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Friday, April 22, 2016, 11:27 PM
How #10mountainsinjapan mission started

Yong made this for me. So sweeettt!

It has always been one of my biggest dreams to travel far from home. To experience hiking mountains in other country and to explore what their forest has to offer. I often hike in Indonesia as it is one of the cheapest and nearest country to go. But I want to go further and Indonesia is not enough (greedy, i know. hehe)

So, right after my Rinjani trip way back in August 2013, a friend of mine (Ijan) invited me to join his hiking trip in Japan in 2015. Without thinking twice, I said yes, I want to join him. Few months later in December 2013, I bought a return ticket to Japan. Wait...What? Why so early? I know it was way early and I did not wait for any flight ticket promotion. But buying flight ticket is a sign of commitment to your plan and I was committed to my plan. Besides, I could not do research if I do not know how long my travel period is.

The hiking trip was actually a week. But a week was not enough for me (again, being greedy. hehe) and it is not everyday you can go to Japan. So I extended my trip to 3 weeks, about 21 days. First week, I spent travelling alone (solo travel! wohooo~ nahhh...). Second week, hiking trip with Ijan's team and third week, traveled with my friends, Bibi and Kodeng. 

At first I just want to hike few mountains, maybe about 6 mountains, I think? But somehow during the research and planning stage, it added up to 10 mountains. Haha. But trust me, when I was in Japan I did not really follow my itinerary. 50% of it changed, including the 10 mountains list. Haha. But still, planning an itinerary is a must especially if you are planning for hiking trip as you need to be fully aware of the surrounding, the trails as well as the nature of the mountain. You have to be fully prepare for the worst. Most of the experienced backpackers said itinerary is not important. Let them be, they are backpacker, not hiker. Don't risk your safety and life. 

Research and planning were the most tiring parts (apart from working to fund the mission) because you have to read a lot, like A LOT. I'm not kidding when I said that I spent a year to prepare for Japan. I started with reading Lonely Planet 'Hiking in Japan'. I know certain backpackers hate Lonely Planet. But who cares, Lonely Planet is my savior. I read it in order to get a rough idea about Japan mountains and where to hike. I also asked a lot, asked for itinerary and such. But you know what? None of it I used as reference because different people have different mission. It was no use for me. So, I decided to just make my own and start from the scratch. 

I also made friends from social media. I knew Anas from twt_backpacker (he was a curator) and Sato-san from Instagram (which I will talk more about these two fellas later in my next post). Both of them are currently staying in Japan. Anas is a student in one of the universities in Niigata while Sato-san is a Japanese hiker and photographer who is staying in Saitama (no, not that Saitama one punch man -.-). And these people were so helpful, like ALL THE TIME. They helped me a lot. They wouldn't mind answering my never-ending questions and entertained my curiosity. Haha. 

And yes of course, I trained (both physical and mental), not too often but I was fit enough to complete the mountain list. Huhu. 

And I have amazing people around me that helped me in realizing my dream. I would not have done it without them. Friends who always give me advice and support 24/7. My mother for always being my number one supporter. Though she is not a hiker, but she always encourages me to hike further and I definitely  would not be who I am today if it was not for her. No word can describe how grateful I am to Allah  S.W.T for sending these people into my life.

#10mountainsinjapan is the most memorable experience for me. It taught me a lot and changed me into someone better in many ways. 

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