが、 スラックラインとトリックラインが 混 同され がちな しゅうもく んです。 トリックラインは衆目を集めやすいのですが、ア クロバティックですから、一般の人は「すごい」とは思っ ても自分で取り組んでみたいとは考えないんですね。で もスラックラインの本当の楽しさはいろんなやり方、自 由な発想で楽しめるというところにあります。ぼくが最初 に見たスラックラインは、若者たちが公園でシンプルに ラインでバランスを取ったり、ジャンプして楽しんでいる 光景でしたそれを見てぼくはやってみたいなって思った んです。そのときのおなじ気持ちをみんなで共有したい んです。 「がっぱい」さんや日本の精鋭トリックライナーたち が今春東京に集結する。ザ・ギボンカップ・2018 シリー ズが 4 月 14 日から 15 日の二日間。二子玉川ライズ ショッピングセンターにて 詳しいインフォメーションは www.gibbon.co.jp.

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木曽街道の思い出

on the

Lower Kiso Road by Amy Chavez

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F

or years I’d wanted to hike the Nakasendo, the ancient Edo Period route used for travel between the capital of Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. The 69 post towns along the Nakasendo provided accommodation and services to daimyo (feudal lords) and their entourages on their sankin kotai (biennial visits) to the Tokugawa Shogunate from 1635 to 1862. The road also catered to travelers keen to follow in their footsteps. The most popular and picturesque section of the famed byway is the lower Kiso Road from the post town of Magome-juku to Tsumago-juku. This seven-kilometer stretch starts in Gifu Prefecture and ends in Nagano Prefecture. It is short but the best-preserved section of the Nakasendo. Since it is an easy day hike and the trails are in such good shape, I chose to jog it. It is well known that Matsuo Basho wandered the Nakasendo but it is Magome’s native son, Tosan Shimazaki (1872-1943) who is inextricably linked to this section of the Kiso Road. The Shimazaki family served as the village headmen, housing the feudal lords and pilgrims such as Basho when they passed through.

山道は江戸時代からつづく街道で、私はい ぜんから一度訪れてみたいと思っていた。 その道は江戸と京都を結び、道中には 69 もの宿場町がある。徳川家が将軍の地位 についていた 1603 年から 1867 年のあいだは参勤交 代の大名たちも利用した。もちろんこの街道は徒歩で行 く旅人たちの道としても活用された。 ふうこうめいび 中山道のなかでもとくに風 光明媚なのが木曽街 道と呼ばれる、岐阜県から長野県にまたがる 7km の まごめ つまご 道程で馬 籠宿と妻 籠宿を結ぶ。距離は短いが中山道 のなかでも昔の面影を残すエリアとして知られている。 日帰りのハイクも可能な距離だしトレイルとしてもすば らしいから、私はその木曽街道をジョッキングすること にした。 歴史を紐解くと、この街道は松尾芭蕉が旅をしたこ とで知られている。さらに馬籠の出身である文豪、島崎 藤村 (1872-1943) もこの木曽街道とは切り離せない 存在だ。島崎家はその地の族長として封建時代の貴族 や巡礼者、たとえば芭蕉などへも住処を提供したという 記録がある。

“Arriving in late afternoon, I saw Mt. Ena (2,191 meters) looming in the distance, casting long shadows over the countryside.”

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In Magome-juku, the atmosphere is thick with the ubiety of the novelist and progenitor of modern Japanese poetry. A celebrated but controversial figure, Shimazaki fled to France soon after impregnating his niece. Don’t miss the Shimazaki museum located on the main cobblestoned road through town. Arriving in late afternoon, I saw Mt. Ena (2,191 meters) looming, casting long shadows over the countryside. I trudged up the very steep and cobbled main road to Eishoji, a Zen Temple accommodation serving shojin ryori (vegetarian food). This temple, under the former name of Manpukuji was featured in Shimazaki’s tome “Before the Dawn.” (Yoakemae 夜明け前 in Japanese) In a formal tatami mat room facing a garden populated with lounging cats, a dozen bowls and plates of food were set out for me on the table. I felt immediate conflict when I noticed that the scroll overshadowing me from the tokonoma (alcove) conveyed the kanji for “patience.” The temple priest’s wife explained the dishes: ganmadoki (fried tofu made with shaved lotus root and potato), a bowl of fresh tofu in a light sauce, a square of sesame tofu with a drip of wasabi on top, steamed green vegetables, boiled pumpkin artfully arranged in a blue-sided dish, a sweet red plum, eggplant boiled to a sheen and graced with miso sauce, cucumber salad, soba noodles, a generous bowl of raw pink ginger and locally harvested rice. Plus tea, of course. She politely bowed, left the room, and I dug in, completely ignoring the ancient scroll’s advice.

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馬籠宿は風情があり、日本の近代文学創始者ゆか りの地としてふさわしい雰囲気を醸し出している。島崎 は文豪でありながらも私生活では問題があり、肉親であ めい みごも る姪を身篭らせた後にフランスへと逃れた。馬籠の石畳 の道を抜けたところある藤村記念館はぜひ立ち寄ったほ うがいいだろう。 午 後 遅く馬 籠 に 到 着 すると、目の 前 に 広 がる え な さ ん 恵 那 山(2191m)が 長 い山 影 を田 園 地 帯 に落とし えいしょうじ ていた。石畳の急な坂を登って禅寺、永昌寺に着いた。 そこは精進料理が食べられる宿泊先でもある。この寺は まんぷくじ 島崎の作品『夜明け前』の舞台になり、小説では万福寺 の名で登場する。 畳の敷き詰められた部屋からは、昼寝中の猫がい る庭が見えた。いろいろなお椀や皿が私のためにテーブ ルに並べられた。床の間に飾られた巻物には「忍耐」と いう漢字が書かれてあり、その言葉に私はちょっとした 抵抗を覚えてしまった。 住職の妻から料理の説明を受けた。がんもどき、 軽い味のソースがかけられた新 鮮な豆 腐、わさびが 載った四角いごま豆腐、蒸された野菜、芸術的に盛ら な す れたカボチャ、甘いスモモ、味噌和えの茄 子、キュウ そ ば リのサラダ。蕎 麦、薄桃色の生姜、地産の米で炊かれ たご飯。そしておきまりの日本茶。彼女が丁寧にお辞儀 むさぼ をして部屋から去ると、すぐに私は料理を貪った。もち ろん床の間の巻物に書かれた「忍耐」という言葉は無 視して。


