Category: Research

Advice From My Mentors

Just Do It! (Click for Results)To consolidate the laundry list of advice I’ve received lately, I thought it would be ideal to let everyone in on my progress. After reading through e-mail, comments, and links to other blogs; I’ve narrowed down the list to key ingredients which hadn’t entered my mind without the help of those who’ve gone before me. Without further ado:

PACK and BOOTS

Anyone familiar with the Puss in Boots would see the importance of boots. Along with this, I’ve been reminded about the importance of trying on everything. Happily I have a year to look around locally before buying anything!

Psh! Who needs maps?

Yeah – my thought exactly. Seriously, why would you need maps while hiking for five months??? (Read: Sarcasm)

Freezing Sleeping Bags!

The rating system of sleeping bags are not necessarily a comfortable temperature. They’re more of a minimum (who knew!)

A Blade (not that one)

Although I would prefer bringing a sword (Wouldn’t that just be awesome?), a small utility knife could come in handy. So for now it’s made the list.

Water Bladders F(or)T(he)W(in)!

I do think it will be a much better idea to use a bladder system as opposed to water bottles.

Calculate, Calculate, Calculate

I received overwhelming amounts of advice when it comes to calculating different things. Whether that be calories, distances, or the best time to see cherry blossoms on Shikoku.

Knowing Where One’s Towel Is

This was brought to my attention. Very, very, very important.

Research, Episode 2 (Video Edition)

Wandering around Youtube and Google Video, I decided to delve into my most recent research assignment. I’ve been focusing so much on text, I wanted, desperately, to look into the footsteps of those who’ve come before me. I had received a few e-mails from my new mentors with links to videos. This inspired the following expedition!

Project Go – Those Who Came Before


This playlist contains an ever-growing listing of the videos I’ve stumbled upon or been recommended to me during my preparations. I included some trailers as well as a few multipart pieces. I did, however leave out most of the Shikoku pilgrimage documentaries. There are so many of them it can be overwhelming.

Walking Across the Atlantic


I just happened upon this video. I think it’s a wonderful poem and the animation goes very well with it.

Kintaro Walk Japan


At 1 hour and 6 minutes, this video far surpasses the others I’ve watched in length (so far). A good visual journey through Japan, the film tells the story of a man looking for his father’s birthplace. The storyline is good and the humor conjured many chuckles out of me.

In conclusion…

There are many wonderful videos out there about hikes through Japan and hikes around the world. Most of the other videos I’ve been watching have been from the TED conferences. These are also inspiring and I recommend going to their website and watching a few. I would place a bet that you would be inspired by the end of the first presentation.

Research! *Epic Sound*

My Thank You Face - by the lovely Naomi KoyamaAs a short post, I thought I would post a few notes and links for sites I’m using for initial research. These blogs and websites are incredibly useful, and their owners have put a lot of time and energy into creating resources for people wishing to follow in their footsteps! These people have made my preparations so much easier. It almost feels lazy!

Although the quote is regularly used with intellectual pursuits, this journey will be “on the shoulders of giants” – I already know I will be grateful to these people!

The Walking Fool

Quite helpful so far, the walking fool includes a lot of statistics for both the Nakasendo and the Tokaido hikes he went on in 2007 and 2009. With photos interspersed with articles detailing his adventures, this site provides a good narrative for the journey. Check it out here.

Walking The Nakasendo

A quick look at his flickr account and you’ll see some amazing photographs. I also really enjoy the tagline of this blog. It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one who’s crazy enough to do these things. I noticed also, he includes a very nice narrative along the way. Click here to read.

The Temple Guy

The most comprehensive of any website I found over my recent research (thanks for the tips everyone who e-mailed me!). I wouldn’t expect less from such a collegiate person. It’s nice to see a logbook of his journey throughout Japan. He specifically did the Shikoku pilgrimage (here) and the Tokaido road (here). Wonderful Resource.

Nakasendo Solo

This blog was a preparation blog for doctor who traveled the Nakasendo alone. His list of materials is really influencing me and my list of what I will need for this journey. There are things that seem so obvious until you’re planning such a long journey (i.e. sunscreen). His blog is here.

Nakasendo Way – The Highway

This is a good informational site. I believe it is to help you understand the highway if you decide to take one of their tours. I think it’s a good introduction for anyone who wants to know about the Edo period roads. You can find it here!

There will naturally be more to come, but these were the first I’ve found! Please let me know if you find any others that may help!