Photos from a couple of days rambling

Nine months ago I returned from travels of Russia and Japan, my head still full of thoughts and my camera full of pictures, eager to be made sense of. But real life caught up with me quicker than expected, and soon the freedom from the perpetual cascade of work, plans and responsibilities was a dwindling memory. Last month was the first time I felt like I managed to halt the flow for a while, as we took a trip to see family and spend a few days in Edale, Derbyshire. Above: Mam Tor from the southeast.

We stayed for a couple of days at a tiny cottage in quiet Edale, with a couple of bird feeders in the garden.

Hokkaido is famous for its mountains. Before arriving I had pictured the island as a single hulking mass of rock rising abruptly out of the ocean. This was probably partly due to the comments of many Japanese people we met on our way there, who often expressed their surprise that we were planning on sleeping in a van, mentioning the snow and asking whether we would be ok at such high altitudes. I think this is probably because many Japanese associate the island with skiing and winter sports as it turns out the island isn’t entirely snowy, jagged peaks.

(Most of this entry was written around three weeks ago. Photographers, please note that the closest thing to a telephoto I have with me on this trip is a dust infested, manual focus, 105mm, third party lens from the 70s (used with an adapter), so cut me some slack and forgive the hazy, muddy wildlife pics!)

ferry folk

(for those keeping track of or progress, I actually wrote this 5 days ago but have only just been able to upload – we’re now in Hokkaido – more to follow soon!)

Yesterday something caught our eye – peeping out from below the road was a thatched roof. Finding somewhere to pull over and scrambling down a verge, we found a train track flanked by beautiful pink Sakura (cherry blossom). This was our first Sakura viewing for over a week and a half we left Tokyo, when it had been very much in its final stages – specks of pink…

train brain

Without wanting to make sweeping generalisations about a nation and its people, Japan seems to love trains. They’re definitely very good at trains – they have the word’s fastest train (magnetically levitated, it has set a record of 600km/h), and all of the trains – intra and inter city, fast and slow, do seem to run to the second. Train stations are often big, polished complexes with restaurants and high end shops, destinations in themselves (if you like that sort of thing). The conductors have really nifty uniforms, and people form orderly queues one the platform, eager to get on…

Onomichi and the Shimanami Kaido

The week since we left Okayama has been a bit of whirlwind. We’ve been in full sightseeing mode and had fantastic weather which has made our backpacks full of warm clothing seem rather redundant (hopefully they will still come in handy when we’re sleeping in a van up in the northern. wilderness of Hokkaido). I’m writing from Tokyo and before here we’ve stopped off at two of Japan’s other important cities, Osaka and Kyoto. But before hitting the major metropoli (not actually a real word) we had time for one of my favourite things – a bicycle ride!


Our first…

goodbye, nano-village

I honestly am not one for unwarranted, gushing public sentimentality (nor split infinitives, for that matter). However, the first part of this post is going to be somewhat sentimental, so feel free to skip to the next section/pics if you’re not interested in that sort of touchy-feely stuff.

Although my life has undoubtedly been enriched by traveling — I’ve been lucky enough to do a fair bit, and have been the recipient of a lot of undeserved kindness and hospitality, I’ve become sceptical of the volunt-tourism school of self improvement (as subscribed by my younger self) in which travels away…

Today 5 local little kids (aged around 4–5) came to nano village for the day for an easter-based day of english-speaking fun.

One of the morning activities we had planned was decorating eggs (which thankfully were special indestructible plastic eggs). We also used a scare story of a monster to try and keep them from wanting to go outside too much.

Rich Brown

Travel writings from my iphone so expect typos and SOOC photos. Home now, hoping to knock out the odd piece now and again. Also see

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store