In the morning, after a waltz around thee temple graveyard and a visit to the Shimazaki family grave, I left the peaceful temple grounds of birdsong and pathways laced with moss and continued up the steep Magome hill towards the trail. I procured individually wrapped kurikinton— candied chestnuts from a confectionary run by a toothsome dowager who said she had lived in this village her whole life. At the top of the path, I glanced back at Mt. Ena and the Mino Valley before padding across the ishitatami, the inlaid stone indicative of the ancient Kiso Road. At the entry to each section of trail there are “bear bells” numbered in descending order as I traveled in the direction from Kyoto to Edo. Ringing each bell is said to scare away any bears from the path. There’s an English sign at each bell station that says, “Ring the bell hard against bears!” It sounds like a campaign, “Just say no to bears!” The well-preserved trail offers tea houses, rest spots, toilets and water at regular intervals. After 5.5 kilometers, the route crosses into Nagano Prefecture and the Magome Pass (801 meters) winds down into the next post town of Otsumago. The trail surface in this section (crushed rock, scree, gravel) partially follows a stream, the path hopscotching from one side of the brook to the other via wooden pedestrian bridges. This is absolute heaven! Later, you can stop at the Otake and Metaki waterfalls (“man” and “woman” waterfalls) and even treat yourself to a dip in the swimming hole beneath Otake. Before descending into Otsumago, I came across “Gyuto Kannon” a stone tablet monument to the black cattle who carried the heavy loads across the pass in the old days. This is special because most of such shrines across Japan are for horses. I added a coin offering to show homage to the bovine ancestors of Japan. In Otsumago, a town the size of a handful of rice, I found houses perched on the edge of a stream. Every domicile featured a whispering furin (wind chimes), handmade from a five-yen coin and a bell dangling inside a pet bottle. Work gloves hung out to dry, fire wood stacked in cords outside and weed cutters sat at the ready. It’s the Japan everyone wishes still was. Golden rice fields begged to be harvested as I descended into the hamlet of Tsumago-juku. Propped open doors of row houses allowed an inside gander at Japanese life still lived in today’s countryside. A lazy dog lying in the doorway lifted one sleepy eye to note this stranger running past. Small shops purveyed souvenirs and wooden toys and elderly women painstakingly wove straw-coned hats from hinoki (Japanese cypress) to sell to tourists. Rows of soba shops that had previously fed the legions of attendants to the daimyo during the Edo Period now served their replacements: bus tourists streaming in by the hundreds.

翌朝、寺の墓地を巡って島崎家の墓を詣でてから、 小鳥のさえずりがこだまする静かな寺を後にし、急坂を 抜けてトレイルに入った。私は菓子店を経営する魅力的 なご婦人から手に入れた栗きんとんを携えた。彼女は生 涯をこの村で過ごすのだと言っていた。 よいん 山道の頂上で古き木曽街道の余 韻が残る石畳の み の 道を抜けながら、私は恵那山と美濃渓谷を振り返った。 トレイルの各セクションには熊鈴が番号順に設置され てあった。私のように京都から江戸に向かうと、番号は こうじゅん 降 順(逆方向にたどること)となる。熊鈴は鈴を鳴らし て熊が遠ざかるように仕向けるためだ。熊鈴が置かれ ているところには英語で「熊に警告するように鈴を強く 鳴らして!」それはなんだか「熊に向かってノーと言お う」とキャンペーンを張っているようにも感じて笑ってし まった。 歴史保護の行き届いたこの街道には、茶店など の休憩所がたくさんあり、トイレや水の補給ができる。 街 道を 5.5km ほど進むと県 境を越えて長 野 県 へと 入った。そこは馬籠から妻籠宿へと向かう小道だ。この セクションのトレイルは岩と砂利のがれ場と、ところに さいりゅう よっては細流(小川)が流れている。飛び石の先には小 川が流れ、木造の橋へとつづいている。ここはまさしく自 然と歴史の天国だ。そこを過ぎると男滝と女滝があり、 たきつぼ 滝壺に飛び込んで涼をとることができる。 ご ず 妻 籠 宿 には「 牛 頭 観 音 」という石 作りの 石 仏 がある。これは昔、重い荷物を背負って街道を運んだ黒 くよう 牛を供養するために彫られたといわれている。これは大 まつ 変珍しい、というのも日本の神道で祀られる石仏はほと さいせん んどが馬だからだ。私は当時の牛への祈りを込めて賽銭 をした。 さて妻籠宿は一掴みの米のような小さな町だ。川 たたず 岸に馬が佇んでいる光景や、どの家々にもささやくよう な音色の手作りの風鈴が掛けられてあった。それはペッ トボトルで中には五円玉が吊り下げられていました。そ の周囲には干された軍手と薪が整理よく置かれ、草刈り の鎌もあった。それこそ私が望んでいた古き日本の光景 だった。 収穫を約束されているような金色に輝く稲田のなか を通って私は妻籠宿に到着した。平屋の家並みとその開 けたままの玄関は、まだ田舎には日本の風情が残ってい ることを感じさせた。玄関先で居眠りをする番犬が片目 いちべつ を開けて通り過ぎる異邦人を一瞥した。土産やこけしが 並べられた小さな店では、年老いた女性が旅人に売る ひのき 編笠を檜の皮で編んでいた。江戸時代は参勤交代の従 き そ ば 者たちへ生蕎麦を提供していた店は、いまでは大型バス でやってくる大勢の観光客に食事を提供している。

