Trip Summary - Mother/Daughter Duo Hammock Camping and Backpacking Across Japan
~ Adventure by Ashlynn and Val ~
Urban camping all around Japan still feels like a dream. When I say “all around Japan”, I really mean it; we went from Tokyo down to the southern point (plus an additional 4 hour ferry south to Yakushima), then up toward Sapporo and beyond to the very Northern point of Wakkanai along the Sea of Japan. Of course, we did some zig-zagging through the Japanese Alps and through some the major cities. Urban camping was one of the experiences that made us feel like Japan was home. Knowing that no matter where we were, we could set up our Nubé Hammock Shelter and hammocks in a park and be immediately home was a relief and a great comfort. While on our hikes, we were able to stop at huts or any two reasonably spaced trees to cook and fall asleep in our very comfortable Nubé and hammocks. This allowed us to get plenty of rest so that we could fully enjoy the next day no matter our destination. The pictures at the top are most of the urban camp spots we set up along the way. Use the controls to look through them!
Our Favorite Backpacking or Camping Moments
Many people have asked us what our favorite experiences were, but in reality, it was not just one or even a few experiences; it was the overall atmosphere and the everyday happenings.
The People of Japan
The people in each destination made our days brighter and more welcoming. We had JR station attendants, locals, store clerks, airport security, bus drivers, students and even policemen that would greet us, provide us with directions, help with translations, or just sit and visit on trains, busses, ferries, or wherever we happened to be walking. Those people shared their history, culture, customs, food, & hospitality with us during our seven-week exploration of their country, and for those moments, we will be eternally grateful. In any foreign country where you do not really know the language, it can be scary – we had a couple of these nerve wrecking moments. Then we would each take a deep breath and try splicing together some of our language with some of theirs mixed in, a few hand gestures and viola we would eventually figure out where we should go, what was good to eat, or where to find a current necessity, like camp fuel. (In Japan that would be found in a Mall) Then to share our great victory over the language barrier we would share a great smile, bow, thank each other with gratitude and smile some more. See our best shots of the people of Japan we encountered throughout our journey!
Best Experiences in Japan, Just To Name a Few
Some of the more touristy things also land high on our list of what made our stay in Japan remarkable. Seeing wild Loggerhead Sea Turtles lay eggs in the middle of the night during a torrential down pour. Being swallowed by the Sea of Japan because you wanted to say you put your toes in the water. Waking up in a hammock gazing out at a bay of crystal clear turquoise water and planting your feet down on the purest of white sand. Walking up flights of stairs to be greeted by the smell of incense burning by the shrine. Exchanging cameras with other visitors (usually Japanese) to get better shots of both Mom and I in front of the attraction, then to return the favor for them.
Camping, people, and even the touristy stuff were a few of the things that made an impact on how we saw the world. Coming home was abrupt, even though we knew that we eventually had to wake from this remarkable dream. The thing about coming home that we were not prepared for was missing our hammocks and the sound comfortable sleep we had become so accustomed to. So I decided to trade in my bed, and continued to sleep in my hammock after we returned home! That way, with the soft sway of my hammock, I can still dream of the amazing adventure I have had the privilege of experiencing with my mom.