Scotch eggs should perhaps have been expected at a British hill station, but I had been unaware of their existence until I bought one at the supermarket and my friend Miklós Tallián informed me that these delicious little hemiovoids of salt and fat, very much at home in a country where the cuisine is heavy on eggs and fried food, were, in fact, British. A closer look revealed that they weren’t a case of convergent evolution either: spelled on the package was スコッチエッグ, “Scotch egg” rendered in the katakana script.
Cedars planted in Edo lined the avenues of Nikkō for a day’s walk, and they looked tailor-made for strolls in the soft summer rain, but a week into the rainy season, the heavy clouds swirled dry. “There has been no rainy season for three years,” the owner of a guesthouse said. I sat in a beautiful, dim café, he stood in the alley with a friend, and we discussed the weather through the window. “The rains come in the autumn these days.” I walked into the quiet dusk of Imaichi, my coffee cups empty.
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These Walking Dreams is a visual field diary of a 4,300-kilometer walk from one end of Japan to the other, in the spring and summer of 2017.