🦶🏻 Ashoro, Hokkaido → Upper Rawan, Hokkaido

Map of Hokkaido with author’s route from Ashoro to Upper Rawan highlighted. 🗺 Open map in GaiaGPS →

A manhole cover decorated with two large feet holding large leaves.

The same foot mascots on the advertising flag of a store.

Gabor stands by a mosaic of the foot in sandals, visible from the waist down. 🦶🏻 Ashoro, Hokkaido

That’s not a foot,” she said, pointing at the giant mosaic of a foot. That’s Ayumi-chan.” Every Japanese town has a mascot, and Ashoro’s was a pair of feet sheltering from the drizzle under giant leaves of butterbur. She had come out from her house to greet us, and to show these large, hairy, walking creatures to her daughters. Later, they ran after us, and the girls gave us cakes. It’s definitely not a foot,” she said. On our cold Ayumi-chans, we walked up the silent valley, towards the volcano.

A shuttered shop called 5 POCKET. 📍 Ashoro, Hokkaido

Portrait of Gabor eating corn on the cob. 📍 Rawan, Hokkaido

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.