First, Place

» Posted by on Apr 17, 2013 in Blog | 7 comments

Even with the best of intentions it is difficult to master the way under unfavorable conditions; living in a quiet place in the bosom of nature is the most conducive for practice. It is better to rely, at first, on the place rather than the mind. Saichō

Kyoto. Mt. Hiei, home to the marathon monks. Running with Shogo Aoyagi, Yuki Nakatsuji, Susshi, Sho, Kentaro, Tetsuro, Koichi, Kawata. Kyoto: Fushimi-Inari Shrine, Sumire Matsuda’s Cacao Magic, Neighbor.

Tokyo. Hakone group run Odakyu Romance-Car express trail to Hakone-Yumoto Station with Dai Matsumoto, Aoki-san, Satoru Asano, Kei Kuwabara  (Run boys! Run girls!), Toshiyuki Komatsu (OnEdrop Cafe), Masaomi Matsuda (, Shinya Yamada, Minoru Inaba, Kenji Yoneyama, Tetsuro, Koichi.

Real special thank you to SUNWEST for making this trip a reality as well as Kensuke Tanaka, Tetsuro Ogata, Koichi Iwasa and Tomohiro Kawata for being the best guides, hosts and friends anyone could ask for.




  1. Visually stunning. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing Joe.

  3. Let us all know when you put together that coffee table book of all your favorite pics:) Great stuff Joe!

  4. Joe, first off, wonderful pictures as always; secondly, I was curious, do you speak fluent or any Japanese? Or did you have a translator then entire time?


    – Dylan D.

    • Thanks, Dylan. I don’t speak Japanese and without the help of my friends there it would have been tough to get even remotely close to the richness of the experience I had there.

      • Appreciate the reply Joe! Best of luck to your future travels for the rest of the year.


        Dylan D.

  5. Joe,
    I enjoyed reading Your thoughts on moving into Your home. Congratulations to You and Your wife. I completely understand the feeling of responsibility to the running and living environment as a result. I reside West of Phoenix, AZ. and completely feel a spirit of the nearby White Tank and South Mountain Ranges. It is where My health and running performance has greatly improved. It has a completely different feel than the eastern appalation and massanutten mountains. those are amazing as well. I had a fantastic learning experience comparing the Dessert southwest trails to the appalation trail itself. Awesome writing Joe.

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