In the spring of 2016 I embarked on a three week trip to Japan. My old friend Sean Borja had been living there for almost two years and had another year left in his program. Our recent communication had been sporatic but as my trip neared we dove into planning a trip around the island of Shikoku where he lives. My route to his small mountain town took me on a highway bus from Kyoto to Kochi, a local train to Sakawa, and finally a ride from Sean’s girlfriend Kelly up the windy mountain roads. Though I’d already been in Japan over a week, Niyodogowa was a different world from bustling Tokyo and even ancient Kyoto. We only stuck around Sean’s place long enough to briefly begin catching up while he packed for our impending camping trip further into the mountains.