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A tall man with a friendly smile hailed me from the open doors of a latticed wooden house. “ Oyaki !” he hollered, referring to the hot buns filled with delectable vegetables and sweet walnut paste. Mr. Hara has been selling oyaki from his shop since he returned to his hometown 26 years ago. This retiree was imbued with a newfound energy he surely never had in his youth. Although the Magome-Tsumago hike is short, there is much to do in each post town. I put my sites on sampling the Jurokudai Kuroemon sake at a quiet shop facing the old road. Sitting on the porch, I imbibed with my companion, a small toy horse made from cherry wood and easily imagined daimyo processions passing through town. Perhaps the sake invigorated me because after this short rest I yearned to go a little further that day. I hiked another five kilometers to Nagiso Station in Midono along a narrow paved road that wandering drunkenly among small country houses and rice fields. Lichen-covered monolith stones along the way entertain pilgrims with inscriptions and haiku poems providing yet another distinct treat along the lower Kiso Road. At the end of my 15-km day on the Nakasedo, the sun was setting and I could no longer see Mt. Etna. But I discovered a different kind of mountain in front of Nagiso Station— matcha azuki kakigori served at the cafe across the street. I set out to conquer it immediately. Both Shimazaki and Basho surely would have, at times, taken part in this ancient treat. 

格子作りの窓からは長身の男性が笑顔で私に「お やき!」と声を掛けた。それは温かくいい香りのする伝統 的なパン菓子で、なかには野菜や甘いくるみペーストが 入っていた。その男、原さんは 26 年前に帰郷してから おやきを彼の店で売っている。彼の夢のない老後の人生 はこの仕事で新たに生まれ変わったという。 馬 籠 から妻 籠までの 距 離 は 短 いが、その内 容 は濃い。旧道にある閑静な店で私は日本酒、16 代九郎 かえで 右衛門を試飲した。長椅子に腰掛けて酒を飲んだ。楓の 木でつくられた小さな馬の玩具が江戸時代の大名行列 を想像させてくれた。その酒と少しの休息が私を元気に させた。 み と め その先の5km 先の三 留野にある南木曽駅までは 舗装された道を行った古民家と田園のあいだを少し酔っ てふらつきながらも進んだ。苔むした石碑が街道に沿っ て並び、その碑文や俳句で旅人を楽しませるという木曽 街道の特徴が見受けられた。 1 日で 15km のトレイルが終わり、中山道には太 陽が沈みかけ、恵那山があと少しで消えようとしている。 しかし私はまた別の山を目の当たりにすることができた。 それは南木曽駅の道を渡ったところにある喫茶店の抹茶 小豆かき氷という小さな山だった。あっという間に私は その氷の山を平らげた。その昔、島崎も芭蕉もきっと食 べたであろうと私は古き良き時代に思いを馳せた。

“In Otsumago, a town the size of a handful of rice, I found houses perched on the edge of a stream and every domicile featured a whispering furin… it’s the Japan everyone wishes still was.”

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Local not-to-be-missed treats include gohei mochi (grilled rice on a stick topped with sweet miso), chestnut confections, oyaki (hot stuffed buns) and matcha azuki kakigori (green tea and sweet red bean shaved ice dessert).

のご馳走 木曽街道

Getting There へ 木曽街道 のアクセス

五平餅(甘い味噌が塗られた餅で串挿しさしで焼か れてある)、栗の甘い菓子、 おやき (温かいパン菓子) 、抹茶小豆かき氷(抹茶と甘い小豆が盛られたシェー ブアイス) など。

By Train: From Nagoya Station, transfer to the Shinamano Limited Express train to Nakatsugawa Station. (50-min.) From Nakatsugawa, take a 30-min. bus. To get to Nagiso Station, transfer at Nakatsugawa Station. From Nagiso, take a short taxi or a bus to Tsumago. By Bus: Highway buses between Shinjuku and Nagoya stop at the Chuodo Magome Bus Stop. Magome is a 20-min. walk from the bus stop. 電車:名古屋駅から中央本線の快速に乗って中津川駅、各停に乗り換えて南木曽駅へ。 (南木曽駅へ直通の快速 もある)南木曽から妻籠へはバスかタクシーで。 バス:新宿からハイウェイバスで名古屋行きに乗り、 中央道馬籠のバス停で下車、馬籠までは歩いて20分。

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e Hirota By Yusk

T

his story is about an era where people forgot history and classical literature was lost; it’s a crazy story of a lone photographer. A photographer who too often read samurai novels and had trouble distinguishing between reality and the pages in those books. A man who saw himself as the descendant of a legendary samurai and began taking pictures as the “Photo Warrior of the Southern Dynasty.”

He drove a beat-up four-wheel-drive car with Nagano license plates, suddenly emerging in the middle of the night in the Imperial Palace Garden in Tokyo where he would shoot the statue of a legendary samurai. He kept taking photos alone, on rainy and windy days, sometimes suspected by the police, sometimes getting offers for jobs. This story is about a photographer-warrior who mistakenly saw himself as the descendant of a legendary samurai, and who intended to serve as the recorder of the great urban struggles of the Nanboku-cho Era (1336 to 1392), from the battles of Chihaya and Akasaka (in the 1330s, in Osaka) to the Battle of Minatogawa (1336, in today’s Kobe).

