THE HIKE and BIKE JAPAN TEAM
Justin lived in Japan for more than 20 years prior to returning to his native Australia, during which time he attained native-level fluency along with an impressive familiarity with local culture and customs, including yearly participation in the famous "Naked Man Festival"! As the founder and leader of Nagoya's well-known Chubu Hiking International Club (CHIC), he has planned and led countless group hikes and activities throughout Japan and has extensive knowledge of the country's mountains, backroads and hidden cultural gems. Justin is currently more than halfway through his personal quest to climb all of the "One Hundred Famous Mountains of Japan", an ambitious yet elusive goal amongst many in the Japanese mountaineering community.
Additionally, Justin is currently running popular home-stays, treks and tours of the Gold Coast area where he now resides, through his business J&J's Adventures.
Paul, who is originally from the U.S (Oklahoma), is a permanent resident of Japan who has been living, working and hiking here since 2003. Also fluent in Japanese and well-traveled within the country, Paul has completed multiple multi-day traverses of all of Japan's major mountain ranges and will soon reach his goal of summiting each of the country's one hundred tallest peaks. In addition, Paul has organised and led weeks-long trekking trips all over the globe, including places such as Iceland, Nepal, India, Tasmania, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Morocco and more. He is also trained and certified by Wilderness Medical Associates International as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR).
Paul is based in northern Nagano prefecture, where he is a full-time employee of the small mountain village of Otari, and works with the tourism association of Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort to increase and support both foreign and domestic tourism during the winter (skiing), and summer (hiking) seasons. One of his responsibilities is maintaining the Tsugaike Information Facebook page, linked below.
He is always on the go, whether running marathons (3:17 PR), winning mountain races (the 2019 Bunsuirei Mountain Ultra), backcountry snowboarding, or doing crazy things like climbing to the summit of Mt. Fuji, from the ocean, round-trip, in a single day. He is currently training hard to be the first non-Japanese person to join the Trans Japan Alps Race; an arduous 8-day, 415km affair with 27,000m of elevation gain and loss, that starts at the sea of Japan and traverses 3 major mountain ranges before finishing at the Pacific Ocean.
Sean first set foot in Japan in 1997, before returning to the U.K. to major in Japanese. Four years later with his degree in hand, he promptly jumped back on an airplane headed east, this time with his trusty mountain bike in tow.
Now a longtime permanent resident of Japan, Sean has lived just outside of Nagoya since 2002 after having spent his first full year on the island of Shikoku. A keen cyclist and photographer, he spends nearly all of his free time outdoors either cycling or photographing - usually both. For the past several years he has stuck to his monthly goal of cycling more than 1,000km per month, usually in the Aichi, Gifu and Nagano areas. Sean has cycled up and down Mt. Norikura, featuring Japan's highest paved road, over 30 times. He has also ridden a loop around Mt. Fuji via the famous Fuji Five Lakes in a single day, and done several bike packing trips through places such as the Noto and Kii peninsulas as well as the Japanese Alps.
These days Sean runs a popular homestay program for Japanese children on the Gold Coast together with Justin. You can keep up with his latest exploits by checking out his personal website and blog below.