I spent an afternoon with a remarkably interesting new friend who *lives* in Kyoto but rambles widely.
Please meet Ted Taylor – raconteur, mountain guide, writer, renegade, global rambler etc. etc.￼
Topics included: * drive-away cars * Grateful Dead shows * Punk rock fanzines / Gilman st SF * Various locations in Tottori / Kyushu & ohenrosan dori in Shikoku * Lafcadio Hearn’s great great grandson playing piano * poets including: Gary Synder, Nanao Sakaki, Kenneth Rexroth * macro demographic changes in Japan * visa run options * shipping containers * south of France / German rheinphlatz * Smoke Blanchard / Uchida Bob * Singapore lady & drs * coffee in Japan (then & now), craft beers, wagyu beef burgers, tacos * riding the ‘Hound & ‘Trak * life in Kyoto / inland sea islands to explore / villages / not-Tokyo-Japan * others things to be recalled at some point… this was all in a short afternoon in which we rode streetcars
Japan can be intimidating, even for seasoned travellers. You arrive to massive sticker shock, tiny octopi in soup, and 30 kinds of hot canned coffee (which all taste moreorless the same) in ubiquitous vending machines.
Japan is a long country with 80% mountains – covering several climates, from frosty Hokkaido in the north, to tropical Kyushu giving adventurous folks much opportunity to head to the outer provinces for exploration of the heady scenery of this varied archipelago. With some planning, politeness and persistence, combined with a little zen, you can find big adventures.
Indeed, it is easy to get lost in the big cities of Tokyo and Osaka – crowded with skyscrapers and twisted alleys, piled high with screaming neon clubs pumping techno, reggae or karaoke and shops piled with futuristic technological gadgets that won’t make it to North America for another decade – but, far away from the expensive hotels and talking toilets of the huge Pacific metropolis, you may find yourself soaking in alpine hot springs on a starry night, drinking sake with strangers crammed into a mountain hut after a backcountry dinner of rice, seaweed, miso and green tea.