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のストーリーは、人々が歴史を忘れ、 古 典 文 学を失ったこの時 代に立ち 上がった、ひとりの写真家の狂気の 物語だ。 古典文学「太平記」を読み過ぎて、現実と 小説区別がつかなくなったひとりの写真家が、 みずからを伝説の武士の子孫と思い込み、とつ じょとして「南朝の写真士」を名乗りはじめた。 その男は長 野ナンバーのポンコツ4WD を操り、深夜の皇居外苑に出没し、伝説の武士 の銅像の撮影をはじめた。その男は、雨の日も 風の日も、雪の日も銅像に向かい、時には警官 に怪しまれ、時には職務質問を受けながらも、 独り撮影をつづけた。 この物語は、みずからを伝説の武士の子孫 ちはやあかさか だと勘違いした写真士が、千早赤阪の戦いから みなとがわ かっせん 湊川の合戦まで、南北朝時代の動乱にお抱え写 真士として従軍したつもりになって撮影した大 都会の奮闘記である。


Taiheiki

太平記

I’m an outdoor photographer, with a career spanning more than 20 years. I shoot mountaineering, backcountry snowboarding and outdoor sports in general, and I have at times lived in the Mecca for outdoor activities in the US. I always bring my camera and several books to the mountains. This was true when I spent two weeks heading into the remote areas of the Canadian Rockies as well as when I was crossing from Hakuba to Toyama in the depth of winter. Since I was a child, I enjoyed reading samurai novels, and continued to read them into adulthood. Of these, perhaps my favorite is the classical work “Taiheiki.” The book is a record of the fierce battles among the samurai, of the heroism that all people can empathize with—and above all an illustration of tadayoshi—the traditional samurai values. But those weren't the only reasons I was drawn to “Taiheiki.” Many mountains appear in the scenes portrayed in the novel. Through these pages written 700 years ago, samurai run through mountains that I climb today. At one point, I thought it would be impossible to express the world of “Taiheiki” in photographs.

私はアウトドアフォトグラファーとして、20 数年のキャリアがある。登山やバックカントリース ノーボードなど、野外スポーツ全般の撮影を行い、 アウトドアのメッカである北米に住んでいた時期 もある。私はいつも、山にはカメラとともに常に数 冊の本を持っていく。カナディアンロッキーの最奥 の山に 2 週間かけてアプローチする際にも、厳冬 期に白馬から富山へと横断をする際にも。子供の頃 からサムライ小説が好きだった私は、大人になって もそれを読み続けている。中でも、古典文学の「太 平記」は愛読書の一つだ。太平記には、猛々しいサ ムライの合戦の記録と、人間なら誰しもが共感す るヒロイズムと、そして何より伝統的なサムライの 価値観である「忠義」が描かれている。だが、私が それにのめるこんだ理由はそれだけではない。太 平記には、いくつもの山々がそのシーンに登場する からだ。700 年も前に描かれた小説の中に、現代、 私が登っている山々が描かれ、サムライがそこを駆 け抜けている。私はいつか、この太平記の世界観を 写真で表現できないものかと思うようになった。

Kusunoki Masashige

楠木正成「楠公」

Most foreign tourists visiting Tokyo will probably visit the Imperial Gardens. Within the Gardens is the statue of a samurai on horseback. Today, however, few people know the name of the samurai. People point at the statue and say it’s the famous warlord Takeda Shingen; less cultivated people say, “Oh, that’s Tom Cruise from ‘Last Samurai.’” The real name of this samurai is Kusunoki Masashige. He is known as the strongest, most notable strategist of the medieval samurai in Japanese history. It’s hard to quickly explain Kusunoki, also known as “Nanko.” With a force of just 700 soldiers, he faced the army of the Kamakura Shogunate—estimated to be in the tens of thousands—during the siege of Chihaya Castle at Mt. Kongo, and protected it for several months. At the same time, he built up an information network using yamabushi (ascetic mountain priests) while also inciting anti-government guerrilla attacks in many locations, eventually overthrowing the Kamakura Shogunate. Later the new government collapsed due to rebellion, but he remained loyal to Emperor Godaigo even after his loss at the Battle of Minatogawa. This story has long fascinated the Japanese people, and he has become a legend somewhat like King Leonidas of the Greek city-state Sparta, depicted in the movie “300.”

海 外 からのツーリストとして、東 京を訪 れ たなら、おそらく皇居外苑に足を運ぶことだろう。 その皇居外苑のひと際めだつ位置に、ひとりのサム ライの銅像がある。だが今、そのサムライの名を知 る者は少ない。人々はその銅像を指さし、 「武田信 玄?」とか、ひどい人になると「いや、トム・クルー ズだよ。ラスト・サムライの」などという始末だ。 くすのきまさしげ このサムライの名は楠 木 正 成。日本 史 上もっと も強く、もっとも卓越した戦略家として称される中 世の武士だ。 なんこう 楠木正成(以下、楠公)を、ひと言で説明する のは難しい。わずか 700 人の軍勢で、数十万とも こんごうざん ろうじょう 言われる鎌倉幕府軍を相手に、金 剛山に籠 城し、 やまぼし 数ヶ月にわたって守りぬいた。その間、山伏を使っ た情報ネットワークを構築し、反政府ゲリラを各地 せんどう で煽 動し、ついに鎌倉幕府を打倒した。その後、 むほん 新政府が、謀 反によって倒れたときも、最後まで ご だ い ご 後 醍醐天皇への忠誠をつくし、最後は負けるとわ けっている戦い「湊川合戦」に、その信念に基づ おもむ いて赴 いた。このストーリーは長く日本人の心を 魅了し、それはまるで、ハリウッド映画『300』に描 かれたギリシアの都市国家スパルタのレオニダス王 のように、伝説となっていった。

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Mount Kongo

Mt. Kongo is the highest peak in Osaka P re f e c t u re a n d o n e o f t h e m o s t fa m o u s mountains for Japanese people. Shugendo, the religion of the yamabushi, developed here, and even today people climb repeatedly as part of their training. At the top there is a place where they keep track of successful summits, with the most recorded by one person equaling more than 17,000 times. Climbing once a day would mean it would take a person more than 40 years. Mt. Kongo was the mountain where Kusunoki stood against the tens of thousands of soldiers of the Kamakura Shogunate and survived a siege of many months. Along the side of the trail to the peak is Chihaya Shrine, where Kusunoki and his son are enshrined as symbols of powerful spirits; it seems as though he is still protecting the mountain. Interestingly, straw samurai figures— which Kusunoki is said to have used during the siege—are set along the trail. While climbing the mountain, it may feel as if arrows could suddenly fly by at any moment. Another shrine and a temple are located on the summit, further telling of the mountain’s role as the home of many myths. One more person we can’t forget when talking about this mountain is En no Gyoja. Combining Buddhism with traditional Japanese mountain beliefs, he can also be called the founder of Japanese mountain culture—Shugendo. He began his practice here on the mountain long before finding enlightenment. It is not just a mountain, but a place with tremendous power. 

