Walking In Circles – Finding Happiness In Lost Japan




Post Last Modified – February 23, 2021

Walking In Circles – Finding Happiness In Lost Japan by Todd Wassel

As a Baby Boomer Travel, Health & Fitness Blogger and avid reader, I recently added a new book reviews segment to my blog. My most recent read is the featured author’s latest publication called; Walking In Circles – Finding Happiness In Lost Japan.

First off, if you’re not quite familiar with the term Baby Boomers, then be sure to check out my introduction here at Gr8 Travel Tips Homepage. It gives a fun detailed description on just who we Millions of Boomers Around the World are. 🙂

Japan is definitely on my “Must Travel To Next” list. It is a Country I’ve been longing to visit for many years now. Hopefully one day very soon, we can plan a trip when it is safe for everyone to travel once again.

Upon hearing of Todd’s latest release on his exciting pilgrimage walk in Japan, I was delighted to have the opportunity to read and to offer a personal review of his newest publication.

About The Author Of Walking In Circles – Finding Happiness In Lost Japan

Todd Wasell Author

Originally from the United States, Todd Wassel now lives with his wife and children in Laos along the banks of the Mekong. He spent many years in Japan teaching English, where he became fluent in speaking Japanese.

Todd received a B.A. from Colgate University in Asian Studies and Comparative Religion. He also has an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Todd was the recipient of the People’s Choice Award in the Southeast Asia Travel Writing Competition.

His writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, the Diplomat and ABC Australia. His unique writing skills have resulted in his recent publication Walking In Circles – Finding Happiness In Lost Japan.

Walking In Circles Book Signing

His love for travel has taken Todd to more than 45 Countries around the globe in the last 20 years. He divides his time with his family between Laos, Japan, the United States and the rest of the world.

He has walked this demanding 750-mile pilgrimage to the 88 temples of Shikoku, Japan two times now.

The Island Of Shikoku – Japan

Shikoku Japan Map

The location of the author’s story is situated on the Island of Shikoku in Japan.

Shikoku is a lovely mountainous island with many trails, rivers, whitewater rapids and hot spring spas. It is a perfect destination in Japan for the outdoor enthusiast. Of Japan’s major islands, it is the smallest in size at about 140 miles in length, with a maximum width of 93 miles.

It has a last recorded population nearing 4 million people, with the largest City of Matsuyama with over 500,000 inhabitants.

Shikoku Island Japan

The island of course is renowned for its 1,200 kilometer – 88 Temple Buddhist pilgrimage (henro) route.  It is a pilgrimage trail which honors the 9th Century Monk Kukai.

“The Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage is made up of places where Kobo Daishi (774 – 835), one of the greatest figures in Japanese Buddhism, studied and trained. The religious journey is said to impart travelers with blessings and religious merit, and it’s also a great way to enjoy the sights of Shikoku.”

Walking In Circles – Finding Happiness In Lost Japan {Review}

 

Like so many of us throughout our lives, we often find ourselves at a crossroads. Have we selected the proper path in life that truly makes us happy? Is there something missing and not quite sure which direction your journey in life should take?

I know I’ve thought about this many times over the years. I was always fortunate as a young boy, knowing what my career path I wanted to take. I also discovered my love for travel at a very young age.

This is thanks to my parents who could afford to take me to places like Disneyland in the USA and to the Island of Oahu, Hawaii from Canada.

I was forever bitten by the travel bug, that still itches today!

Author Todd Wassel

Todd had lived and worked in Japan for a number of years, becoming fluent in Japanese. He too was at a crossroads in his life, not sure whether to move back to the United States or continue on with his life living abroad.

He decided to take part in the Henro Pilgrimage route for the second time. His latest publication Walking In Circles – Finding Happiness In Lost Japan, invites you to tag along for the ride, or should I say walk. 🙂

Henro Walking Direction

As you read along, you can almost feel his pain as he continues his difficult 750 mile trip. At the same time, you may become jealous of this incredible journey he has embarked upon and his amazing unique adventure of a lifetime.

His words will have you wishing you could experience the beauty of nature and the spectacular scenery he witnesses along the way in this part of Japan.

Temple Entrance Japan

The island’s unique mix of people and culture that he shares with you along his route, are definitely out of the ordinary. Todd’s mix of humor in his writing has you continually wondering – just what will be around the next corner on his adventure!

Henro Walkers Shikoku Japan

He explains in vivid detail each temple that he visits along the way. Each, with a history and meaning unique to all the others. Todd also shares with you the interesting people he encounters on arrival at each temple as well.

All Buddhist Monk’s are not quite what we may think they are!

Henro Walker Shikoku

Recommendations

Walking In Circles Todd Wassel

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I know you will too! The author has a unique style of writing his personal memoirs of his journey. This, mixed with a touch of humor along the way, make you feel at times that you are actually accompanying him on his lengthy pilgrimage.

I know many times, I could feel his pain, exhaustion and hunger as he pushed himself walking for miles each day. The personal rewards, the people he met and the triumphs experienced throughout his pilgrimage, are truly unforgettable.

Buddist Temple Japan

The people he meets and the stories he relates throughout the book, make it hard to put down.

I can’t wait for his next publication to circulate!

Below, I’ve included a link to the author’s official website and page for more information on this publication & others. You will also find convenient  links for book purchase via Amazon & others.

📖   Todd Wassel – Home Page

Shikoku Japan Tourist Bureau

As well, I’ve included the Official Shikoku Tourism website below. It is filled with everything you need to know for those of you wishing to plan a visit to this beautiful island.

There is also a specific page explaining the 88 Temple Buddhist pilgrimage in much greater detail.

tourism shikoku logo

🏝   Shikoku Tourism

✨   Did You Know …



“The Islands Of Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku And Hokkaido Make Up 97% Of The Total Area Of Japan.”
 

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