In the spring of 2001, I moved to this vast archipelago in order to escape from the regular 9 to 5 life of working in the western world. I soon found myself escaping the hustle and bustle of the Kansai area every chance I got. Armed, like most outdoor enthusiasts, with a copy of Lonely Planet’s Hiking in Japan guidebook, I set out to scale the majority of the peaks in the book, and then some! In October 2008, I finally knocked off the last peak in my quest to climb the Nihon Hyakumeizan (Japan’s 100 famous mountains). The Tozan Tales is a collection of stories from that long, hard, adventurous quest.