♨️ Lake Akan Hot Spring, Hokkaido β†’ πŸ“ Tsurumi Pass β†’ Tsurui, Hokkaido

Map of Hokkaido with author’s route from Lake Akan Hot Spring to Tsurui highlighted. πŸ—Ί Open map in GaiaGPS β†’


An extremely low-slung angular white Japanese sports car in a parking lot. πŸ“ Lake Akan Hot Spring, Hokkaido


A stream flows through a broadleaf forest.

Another stream visible through the trees.

A row of trunks fallen over a third, shallow stream.

A bright pink flower covered in tiny droplets of rain.

The author’s watch covered in similar droplets.

A road sign in a misty forest, decorated with a pair of red-crowned cranes, marks the boundary of Tsurui Village, whose name translates to β€œcrane residence”.

A large white birch stands in a thick undergrowth of bamboo grass.

Looking through a doorway at the ass of a brown cow. πŸ“ Tsurumi Pass, Hokkaido

A week went by without sunshine, and the temperature stayed at a constant 15 degrees Celsius, day and night. β€œThe weather is very strange these days,” the farmer across the mountain pass said. We lived in limbo, in a world without night or day, hot or cold, and our skin grew pale in the fog. β€œYou walked across the forest of bears?” he asked. We rested in a shed by his cows, eating the last of our chocolate. The air smelled of wet straw and ammonia. β€œYou’re very strange people,” he said. I felt peaceful, weightless, drained, and I thought of red-crowned cranes dancing in the snow.


A mural of two red-crowned cranes dancing. πŸ“ Tsurui, 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.