active 22 hours ago

Mathew Eccles

My interest in Japan stems from childhood, when my mother had a pen pal from Kyushu who would write to us about her area and send us pictures and little pieces of stationery and origami. From a young age, Japan sounded so far away, so different and adventurous that I always wanted to go - so when I had the chance to spend three years teaching English in a small town in rural Yamanashi Prefecture, I jumped at the chance.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"All over Japan but especially the mountains!"

How did you get involved in travel?

"After leaving Japan I wanted to work in an environment that I could use my experiences living and working in such a lovely place."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"One of my best memories of Japan is from a recent visit to the Oki Islands, in the Sea of Japan off the coast of Matsue, walking through dense forest to Takuhi Shrine. We'd heard warnings of mamushi vipers in the area - and at one point I looked down to see one curled up just a few feet away. It was so cool.

"When we got to the shrine it was amazing - totally deserted and built into the side of a cliff. It was so surprising and impressive that it almost looked fake - it was the kind of place you'd half expect to find ninjas training.""