62 | Tim Bunting, The Kiwi Yamabushi

Tim Bunting is a practising yamabushi from New Zealand, having moved to the Shonai region of Yamagata, Japan, in 2010. Describing a yamabushi is hard, because the only way to really understand what yamabushi are, is to become one yourself. But, essentially Yamabushi are the mountain dwellers of Japan, practitioners of the ancient belief of Shugendo, the way (do) of attaining divine natural powers (gen) through ascetic practices (shu).

I hope you enjoy my conversation with Tim Bunting.

Show Notes:

[00:00:31] – [First question] – How Tim ended up in Japan
[00:08:09] – What type of people try yamabushi training?
[00:14:40] – Why the secrecy around yamabushi and their training?
[00:18:09] – How do you learn to listen to nature?
[00:22:35] – What does the future of yamabushi look like?
[00:30:42] – Where does Tim’s love of nature stem from?
[00:31:56] – Why are there no full-time yamabushi?
[00:35:26] – yamabushi and how it incorporates into daily life?
[00:37:18] – Anything Tim wished more people knew about yamabushi
[00:42:02] – Wrapping up

Connect with Tim:

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[00:00:31] Kalani Scarrott: My guest today is Tim Bunting. Tim is a practicing Yamabushi from New Zealand, having moved to the Shonai region of Yamakuta, Japan, in 2010. I hear you ask already, what is a yamabushi but describing a yamabushi is hard because the only way to understand what yamabushi are is to become one yourself. I’ve taken this from Tim’s website, but essentially, yamabushi are the mountain dwellers of Japan. They are practitioners, in ancient belief, of Shugendo, the way of attaining divine natural powers through ascetic practices. So, if you want to understand more, you’re just going to have to listen to the conversation. But we talk about what yamabushi are, the philosophy there, being out in nature, rural Japan, a really fun one and illuminating for me and I hope you enjoy my conversation with Tim Bunting.

Tim, cheers for coming on today. I guarantee at some point, and consistently, I’ll probably make some mistakes, false assumptions, so don’t feel bad correcting me, but before we go into being yamabushi, I’d just love to know more about you and your background. I’d love to find out how you got to where you are. So, you first came to the Shonai area in 2010 on the Jet program. How did that all evolve to where you are now? 

[00:01:46] Tim Bunting: Thanks for inviting me, Kalani. So, I came to the Shonai area on a Jet program. Adam mentioned it in a podcast last time, the Jet program. I had always had an interest in Japan since I was little. We had what do you call exchange students come and stay at our house, like probably five or six over my time as a primary school and intermediate student. I had a chance to meet with Japanese people and interact with Japanese people from a very young age. Then I started learning Japanese at high school, which in New Zealand is from 13. And my brother, he lived in Tokyo, he’s four years older than me, so it was when I was about twelve. So that made a big impression on me. I started learning Japanese and loved it and kept studying it. I’d always had an interest in Japan, and then in 2010, I applied for the Jet program. I wasn’t accepted on the first intake actually, so I was what they call a group C, which was like a reserve and spare to use the recent parlance. But you can choose with the Jet program, you can say where you want to be in Japan, and they give you three choices. My first choice was Akashi City, which is in Hyōgo, which is where my friend lives. My second choice was Scorcher in Kyushu, because it sounds cool. And then my third choice was to take me anywhere, I just want to live in Japan. So that’s what happened. I was eventually accepted in 2010, and they sent me to Shonai town here in Yamagata Prefecture. It’s a tiny town of about 25,000 people. It’s beautiful. I think people have an image of Japan, of Tokyo but if you watch anything like Hayao Miyazaki, like Studio Ghibli stuff, and you see the Japanese countryside, that’s what it’s like. So, it’s just rice fields and in the distance, you’ve got mountains. The Shonai region in particular has rice fields, and the mountains surrounding us are about 270 degrees. Then it’s got the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and so mountains, ocean, rivers, rice fields, just insanely beautiful locations that have everything that I need to survive. I fell in love with the area when I moved here in 2010. At the time, within the first week, I climbed Haguro-san, Mount Haguro, where the Yamabushi are based. My friend told me that Yamabushi exists, and that’s about all I knew. I fell in love with the location. Not just the location but the people, the food, the culture, and the history. I was a bit surprised, I still am surprised, why this area isn’t getting international recognition. I wanted to do something about that, but I didn’t really have any concrete ideas. So, from 2010 to 2014, I was living here as an ALT on the jet program. Then I went back to New Zealand for a few months, and then I came back to the Shonai area. But this time I came to Sakata City, where my wife is from. So, I got married in 2014 and then decided to lay down some roots here. That’s when I got the university job. Early 2015, I got that job, so I could still live here but I still had the desire to put this place on the map, so to speak. In 2016, I had a chance encounter. So, my Australian friend, I’m six foot two and he’s taller than me, he was out running in the middle of the rice fields and my now boss, the yamabushi business partner, his name is Tucker Haru, we call him Tuck. So, Tuck saw my friend running in the middle of the rice fields and he was like, why is there a white person running out in the middle of the rice field? And long story short, so my friend told Tuck about me, and then we all had lunch together and Tuck invited me to become a yamabushi. And I said, I’ll do anything to help put this place on the map and not only that, but yamabushi is extremely unique and it’s extremely beneficial as well to humankind. At the time, it was just like an added bonus. That’s how I got started. So yes, I work at the university and do teaching at this stage, and then the rest of my time I do a whole lot of stuff. I help out with the yambushido project to try and get people to come in and experience yamabushi training to do the yamabushi training because I’ve seen it change my life firsthand, but I’ve also seen it change other people’s lives. 

