Rebunge, Toyoura, Hokkaido β†’ Makkari, Hokkaido

Map of Hokkaido with author’s route from Rebunge to Makkari highlighted. πŸ—Ί Open map in GaiaGPS β†’

Newly laid asphalt by a hillside covered in silken-looking grass.

The edge of the asphalt reveals four layers on top of each other.

Closeup of a snake looking straight into the camera with a clouded-over eye. πŸ“ Rebunge, Toyoura, Hokkaido

As it nears its next molting, the brilles of a snake cloud over until they are sloughed off in one piece with the old skin, a jumpsuit with built-in welding goggles.

A white Datsun Z sports car in an advanced state of decomposition.

A car repair shop labelled REPAIR MAN. πŸ“ Yamanashi, Toyoura, Hokkaido

An enormous volcano, Mount Shiribeshi, in the evening light, behind summer fields.

πŸ“ Makkari, Hokkaido

On a late afternoon aboard a Ugandan post bus four summers ago, I rounded a bend and the 4,127-meter pyramid of Mount Muhavura appeared out of nowhere, an oversized piece of Central African landscape fit for my feverish mind. Until I rounded another bend on a late afternoon four summers later and saw Mount Shiribeshi appear in similar fashion, I didn’t think such an overblown presentation of a mountain could ever be reproduced, but here I was again, staring wide-eyed at this middle finger to gravity whose relative height was similar to Muhavura’s. Later, at the bathhouse, I watched it fade into the sky, then walked to its foot.

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.