Reconnecting Retreats

At the beginning of summer, when the weather in the mountains has calmed down and it is the perfect season for beginners to experience mountaineering, a retreat was held to familiarize themselves with the beautiful forests of the Yatsugatake Mountains.
  • Photograph:HERENESS

Separating them creates bias.

As MIKA mentioned in the last issue of HERENESS MAGAZINE, I think that nowadays there is a separation between "me and the rest of us," "spirit and body," and "nature and humans" for reasons that are easy to understand. However, I feel that if we separate them in this way, one of them will be biased, and I wanted to create content that would connect all of them.

This idea took shape in the form of a retreat combining mountain climbing, yoga, and journaling, also known as "writing meditation.

The route took us from Mugikusa-toge (Mt. Yatsugatake) to Shirakoma Pond, up the Nyuu (mountain range) to the popular mountain lodge Kuroyuri Hütte (Black Lily Hut) for one night, and back down the next day to Shibu-no-yu (hot spring) after climbing up Mt. Mugikusa Pass, which can be approached by bus to an elevation of 2,000 meters, is a fairly high point for a trailhead, making it easy even for beginners. The course is well thought out, yet still allows visitors to enjoy the moss-covered forests around Shirakoma Pond and the magnificent scenery of Mt.

At Shirakoma Pond just after the start of the walk. On the right is the organizer, Sawako-san.


"Climbing mountains and walking in nature, it serves to connect man to the natural world. Yoga serves to connect the body to the spirit. Journaling is an opportunity to focus on oneself, but it actually leads to the realization that the individual is formed in the relationship between oneself and others. I assembled this content in the hope that it would connect each of the three."

MIKA, who has a lot of climbing experience, supports everyone.


It's important to look at the whole picture and get it in order.

Like MIKA, Sawako has moved from Tokyo to Yamanashi in an attempt to make her writing career and her life more connected.
I worked for a publishing company and in media related to health and sports, so I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about how to take care of my body and spirit. Many of the people I interviewed were yoga teachers, food experts, or people who lived comfortably.
On the other hand, looking back on myself, I was very busy and sometimes got sick. I was happy in my relationships and had no worries other than being busy. But when I took some time off and thought about what was inside me and what I wanted to value, I thought it would be okay to be a little more honest about how I wanted to value my environment.
Nowadays, if you don't do anything, it is natural to be absorbed in the digital world or to be controlled by numbers and algorithms. I would like to increase the number of activities that involve my physicality. This is true for the field I am working on now, for the environment where I have immediate access to the mountains, and for exercise. I wanted to acquire the skills to live by using my own visceral sensations and other such things as a guide, and that was the main reason I moved here.

Connecting with Nature, Connecting and People

The 20 or so participants, ranging in age from their 20s to 40s, and of various genders and nationalities, gathered together in sympathy with this idea. By exercising their bodies in the magnificent nature, they naturally open their hearts and minds.


There were more people who participated alone than I expected, but everyone was communicating with each other without dividing. I have always felt that when people are exercising, they become closer regardless of their gender, occupation, or other labels they may have. I truly felt that I was able to realize this in this event.

I thought it would be better to keep the journaling low-key, so I didn't make time for sharing or pair work. However, I received positive responses such as, "I wanted to do more talking," and "I wanted to hear everyone's voice. I thought there were many individualistic people nowadays, but the retreat made me realize that there is still a part of them that wants to be connected, and that there is a system in place to accept them.

The main feature of this retreat is to combine mountaineering with yoga and journaling to connect mind, body, and nature.

With many people feeling uncomfortable with the balance between mind and body, nature and city life, they find a comfortable point by restoring "connection. Sawako and MIKA, who offer such opportunities, are considering planning retreats four times a year to enjoy the four seasons. The second retreat will be held at Akadake Kosen in late September. Follow the duo's Instagram account for more information on their upcoming retreats!