Hokkaido by Bike: Family Vacation in Rural Japan

Dan Clark and family’s ‘Ichi-go Ichi-e’ film gives a fresh perspective of Hokkaido, the Japanese island best known to foreigners for deep-powder skiing.

In Japanese, “Ichi-go Ichi-e” translates to “in this moment, there is an opportunity.” In this short film, a family of four travels to Hokkaido, Japan, on a 600-mile bike journey.

It’s the summer of 2019. The Clark family isn’t traveling to Japan in search of family-friendly resorts, high-end sushi eateries, or poolside relaxation. Rather, they head out to the quiet and serene country roads to ride bikes, camp in a tent, and eat local food.

It’s still a wonderful and relaxing vacation, just executed in a slightly different way. The family trades bustling city centers and shopping malls for mindful focus and intentional cultural exploration. The short is narrated by 9-year-old Ava Clark.

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Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.

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