Walking in Japan again

August 22, 2022

I dreamed of walking back, under wedges of red-crowned cranes returning from the north, along the rice harvests of Tōhoku under azure autumnal skies […]

On August 21, 2017, five years and a day ago, I reached the easternmost end of Japan after four months of walking. My brother Gabor Orosz had joined me a month earlier for this last part of my journey across Japan. Together, we walked across all of Hokkaido, and we spent our last afternoon on the road walking to the town of Nemuro from the lighthouse at Cape Nosappu, which is where I began dreaming of walking back south. A day earlier, we had seen two pairs of red-crowned cranes and they made me believe I really could walk from one end of Japan to the other.

I wrote about all this and more in These Walking Dreams, the visual field diary which is now available in its entirety.

Five years and a day later, I write this at a desk looking out on the Sea of Okhotsk, under a faded blue northern sky, the volcanoes of the Shiretoko Peninsula and of the Russian-administered island of Kunashir a pale grey backbone on the horizon. Gabor and I left Nemuro some hours ago, picking up the long line of our footsteps at the shrine which marked the end of our journey in 2017. He will walk with me for a few days, across the volcanoes of Shiretoko, then I will walk on. To where, I don’t know. But these islands β€” β€œa child of Siberia that had turned on its mother and was now swimming alone in the Pacific,” as the Japanese writer Tawada Yōko described them β€” are infinite, and so is the world, and I wish to walk forever.

If you’d care to come along, you’re already in the right place. I will live-stream the journey two ways:

  1. One photo each day on Glass. These will be close to real-time, a pick from my previous day’s photos.
  2. A weekly illustrated dispatch on this website. These will be delayed a week, for the sake of perspective and sanity, so I will post the first one in two weeks’ time, then one each week.

As usual, I will walk every step of the way.

Links to my photos and dispatches will be sent to this mailing list. If you happen to know someone who you think might also be interested in following this new journey across Japan, I would be grateful if you could forward this letter and let them know they can subscribe here.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day.

P.S.: One of the pairs of red-crowned cranes we saw five years ago stood at the exact same spot where we had last seen them, both of the birds foraging in the brackish waters of Lake Onneto. Because I am neither a small crustacean nor a water plant I shall take that as a good omen.

Next β†’ Death will be like the end of the summer holidays

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