These Walking Dreams: Day 119 (August 9, 2017)

Ochiai, South Furano → 📍 Karikachi Pass → Shintoku

Map of Hokkaido with author’s route from Ochiai, South Furano to Shintoku highlighted. 🗺 Open map in GaiaGPS ⇝


The author squeezes condensed milk into a metal can of coffee.

One of the many abandoned storefronts of Ochiai, this one showing the silhouette of a mustachioed man in an orange hat.

Rusty tools and a single antler hang from a weather-beaten clapboard wall.

Two pairs of abandoned railway tracks, the right one already removed. 📍 Ochiai, South Furano

Yūbari’s liveliness proved to be illusory. In the mountains beyond the city, there were posh ski resorts and a heliport to serve the rich, but the villages were crumbling, the back roads washed out by landslides and closed for good, the roadside restaurants in ruins. In Ochiai, every shop on the main street was boarded up and abandoned, and the railway, closed in November 2016, was sinking into the earth.


A wall decorated with a mosaic of two trees bearing pink blossom, under a window shaped as a crescent moon.

Panorama of a wooded, hilly landscape under grey clouds. 📍 Karikachi Pass


Smiling, yellow-eyed ghosts made of what looks like bed linen line a window. 📍 Shintoku

Next → Day 120, August 10

Prev. ← Day 118, August 8


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.