[00:08:09] Kalani Scarrott: I do want to ask, who wants to try yamabushi training? What type of people are you seeing? Is it domestic tourists looking to get in touch with nature or are its foreign travelers looking for something different? Who are those types of people?

[00:08:24] Tim Bunting: My yamabushi master, his name is Master Hoshino. He is 76 and he’ll be 77 in November. He set up his own form of yamabushi training about 30 years ago. There’s a whole backstory as to why he did that. Long story short, people kept asking him, what is yamabushi or what do yamabushi do? And his answer is, the only way to know is to come and do it yourself. So, he set up yamabushi training and then it became extremely popular within Japanese people although he wasn’t exclusively doing it for Japanese people. So there have been a few foreigners over the years. They put out each year and do about ten training sessions of about 30 people per training. This is from July till the end of September, which is when Mount Haguro-san, one of the tallest of the three Divasanzan mountains where we train, it’s only open from July until the middle of October because otherwise it’s covered in snow. So usually around April, they put out ads, they have a Facebook group, and they make all event pages and people sign up and they sell out within minutes, ten training sessions of 30 spots. So that’s 300 spots. It sells out really quickly, but this is only in Japanese, and this is without any cultural background or anything. So, with the Yamabushi Do projects, we provide that cultural background, and we provide an interpreter. The interpreter is there the whole time, and that’s often me. We add cultural experiences, like staying in a Zen temple. Then we have, during Yamabushi training, there’s no talking, and it means that you can’t ask questions, and people come out with a bunch of questions, so we have time right after the training to talk with the Master Hoshino, but often it’s not enough. And after the Yamabushi training, we also have two days out on the mountains with a different Yamabushi. This time you’re allowed to ask questions. Master Hoshino’s Yamabushi training is about three days, and so we add two days either side, so it becomes a week-long program. And then we add all that cultural background and stuff. So, people can have like a whole week out in the mountains of Japan, just focusing on themselves. Your question was what type of people came. So, for the Japanese one, Master Hoshino is training for like three days, no extra cultural explanation or anything. So often people ask us, are women allowed? That’s a huge question. And yes, women are allowed and actually now make up the majority. So, it’s probably like 70 or 80% female participants. Then that’s for the Japanese one and for Yamabushi Do, we get a whole lot of different people. We’ve had university students who have just graduated university. Some were actually in university. They’re deciding what I can do with my life, basically. So, we find people often are at a turning point in their lives. And then we’ve had people like one of my favorite people to talk about is a Spanish CrossFit trainer. He trains the CrossFit trainers and he’s insane. He’s taller than me and he’s just Mr. Muscle. He wanted to go deep into his own psychology to learn about himself and how he can better help well in his job. If you understand a bit of the psychology behind CrossFit, I don’t but my brother does, you can imagine the people that would improve their mental strength. Then we’ve had a few CEOs of big companies as well, because they come, and they want a mental refresh. So that’s the people that we get, and we have some retirees as well. So often people just enjoy hiking or walking, it’s a completely different style of walking or hiking that we do, and they enjoy that as well. 