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金剛山

大阪府の最高峰、金剛山は日本でもっとも人々 しゅげんどう に親しまれている山のひとつだ。かつて修 験道が栄え たこの山に、現在、人々は鍛錬のために繰り返し登っ ている。山頂には、登山回数番付があり、もっとも多 い 登 山 回 数 は 17,000 回 を 越 えて い る。1 日 1 回 登っても、40 数年かかる計算だ。数千回の登山でも すごいのに、そういった人々はごく普通にいるようだ。 そしてこの金剛山は楠公が数十万人の鎌倉幕府軍を 相 手に、数ヶ月の籠 城 戦を守りぬいた山として知ら ちはやじんじゃ れている。登山道 脇には千 早 神 社があり、楠 公とそ まつ の妻が、偉大な精神の象徴として、祀られていて、今もま るでこの山を守っているかのようだ。おもしろいことに、 登山道のあちこちには、楠公が籠城戦のときに使った わら とされる、藁 人形のサムライが飾られている。山を登り ながら、どこからか弓矢が飛んでくるのではないかと、 思ってしまう。 山頂には、これまた神社と寺があり、この山が神 話の故郷であることを教えてくれる。そしてこの山を語 えんのぎょうじゃ るうえで忘れてはならないのは、役 行者だ。役行者は、 仏教と日本古来の山岳信仰を融合させた人で、日本の かいそ 山岳文化の創始者ともいえる。修験道の開 祖であり、 まだ悟りを開く前、役行者はこの金剛山で修行をしてい たのだ。金剛山はつまり、日本史上のスーパースターふ たりを生んだ山なのだ。ただの山ではない、ものすごい 力を秘めた山である。

For those interested in Japanese history and photography, Yuske’s photo exhibition will be held at Kanshiji Temple in Kawachi-Nagano, Osaka from May 20-27. 太平記の写真展は大阪府河内長野市の観心寺にて 5 月 20 日から 27 日まで開催。


By Rie Miyoshi Photos by Robin Lewis

I

t’s 2018 and we’re faced with some scary rea­ lities our parents and dystopian novels warned us about. Our oceans are drowning in pollution and marine life is literally choking on drifts of plastic; there is increased obesity and heart disease from unhealthy eating habits and severe addiction to the digital world is only feeding the unhealthy cycle. Enter “plogging.” While it sounds like some new hipster tag for uploading more selfies and humble-brags to the web, it simply means to jog while picking up trash. This Scandinavian ecofriendly fitness craze literally sweeping the globe fuses the two Swedish words plocka (to pick up) and jogga (jog). The idea is to make your typical beach or park clean-up event fun by turning it into a running social event. Depending on the length and intensity of your run, plogging burns 10-20% more than your traditional clean up as it requires lunges and arm and back movements—all while running and carrying a trash bag. And that’s how I found myself at Yoyogi Park one Saturday morning to take part in Japan’s firstever “Plogging Revolution” organized by Social Innovation Japan, a network of social revolutionaries finding real-life, real-time solutions to make local communities a better place. Despite the short

notice, an eager group of 25-30 people showed up ready to exercise and do good for the community. To cater to different fitness levels, we were split up into three teams: walkers, joggers and hardcore runners. All were equipped with gloves and bags. Once the green light went off, my group of hardcore runners charged away fueled by the incentive that the group who gathers the most trash would win a mysterious prize (it turned out to be trail mix). Although Tokyo is one of the cleanest cities in the world, Yoyogi Park was surprisingly littered and in just an hour, we collected roughly five kilograms worth of bottles, wipes, onigiri wrappers, cigarette butts and paper plates from the hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties left behind the weekend before. All three groups returned to our meeting spot like triumphant treasure hunters. Plogging may seem like an intense version of your average clean up, but it leaves a lasting impression and more importantly, a behavioral change. After talking to other ploggers since the event, not only are we made more aware of the amount of trash that is produced, but we’ve actually started making a concerted effort to avoid creating unnecessary trash like using recyclable bags, shopping from the local farmers’ market and eating home-cooked meals.

Pollution especially in a country like Japan can feel distant since its streets are famous for being clean, but it is there especially when you take into account the heavy amount of single-use plastic used and disposed of daily. Plogging made me realize although you don’t see it immediately, our daily actions and choices do make a difference. The community aspect of the event also struck me. While plogging draws like-minded people together, the group I met was eclectic— ranging from vertical farming researchers, hikers, entrepreneurs and AI developers. Being out in the sun exercising made networking much more conducive to collaboration as compared to speaking over loud speakers and exchanging business cards on a Thursday night event at a swanky bar. After disposing the trash, many of us stayed behind to chat, strangers becoming friends and discussing potential future projects. So the next time you’re about to buy that water bottle or use a plastic toothbrush, think twice. Still not convinced? Rather than sleeping in on a weekend morning, gather a few workout buddies together and try plogging for yourself! To participate in similar events around Tokyo, visit www.facebook.com/SocialInnovationJapan.

