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Have you ever wondered what the real Japan is? After 20 years, fluent in Japanese and married into it, I’ve got a few ideas that may surprise you.


Travel with me as I get to know the real Japan, around the island of Shikoku while I walk the 1,200-year-old, 750-mile, 88 temple Buddhist pilgrimage.


I am joined by a star-studded cast complete with naked gangsters trying to shake me down, a wandering ascetic searching for enlightenment while hiding from the Freemasons, high school kids having sex in an internet cafe, pubic hair thieves, a Buddhist monk who hates America but loves beef jerky, and many more. Yes, there were some “normal” people, but not too many!


Meet Todd

Todd Wassel is an international development professional, author and traveler. Fluent in Japanese, he has worked across Asia and Europe for the past 20 years in over 40 countries.
Todd won the People’s Choice Award in the Southeast Asia Travel Writing Competition and has been featured in Lonely Planet, the Diplomat and ABC Australia.
Todd has hiked into Machu Pichu, watched the sun rise from the top of Mount Fuji, dived the reefs of the Maldives, honeymooned in Bosnia and Herzegovina, danced for three days at weddings in India, hiked from Montenegro to Albania, through Kosovo and into Macedonia, and walked the 900-mile pilgrimage to the 88 temples of Shikoku Japan, twice.

He likes strong coffee, adventures, and the hair he has left.



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