[00:14:40] Kalani Scarrott: I’m not trying to skirt around the secrecy rules but there is a bit around the emo, which is like, which I would love to know why is that trying to protect the experience for the people that go through it?

[00:14:52] Tim Bunting: For the secrecy, there are two reasons, one is a sales ploy. I think they want to keep it a secret so that people don’t go and spread it, people can come and discover it for themselves. But the other reason is that when we do Yamabushi training, this is a bit esoteric, but we are taking on the spirit of the dead. So, we wear white clothes called shiro shozoku and we carry a stick. That stick represents your own tombstone. The first ritual that we do is our own funeral and it’s very intense, but I assure you, it’s not like voodoo or anything like that. We do these rituals, and it’s a ritual that has actually been going on for over a thousand years. We do these rituals, and it’s like Yamabushi, we consider the mountains or nature, we consider it as the mother’s womb. So, what we’re doing is we’re taking our spirit on its own training in the womb. When we come out of nature or when we come out of the mountains, our soul reattaches to our body, and we are reborn. This is how the tradition has passed down over millennia. So, what this means is that when you do the Yamabushi training, you’re taking a space and time, which is before the time that you were born, and that means that you have no memory of it. So, if you have no memory of something, how can you explain it? Which is why the whole story is behind the secrecy aspect of it, and during the training, there’s a swearing ceremony, where we say, we will not say the details of the training. We sign it with the thumbprint.

[00:17:32] Kalani Scarrott: Interesting as well, because I remember hearing on another podcast as well, and you said the Yamabushi are more of a guide and nature is more of a teacher. 

[00:17:44] Tim Bunting: Nature is the teacher. So, everything we learn, we learn by absorbing nature. The yamabushi’s role isn’t to teach or preach. The yamabushi’s role is just to take you into nature and to give you the best opportunity so that you can learn and absorb the lessons from nature. That’s what yamabushi’s job is.

[00:18:09] Kalani Scarrott: How do you learn to listen to nature? For me, I’m in Perth, very far away but if I wanted to go for a hike, what would you encourage me to do?

[00:18:23] Tim Bunting: We do have special rituals and like I just said, when you’re doing proper training, but this is really simple. So, you just need to be in nature. So, what I would suggest is to just keep quiet and take a walk around and then probably a few pointers. One is to keep quiet so that you can put yourself in the ultimate position that you can accept. So, there’s one parallel with Zen Buddhism here in that when you practice Zazen meditation, which is when you sit cross legged with your hands in a circle, the whole reason for that is your body is in the position that you can ultimately accept. So, if your feet are cross legged, you can’t move around freely. We use our hands to manipulate the world. So, you can’t do that if your hands are in that position. So, what it means is that you’re in the ultimate position for acceptance. Yamabushi training is all about acceptance as well, so accepting your place in nature and in the world. So, by closing your mouth, you open your senses to what’s around you. The noises, feelings, the smells, the sights and one way you can do that is just by keeping your mouth shut. Another thing that we also do is hiking at nighttime as well. So, if you do that, it means that your vision is impaired and you have to rely on your other senses, like your sense of touch. So even at nighttime, when there’s only the light of the moon or something, we would go into a dark forest. So, you have to use your stick to guide yourself. It’s a different way of experiencing nature. The other thing is, we do what Yamabushi call it toko Gatama, which is literally hardening the floor. It’s Yamabushi style meditation. We aren’t as strict, you can do standing or sitting. You just find somewhere in nature where you just stop and let everything come in. Another extremely important thing is that we pray to the Kami or the Buddha. I think people are familiar with Shintoism aspects of nature. Any aspect of nature, even we, are included aspects of nature, they are to be revered. They are to be well understood and appreciated, so I don’t regard myself as religious. And I don’t regard what we’re doing as religious, although it is based on religion. So, the way I tell myself is that we go out and we pray to these different Kami or Buddha living out all around nature and we go and pray to them, and I tell myself that it’s to appreciate what nature gives us because without nature we wouldn’t be here. Another important aspect is to go in and show your appreciation of nature. We do have different ways in which we do that, like different chants and prayers, but I think it’s enough to put your hands together and even bow. 

[00:22:35] Kalani Scarrott: How would you say what the future of the Yamabushi looks like given the events of the past few years and more people being interested like you said or is it trying to get people interested with the work you do with your substack and your newsletter and everything? What are the problems the yamabushi are facing?