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By Rie Miyoshi

As our speedboat charges across the water I’m struck by the feeling of stepping into a real-life Jurassic Park. The savannah of the dry, rugged islands before me looks bare and deserted, so it’s difficult to imagine that one of the world’s deadliest creatures lurks within. 海上を疾走するこのスピードボートのように、私の心はわくわくしながら本物の ジュラシックパークへと向かっていった。目前に広がる島々は岩がむき出しに なっていて、乾燥したサバンナのようだった。世界中に知れ渡った危険な生物 がここに生息しているとはボートからの景色だけでは想像もつかなかった。

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C

uriously shaped islets haphazardly jut out of the glassy ocean, their coastline dotted sparsely with trees. Squint and they almost look like their most famous resident, the Komodo dragon. Komodo National Park, located in Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands chain, was established in 1980 and became a World Heritage Site in 1991, specifically to protect these giant lizards. The Komodo dragon is only found on the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Gili Dasami islands, which were said to once be connected. Since they are endemic to these islands, the dragons are extremely vulnerable to extinction from loss of habitat or available prey. There are only 6,000 left today. However, having recently become a major attraction for travelers, this mysterious species is being preserved by global conservation programs.

囲の小島は静かな海の上に突き出ていて、海岸線はまばらな木々でおおわれ いちべつ ていた。一 瞥すると、その小島の異様な形は、この島の住人コモドドラゴンに 似ていなくもない。 コモド・ナショナルパークはインドネシアのスンダ列島にあり、1980 年に創設された 後の 1991 年には世界遺産に登録された。目的はその巨大トカゲを保護するためだ。 コモドドラゴン(別名コモドオオトカゲ)はインドネシアの島々リンチャ、フローレス、ギリ モタン、ギリダサミのみで生息が確認されている。これらの島々は過去には繋がっていた という説もある この島々でしか見ることのできないコモドドラゴンは生息地の減少や狩猟によってその 数を極端に減らし、現在では 6,000 頭のみに落ち込んだが、観光資源として大きな注目 を浴びたことによって、このミステリアスな生物は政府の援助で保護されることになった。

The Last Dinosaurs A local ranger wielding a simple wooden stick greets me as I arrive at Loh Liang, the gateway for trekking on Komodo Island. Water buffalo, Sunda deer and wild boars are on the dragon’s menu, so I keep close to the experienced ranger on the trail. Staying in a group helps keep the dragons at bay and prevents unexpected surprises. The IDR80,000 (¥800) entrance fee includes a choice of three guided trails: the Short Trek (1.5 km. / 45 minutes), the Medium Trek (2.5 km. / 90 minutes) and the Long Trek (4 km. / two hours). Each go past several dragon nests. Although the short trek overlooks the bay, the Medium and Long Treks give you a better chance of seeing dragons. The Adventure Trek at IDR500,000 (¥5,000) is about nine kilometers and summits the 538-meter Mt. Ara while passing a memorial for Baron Rudolf von Redding who ominously disappeared on the island in 1974—only his camera and glasses were found. Bearing this in mind, I embark on my own journey. Less than 15 minutes into the trail, I encounter my first ora, the local name for the Komodo dragon. Venomous saliva dripping from its powerful jaws and a forked tongue darting in and out confirm this is no ordinary lizard. Reaching up to three meters long and weighing an average of 70 kilograms, these stone-colored reptiles can run 18 kilometers an hour and swim from one island to another. They contain venom and at least 57 species of bacteria, making escape from them almost impossible.

最後のディノサウルス コモド島の玄関口にあたるロランに私が到着すると、地元のレンジャーが挨拶の代わ りに木の杖を私に示した。彼によると、ドラゴンが好む獲物は水牛やスンダ鹿、イノシシ だという。だから私は襲われないように経験豊富なレンジャーの近くを歩くことにした。 つねにグループでいることが、ドラゴンからの襲撃からみずからを守る手段として有 効だという。この公園への入園料は 80,000 ルピア(800 円)で、ガイド付きの3つのト レイルを選択できる。ショートが 1.5km/45 分、ミディアムが 2.5km/90 分、ロングが 4km/2 時間だ。それぞれのトレイルはドラゴンの巣の近くを通過する。ショートでも湾を そうぐう 一望でき、ミディアムとロングはドラゴンと遭遇する確率が高くなる。またアドベンチャート レイルというオプションがあり、50,000 ルピア(500 円)で 9km の行程だ。標高 538m だんしゃく のアラ山を登山し、ルドルフ・ボン・レディング男爵の記念碑にも立ち寄る。その男爵は、 1974 年にこの島で行方不明となり、彼のカメラとメガネだけが発見された。その話がな にを意味しているかを、私は心に刻んでトレイルを出発した。 そして 15 分もしないうちに最初のオラと遭遇した。オラとは地元の言葉でコモドドラゴ ンを指す。毒を分泌するよだれをアゴから垂らし、二股の舌を出し入れするドラゴンの様 子は普通のトカゲとはまったく異なった。 はちゅうるい ドラゴンの平均した体長は 3m で体重 70kg、石のような色をしたこの爬虫類は時速 つば 18km で走り、島から島へと泳いで渡ることもできる。彼らの唾に含まれた毒は少なくとも か 57 種類のバクテリアを含んでいて、一度噛まれたらもう最後だと思ったほうがいい。

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Although their sense of sight and hearing is poor, they can pick up their prey’s scent from nine kilo­meters away using their tongues to taste the air. Once they have tracked down their prey, they chomp down with 60 serrated teeth—but it’s not their bite that kills. They inject venom and bacteria into their slowly dying meal, then return to finish feeding later. Dragons can consume up to 80% of their body weight in one feeding and once full, can go without food for a month. In the absence of a male, female dragons can reproduce asexually. There are currently only 350 breeding females. Along the trail, we see a dirt mound, an impressive team effort built by a flock of orange-footed scrub fowl. Similar to a timeshare, the fowls use the nest in May while the dragons take over and lay eggs between September to November. The babies are born during the monsoon season in February and March, immediately fleeing to the trees for the first two years of their life to avoid being eaten by their cannibalistic peers including their own mothers. Macabre as they are, the ancient creature is mesmerizing, a living relic of prehistoric times. Peak months for Komodo spotting are September to December. When visiting, respect their space, keep a safe distance and avoid sudden movements, remembering you are entering their territory. Komodo Culture According to “Ora and Gerong,” a folk tale from East Nusa Tenggara, a woman gave birth to twins—one a human—the other a baby lizard. The lizard, Ora, was eventually expelled by the villagers for his dangerous mannerisms and settled in the forest, but still visited his brother in the village every now and then. Today, an age-old symbiosis between dragon and man remains with the Komodo villagers respecting the original resi­ dents of the land.

