Last Updated: Jan 1, 2024

The Endless Journey

Why I Need More Lifetimes for Japan

Donny Kimball
5 min readSep 15, 2021


A misty trail along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route in Wakayama Prefecture
This story was originally published on and has been syndicated here on Medium

As I sit down to write this, it’s 6:00 AM on a Saturday morning and I am traveling on a bullet train bound for Shiga Prefecture in western Japan. Prior to opening up a new story in my editor, I was lazily gazing out the window at the bucolic countryside. Lost in thought, I soon found myself pondering just how many lifetimes I would need to experience all the destinations on my ever-growing bucket list. The damn backlog is basically like a hydra. Every time I hit the road, I discover two or three more allures such that I never make any progress. My only hope is to be of such service to Japan that when I die, I am reincarnated here and able to continue the adventure.

As noted several times in previous articles, I quite literally invest every single yen that I earn working as a freelance digital marketer in Tokyo into traveling. Being transparent, I barely have any savings other than a few months of float should the proverbial fecal matter hit the fan. Other than this, I invest everything else into traversing the prefectures. While I am not sure if it’s healthy to spend every last yen of my disposable income, what I can tell you is that I am happy to be of service to Japan. Besides, it seems the more time, energy, and funds I invest into this amazing place, the more it gives back to me in the form of new opportunities. #NotFinancialAdvice

Japan’s national flag, the Hinomaru

Now, a lot of people ask me why I never want to visit overseas locales and do the whole “international travel influencer” shtick. Here, you simply need to understand that I am hopelessly addicted to Japan. As my fellow cult member is often fond of saying, my heart is embroiled with the Hinomaru (Japan’s flag). What’s more, there’s just far too many places that I need to experience here in Japan to even consider overseas attractions. Perhaps, after millennia of wandering Japan, I’ll find the time to consider other countries. Then again, by that time, there will be countless more spots here to explore.

How can Japan have THAT much content you ask? Well, think of it this way. There are in…



Donny Kimball

I'm a travel writer and freelance digital marketer who blogs about the sides of Japan that you can't find in the mainstream media.