[00:22:58] Tim Bunting: The problems yamabushi are facing is that there is a depopulation in rural Japan that I think people probably would be aware of and so what that means is that there aren’t young people to take over where formerly there would have been. I think yamabushi will always exist. There will always be someone to help pray to nature. Yamabushi, one of our most important roles, is to pray to nature for agricultural purposes. We have full on Yamabushi training, which is not talking, no grooming, no watches, no reading, and no writing. So that you focus on being in the moment and focus on acceptance. There’s that hardcore Yamabushi training but there is also what’s called a Junrei, which translates to the word pilgrimage in English. But we don’t like to use that term because it comes with religious connotations, like a spiritual journey or something. But anyway, since the 1600s on the Diwasanzan Mountains, Yamabushi has been around for at least a thousand years. But from around the 16 hundreds, there was a culture of Junrei, this pilgrimage or a spiritual journey culture. So, people would come from all over Japan to the mountains here in Yamagata. Some would actually walk from Chiba, which is right next to Tokyo, it’s about 600-700 km. So, they would walk over the period of a month to these mountains just to come and pray. So, people have been doing that for centuries. It’s cool because we have these lodges, we call them Pilgrim Lodges. They’re called shukubo in Japanese. So, for centuries, the same families in Japan have been coming and staying at these shukubo pilgrim lodges. And what that means is that your ancestors would have stayed in the same pilgrim lodge. So, if you go there, when your ancestors you can see sometimes, you can see photos of your own ancestors or records of them. So, we have this culture of Yamabushi and then we have this culture of Junrei, spiritual journeys, but the numbers of the people that came on these spiritual journeys have dwindled and so we’re trying to pivot towards actually gaining, for example, foreign tourists. I don’t know if you want to use the word tourists, but we want to try and sustain this culture of visits to the mountains. One way of doing that is by inviting foreigners or non-Japanese to come and join as well. So, in the future, there will be less Japanese people, I think, and then we’re hoping that more and more non-Japanese people would also like to join. So, it means that they don’t have to do the full on hardcore Yamabushi training, but they can come in and I don’t want to use the word pilgrimage, but they can do as it has been done for over three or 400 years, guided by a Yamabushi on the sacred mountains. So, it’s not as hardcore as Yamabushi training, but it still has spiritual benefits. 

[00:27:10] Kalani Scarrott: You yourself are doing the 100 mountains of Yamagata. 

[00:27:14] Tim Bunting: That’s a separate thing because I love mountains and I was wondering what I could personally do to build up the profile of this area. So, I started a YouTube channel two years ago and started a newsletter as well. I’ve been writing a daily blog for four and a half years. It’s been tough recently because I haven’t had the time to commit to it, but I’ve still been pumping them out. But newsletters are really good. It’s really fun to write a newsletter. I only have to do it once a week. 

[00:28:04] Kalani Scarrott: I enjoy reading it. The one you did on Coffee the other week as well was a good read. It’s cool seeing your insight because I followed them, saw the video and then I saw your context around it and it’s just cool seeing what you think about it. 

[00:28:17] Tim Bunting: With the newsletters there isn’t much response. I can see that people are reading it, but I don’t know how they are reading it or what they feel about it. 

[00:28:30] Kalani Scarrott: I’m in the exact same boat. I usually try and like most emails that come in that I enjoy, and I always tell myself I should comment more because it means so much, but I get busy too.

[00:28:41] Tim Bunting: I try to positively comment on work that I enjoy, and I encourage other people to do the same so that we creators know that we are making an impact. I started that YouTube channel and then I decided it would be fun to climb the 100 famous mountains of Yamagata. It may sound cliche, but it has been a whole lot more interesting than I thought it would be. I’ve been climbing the mountains and writing a blog about it and making YouTube videos about them and I have discovered so much about my backyard. It’s insane what I’ve discovered. At the start I thought I would just be climbing tall mountains like Mount Gaston, which is nearly 2000 meters. Mount Gaston does have a whole lot of cultural and structural significance. I thought all the mountains would be like that but it’s insane. I found one mountain; it’s called kamehwariyama. I made a video about it last year, and it’s about a historical figure, Miyamoto Yoshitine, which is he’s like Merlin, like an extremely in Japanese folklore, extremely well-known person. Then he came and his son was born on this mountain in Yamagata and all these legends. I did a video on the forgotten highways of Japan, and one is about Isabella Bird, who came to Japan in 1878, so she had a very different experience of Japan. Each mountain has a story like that, and it’s insanely interesting for me, and I really enjoy getting these stories out.