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視力と聴覚は劣っているが、その舌は9km 先の獲物 の匂いも嗅ぎ取ることができる。ドラゴンは獲物を追い詰 めると、60 もあるギザギザの歯で噛みつくが、それで息 だえき の根を止めるわけではない。彼らは唾 液に含まれる毒を えさ 獲物に回らせてゆっくりと毒殺し、餌として食べるのはそ の後だ。 ドラゴンは体重の 80% かそれ以上の量の餌を一度に 摂取し、それから 1 ヶ月はなにも食べずに過ごすことが できる。また雄のいない環境では雌は無性別に変化し、 卵を産むことができる。現在では 350 頭の雌が卵を産む という。 トレイルの途中に土が盛り上がっている光景に出く きじ わした。それはオレンジ色の脚をした雉の一種、ツカツク リがドラゴンとつくりあげた巣だという。その盛りあがった 土はツカツクリが巣として 5 月に利用し、その後はドラゴ ンが 9 月から 11 月にかけてそこで卵を繁殖する。卵は ふ か モンスーンの季節の 2 月から 3 月に孵 化する。その生ま れたばかりのドラゴンはすぐに木に登って、そこで最初の 2 年間を過ごすという。それは共食いを避けるためで、母 親に襲われる可能性もあるという。ドラゴンの不気味な容 姿は有史以前の生物の遺産でもあり、興味深い。コモド ドラゴンの生態を観察するもっともいい時期は 11 月から 12 月。訪れたときには彼らの生息環境を乱さず、距離を 保ち刺激を与えないようにしたい。そしてもちろん彼らのテ リトリーにいることだけはつねに忘れないようにしたい。 コモド島の文化 東ヌサテンガラには『オラとゲロン』という昔話がある。 昔、ある女性が双子を産んだ。ひとりは人間で、もうひと りはトカゲだった。そのトカゲ、オラは危険だということで 村人に追い出され、森に暮らすようになった。しかしオラ は兄弟に会うためにときどき村を訪れたという。


The coastal village of Kampung Komodo lies west of Loh Liang and is made up of less than 600 villagers. The ethnic Bugis fishermen trace their origins to the Bajo— a tribe of “sea gypsies” from Makassar, Sulawesi located in the north. The kampung’s most noticeable feature is the brightly colored houses on stilts, built to avoid their reptilian neighbors from breaking and entering. While the occasional lizard saunters through every now and then, there have only been two fatal accidents in the past decade. Overall, the Bugis believe the dragons have helped their economy by luring outsiders to their remote island. Aside from fishing, they make and sell woodcarvings of the lizards. The Bugis also work at the park as rangers or members of the Komodo Survival Program, an Indonesian-based non-profit organization monitoring and researching the dragons’ conservation and habitat. Villagers like 39-year-old Muhammad Sidic set up camera traps to track dragon activity and find ways to develop sustainable programs to help the region’s communities. “When you grow up here, you get used to it,” he says. “Of course we tell our children to be careful of them, but we’re born knowing the Komodo dragons are part of our lives.”

コモドの村ではドラゴンと人間の共生が古くからつづ いていて、その爬虫類に対する尊敬の念を村人は抱い ている。海沿いの村、カンプング・コモドはローランの西 にあり、600 人ほどの人々が暮らしている。 そのブギスという漁師のルーツはバジョと呼ばれる「海 のジプシー」で、スラウェシの北にあるマカサーからやっ たかゆかしき てきたという。カンプングには派手な彩色がされた高床式 の家並みが特徴的だ。高床はコモドドラゴンに破壊され ないためだ。そのトカゲによる村への訪問は昔からつづい ている。しかし過去 10 年でドラゴンとの事故は 2 度しか 起きていないという。ブギスの人々は、ドラゴンはこの人 里離れた島の観光収入の支えになっていることを理解し ている。漁のほかには、彼らはトカゲの彫刻をつくって販 売している。ブギスの人々はまたコモド・サバイバル・プロ グラムという非営利団体のレンジャーとして働き、ドラゴ ンの保護や生態の観察をしている。村人のひとりで 39 歳 のモハメッド・シディックは、現地のコミュニティーの助け になるようにリモートカメラを設置してドラゴンの生態を 観察し、持続可能な保護のプログラムを開発中だ。 「もしきみがここで育ったら、おなじことをしたと思う よ」と彼。「もちろん子供にもドラゴンを保護するように教 育しているし、コモドドラゴンはぼくたちの生活の一部だと いう認識を持たせているんだ」

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Komodo’s culinary staples are grilled fish, curry, chicken, sambal (chili sauce) and tropical fruits including fresh kelapa (coconut), jackfruit, mangoes and pisa goreng (fried bananas). Being a 100% Muslim community, no pork is served, leaving plenty of wild boar for the hungry dragons.

コモドでの家庭料理は焼き魚、カレー、チキン、サン バル(チリソース)、そしてケラパ(ココナッツ)などのトロ ピカルフルーツ、ジャックフルーツ、マンゴー、ピサゴレン (フライドバナナ)。モスリム教が普及している村では豚 肉は食べないために、野生のイノシシはお腹を空かしたド ラゴンの胃袋行きとなる。

Pretty in Pink On the eastern tip of the bay is the aptly named Pink Beach, one of seven beaches of its kind on the planet. When the waves hit the shore, pulverized foraminifera (red coral), mixed with white sand, transform the shoreline into pastel blushes of pink. For this reason, the beach is also called Pantai Merah, translated as “Red Beach.” After taking in the sites above water, I dip below to snorkel over coral cathedrals and among clownfish and angelfish. Part of the Coral Triangle, Komodo National Park is home to 260 coral species, 1,000 types of reef fishes, two species of sea turtles and manta rays and six species of sharks. With the shallow areas hosting an abundance of species, Pink Beach is an ideal choice for beginner divers. Kayaking and stand-up paddling is also popular here as well. Another place to enjoy a pink shoreline without worrying about a possible dragon attack is the picturesque island of Padar. It was once home to three types of Komodo Dragons and is a 20-minute boat ride from Komodo Island while still part of the national park. Padar is surrounded by three turquoise bays, each boasting different colored sand: volcanic black, white and pink. The best way to view the island’s tri-colored beaches is an easy 30-minute hike up Padar’s summit, after which you can trek more, cool off in the waters or explore worldclass diving spots.

