Long time no blog. There’s lots of good reasons for this which I won’t bore you with. Suffice to say it’s been a manic couple of months leading into my trip to Japan. I feel like I’ve fallen off the end of the travelator and I’m not going to lie … it’s amazing.

Before I left, I wrote an angsty post about coming to Japan on my own. If I’m honest, I was a little frightened that I’d be lonley. I was a lot frightened that I’d squander the opportunity to become immersed my writing. I had visions of me binge-watching Netflix, drinking endless cups of tea and trolling facebook to spy on everyone else.

That would be a woeful trip indeed.

So here’s what’s happened so far:

  • I’ve completed revisions on a short story and entered it in a competition.
  • I’ve hit my daily target of at least 1,000 new words on a project that has been brewing for about a year.
  • I’ve completed the revisions on the first half of my novel and sent them off (THAT was intense).
  • I’ve done yoga.
  • I’ve gone for a walk everyday.
  • I’ve cooked healthy meals AND let myself have a glass of wine every night.
  • I’ve read everyday.
  • I’ve watched a bit of Netflix in the evening.
  • I’ve slept like a log.
  • I’ve discovered that writing is an amazing excuse for staring out the window and enjoying the way that morning light illuminates the trees.
  • I’ve logged into wordpress and written a post.


I’m spoilt. I have all the comforts of home up here: my own bed, a coffee machine, a desk with a monitor and a keyboard so I don’t have to squint at the laptop screen. But I have those things at home, so why is this so special?

I think it’s partially the peace. No one to talk to, no washing to, no dinners to cook (for other’s that is). But I think it’s more than that. I literally have NOTHING else to do. My brain isn’t pre-occupied with daily life, it’s in holiday mode AND work mode. The two together are some kind of magic.

I WANT to write. I WANT to read (okay, I always want to read). My brain is completely immersed in creative mode and there’s nothing to pull it back to reality. There’s literally no one to talk to – if you’d seen me pointing and speaking jilted Japanese to the plumber when I arrived you’d believe me. Add to that the unique peace that overcomes you when get to this place and it just works.

It’s day 5 today and my only concern is that I might get addicted to this writing retreat malarky.

P.S. Husband and kids, I miss you 🙂


Here are a few (Iphone) pictures taken from the upstairs window showing some of Mt. Yotei’s many moods.