[00:30:42] Kalani Scarrott: Did you develop this love of nature back in New Zealand because my old man is from New Zealand and he’s massively outdoorsy. Did you develop that there as well? 

[00:30:50] Tim Bunting: I did, my house, where I grew up, opened back into the forest, and every day after school, I’d be out in the forest. New Zealand is like that. In Australia, you have to be a lot more careful of wildlife. I have family in Australia, so I’ve been there a few times. 

[00:31:14] Kalani Scarrott: I remember my old man because we’re beachier here. My old man did the same thing. It’s just like mountains, a lot of fishing but I like New Zealand, and I see parallels when I went to Japan because I’ve been to both, family at both. But mountains can be a bit colder sometimes. Obviously, Japan gets bloody hot, but I liked it. 

[00:31:34] Tim Bunting: So, the key in Japan is to time your hikes with the season. So, the pool of mountains you go to in the summer because when you’re up there, it’s nothing cool.

[00:31:46] Kalani Scarrott: I’ve only done Tokyo Midsummer and that was brutal even for me. 

[00:31:51] Tim Bunting: Tokyo is pretty bad. That’s why I love it up here and Yamagata, right near the ocean. 

[00:31:56] Kalani Scarrott: Anything else you want to cover today, anything else we’ve missed? 

[00:32:01] Tim Bunting: So, you had one question about why there are no full time yamabushi. So, there were full time yamabushi in the past up until the Meiji Restoration, until 1868, there were yamabushi who lived on the mountains. They lived on Mount Haguro. You can split them into three main types of yamabushi. So, you had the yamabushi who were full time yamabushi who lived on the mountains, and they were probably Buddhist monks, so they’re mutually exclusive, but Buddhist monks who lived on the mountains. Then what you have is you have the Yamabushi at the base of the mountains who run those Pilgrim Lodges that I mentioned. Then you have what’s called Satoyama Yamabushi, who yamabushi lived elsewhere and that’s what I would be counted as. So those Yamabushi that were full time Yamabushi lived on the mountains, they don’t exist anymore. The Yamabushi that run the Pilgrim Lodges, they’re still there and the Devasanzan on the three mountains, they are rare in that. So, there are about 30 of those Pilgrim Lodges still running as they did 300 or 400 years ago. I don’t think it exists anywhere else in Japan. So doing yamabushi things isn’t enough to sustain their livelihood. So, they’re either working, or they’re retired. In Master Hoshino’s case, in the case of my master, he’s retired but he used to work as a public servant. So that’s why there aren’t any full time yamabushi. It’s not enough to sustain your livelihood. But we have this concept, it’s called Hanse Hanzoku, which translates into English as half sacred, half secular. When you’re a yamabushi, you’re not a yamabushi full time, essentially. So, every once in a while, you would go out into the mountains and do training. It’s generally, I would say, at least once a year you would do if you were proper yamabushi. So, for me, I have a normal job. I work at a university, but I also every once in a while, happen to go out into the mountains following Hanse Hanzoku. The reason for this is there’s the practical aspect of you need to have a livelihood, but also yamabushi. We believe that in order to best serve the people that we wish to serve, it helps to live their life. I have a normal life and then also have a mountain life. So, Master Hoshino always gets angry at me for saying this, because the yamabushi life is like the same life. It’s an extension of everyday life. So, that means that we can best combine the two worlds and best help people.

[00:35:26] Kalani Scarrott: That’s one bit that stuck to me when I was researching and the fact that it’s an extension of your life. It’s not your whole life. It doesn’t consume and it’s an additive positive addition. 

[00:35:42] Tim Bunting: There are aspects of yamabushi life that I incorporate into my daily life. One big one is ukitamo, which is the yamabushi philosophy, the Haguro yamabushi, so Devasanzan yamabushi, the miyamabushi from here, has a philosophy of the ukitamo which I accept but basically things happen in life. If you practice acceptance, if you practice constantly accepting life for what it is, then it makes it easier in the future when something big does happen and your only choice is to accept. But if you practice it, I call it like a look at the more muscle. If you can just go out and use that muscle, it helps in your daily life as well. That’s something I’ve learnt in the mountains that I can directly incorporate into daily life.

[00:36:39] Kalani Scarrott: How often do you go out, especially in the winter months?