ピンク色の砂浜 このエリアの湾にある東端はピンクビーチと呼ばれ ていて、地球上のベスト7に選ばれているほど美しい。そ のビーチでは波が赤いサンゴを砕き、白い砂と混ざるた めに海岸はほお紅のようなピンク色をしている。そのため に現地ではパンタイ・メラと呼ばれている。その意味は赤 い海岸。 この海岸で私はスノーケリングを試みた。聖堂のよう なサンゴ礁で私はクマノミやエンジェルフィッシュととも に泳いだ。ここのコモド・ナショナルパークのサンゴ礁に は 260 種のサンゴがあり、そこに生息する魚の種類は 1,000 以上、ウミガメは 2 種類、そしてマンタ、6 種類の サメもいる。ピンクビーチには浅い海にも無数の魚がい るから、経験の浅いダイバーにもお勧めしたい。カヤッキ ングや SUP も楽しむことができる。さらにコモドドラゴン のことを心配しなくてもいいピンクの海岸がパダール島 にある。そこは、かつては 3 種類のコモドドラゴンがいる 島だった。そこはコモド島から船で 20 分のところで、ナ ショナルパークの一部でもある。パダール島は 3 つのトル コブルーの湾に囲まれていて、それぞれが異なる砂の色 で有名だ。火山の黒砂、白砂、そしてピンク色の砂。その 海の 3 色の砂を一度に楽しみたかったら、パダールの山 へ 30 分ほどのハイクがお勧めだ。ハイクでたっぷり汗を かいたら、世界クラスの美しいダイビングスポットに潜って クールダウンするといい。


ESSENTIALS The closest airport to Komodo National Park is Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo on Flores Island in the East Nusa Tenggara Region. Komodo Airport is an hour-and-a-half flight from Denpasar, Bali with four to eight flights operated daily by Wings Air, Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air and NAM Air. Komodo is an hour away from Labuan Bajo by speedboat. One-day or multiple-day trips from Labuan Bajo to Komodo National Park sell out quickly so book ahead with operators like Ora Dive (www.oradive.com) and Visit Komodo Tours (www.visitkomodotours.com). Chartering your own speedboat for a day costs around ¥25,000 per person for groups of eight or more. Another popular option for divers is to stay on a liveaboard departing from Bali or Lombok. Many Indonesian pinisi—liveaboard boats made from teak wood—can be seen sailing the Komodo waters. Komodo, Rinca and Padar are the three main islands of Komodo National Park and most tours stop at Padar and either Komodo or Rinca. You’ll find bigger dragons on Komodo while Rinca boasts a higher quantity. Be sure to bring lots of water as there are few stalls on the islands. For a truly authentic experience, homestay in a traditional stilt house with one of eight families signed up on Flores Homestay Network (www.floreshomestaynetwork.com). It is around IDR110,000 per night (¥1,100) with breakfast included and electricity supply available from 6-11 p.m. 

旅のアドバイス コモド・ナショナルパークに最寄りの空港はフローレス島にあるコモド空港だ。コモド 空港へはバリのデンパサール空港から 1 時間半のフライトで到着する。毎日 4 便から 8 便あり、ガルーダインドネシアほかいろいろな航空会社が運航している。コモドへはルバ ン・バジョからスピードボートで 1 時間ほどで到着する。ボートのチケットはすぐに売り切 れるから下記に予約が必要だ。

Ora Dive (www.oradive.com) Visit Komodo Tours (www.visitkomodotours.com)

スピードボードはチャーターもできる。8 人以上ならば 1 日往復でひとり 25,000 円。 ダイバーならばバリかロンボクでボートをチャーターして船内に滞在するのもいい だろう。インドネシアにあるピニシと呼ばれる船はチーク材でつくられていて、コモドの 海域ではよく見かける。コモド・ナショナルパークのメインとなる島はコモド、リンチャ、 そしてパダールで、ツアーがもっとも訪れる島はパダールで、その次にコモド、そしてリ ンチャとなる。リンチャではドラゴンの数の多さを誇るが、大きさではコモドがいちば んだろう。さらにこの島々に訪れるときは、売店が少ないからじゅうぶんな飲料水を持 参することを忘れないようにしたい。高床の伝統的な家にホームステイも可能だ。一 泊 110,000 ルピア(1100 円)で朝食が含まれるが、電気が利用できるのは朝 6 時 から夜の 11 時のあいだだけだ。詳しくはフローレス・ホームステイ・ネットワークまで

(www.floreshomestaynetwork.com)。

コモド・ナショナルパークに最寄りの空港はフローレス島にあるコモド空港だ。コモド 空港へはバリのデンパサール空港から 1 時間半のフライトで到着する。毎日 4 便から 8 便あり、ガルーダインドネシアほかいろいろな航空会社が運航している。コモドへはルバ ン・バジョからスピードボートで 1 時間ほどで到着する。ボートのチケットはすぐに売り切 れるから下記に予約が必要だ。 

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Outdoor Japan Traveler | Issue 67 | Spring 2018  
Outdoor Japan Traveler | Issue 67 | Spring 2018  

Spring is when Japan comes alive. If you’ve been feeling restless we’ve got countless ways for you to enjoy the season as the greening begin...

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