[00:36:53] Tim Bunting: So, in winter, yamabushi don’t train outside, we call it Komori Guor, which is being a shutter, like going inside of the shrine and doing stuff inside exclusively. So, the time for training outside is in the summer, in the warmer months. 

[00:37:18] Kalani Scarrott: Is there anything you wish more people knew about what you do in your work? 

[00:37:24] Tim Bunting: Probably the biggest thing is that there are different types of yamabushi. So, I’ve made a video about how Japanese people can be Shinto and Buddhist at the same time, and then which is actually quite common, Buddhism has intertwined with a whole number of Indigenous religions all over the world because it has that power. It’s not like Christianity and then there are different types of Yamabushi even on the Devasanzan, Devasanzan mountains where we train. I train as a Shinto Yamabushi through the Shinto shrine. I train under Master Hoshino, which is, again, separate, but Yamabushi originated from Buddhism, which is completely separate, and it all split off in the meiji restoration 150 years ago. So, there’s different types of yamabushi. The main message that I want people to know is that nature is always there and if you make a regular practice of going out into nature, it helps a lot just dealing with daily life, which is something we tend to forget in our busy lives. It doesn’t have to be a mountain. It can just be going outside and looking up at the sky or maybe a tree or something like that. It doesn’t have to be full of nature, it helps to reflect on your place in the world. It’s just one way in which you can do that.

[00:39:12] Kalani Scarrott: We’ve done it for thousands of years, my favorite thing is going to the front garden and appreciating the greenery. If someone is curious about something, like, I wanted to take that next step or even just try it out, what would you encourage me to do? Is that a week-long course? 

[00:39:31] Tim Bunting: The week-long course has three days. Three days of the week-long course is in the mountains under Master Hoshino and he’s the real deal. He’s been Yamabushi for over 50 years, and he’s had experiences since his teens. He’s insanely knowledgeable and if you can train under him, sometimes it feels like a superpower. It feels like if you do anything, or you can get through any problem. So, I would suggest coming and joining that week-long training because it’s life changing stuff. We have a week-long training, and then just to make things more confusing, we have a six-day experience as well. The six-day experience isn’t under Master Hoshino. That’s the main difference. It’s only two days in the mountains as a yamabushi, but it’s still intense and you still get the same benefits, but you don’t get to meet Master Hoshino, so that’s also a good option. That’s usually from June until October. The training under Master Hoshino is July, August, and September. We only do it once each month. Each of those months we have training, and it’s always limited as well. We don’t want too many people coming. 

[00:41:16] Kalani Scarrott: You are 4 hours from Tokyo.

[00:41:21] Tim Bunting: You can fly here in an hour. There’s an airport, but we recommend people train. Definitely slower but less impact on the environment. Then trains are fun anyway. You get to go on the shinkansen, the bullet train.

[00:41:40] Kalani Scarrott: Look out the window and you will see everything. You’re not just some speck on top of the sky.  

[00:41:45] Tim Bunting: If you do that train ride, it’s a two-hour ride to Niigata from Tokyo and then from Niigata to here is 2 hours along the coast of the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and that’s one of my favorite train rides.

[00:42:02] Kalani Scarrott: Tim, thanks so much for coming today. Anything around content or something you want to add?  

[00:42:12] Tim Bunting: So, I write a daily blog but it’s always very short. I’m not sure if that’s what people are after, but I always summarize it in my weekly newsletter, “Mountains of Wisdom.” I’m excited about going out because right now it’s a bit cold and a lot of the mountains aren’t open. So, I’m excited about summer, getting outside and exploring these mountains of yamagata a bit more and also delving more into the Yamabushi lifestyle in my YouTube channel as well. If people are curious, they should sign up to the “Mountains of Wisdom” newsletter and YouTube. 

[00:43:02] Kalani Scarrott: I’ll leave all the links in the description and in the podcast notes, but if not, Tim, thank you so much for coming on today. Seriously, it’s been so cool hearing about this, and you’ve got me inspired to go for a hike in the mountains this weekend. 

[00:43:15] Tim Bunting: People have to get out of Tokyo. Tokyo is cool. I love Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. They are fun but just come and explore North Japan. It’s crazy beautiful. They have a problem with promoting themselves. 

[00:43:42] Kalani Scarrott: We need to work on some marketing, then we’ll get onto it. Tim, thank you so much. 

[00:43:50] Tim Bunting: Thanks, Kalani.