I’m a British writer based in Tokyo, traveling around Japan to craft stories for media across the globe.

Prior to going fully freelance in 2008, I was the deputy editor of Japan’s oldest bilingual (English-Japanese) magazine. Nowadays, I get to write about Japan’s people, culture and most fascinating places for clients that have ranged from publications like National Geographic Traveler, BBC Travel and TIME magazine to independents such as Roads & Kingdoms and globally recognized brands as diverse as Lexus, Cathay Pacific, Omega, Toyota, and Delta.

Whether feature length or vignette, I like to tell stories. In the past that has meant spending time with farmers on the remote Oki Islands to learn about bull sumo, taking the night train to Izumo for the annual welcoming of the gods ritual, interviewing the cat that  saved a Japanese railway, and trying to put into words what makes Tokyo home for me. I also enjoy more in-depth projects. To date, I’ve edited and updated more than a dozen books on Japan and have authored seven of my own books, including The Japanese Inn and the 2018 NATJA Gold Awarding-winning Japan Traveler’s Companion. I’ve also worked with companies such as Airbnb, the Economist Intelligence Unit. BBC Story Works, Nikkei Asian Review, and Reuters Plus on large-scale branded content projects, helping to produce standalone websites like this overview of the Shoryudo route in central Japan and this guide to Tokyo’s modern and traditional sides, as well as producing in-depth social media content for this year-long Facebook project for the region of Japan that was devastated by the 2011 tsunami.

Besides the constant quest for a good story, my current long-term projects include a collection of writing that looks at Japan in short form (through haiku/senryu poetry, flash fiction and non-fiction vignettes) and a book that retraces haiku master Matsuo Basho’s journey around northern Japan.

Selected List of Publications

Print

  • National Geographic Traveler
  • TIME
  • BBC Travel
  • Lexus Magazine
  • Economist 1843
  • The Independent
  • U.S. Airways Magazine
  • Omega Lifetime
  • DestinAsian
  • Morning Calm (Korean Air)
  • Four Seasons
  • Voyeur (Virgin Australia)
  • Delta Sky Magazine
  • Discovery (Cathay Pacific)
  • Business Traveller AP
  • Go Places (Toyota)
  • SilverKris (Singapore Airlines)
  • Holland Herald (KLM)
  • Jetstar Australia
  • Jetstar Asia
  • Graffiti (Graff Diamonds)
  • Continental
  • Oryx (Qatar Airway)
  • Sydney Morning Herald
  • Voyageur (Carlson Radisson Hotels Worldwide)
  • Tomorrow Today (Toyota UK)
  • Open Skies (Emirates)
  • The National
  • Nikkei Asian Review
  • Bally Journal
  • South China Morning Post

Online

  • NationalGeographic.com
  • TIME.com
  • The Economist 1843
  • Airbnb
  • Roads & Kingdoms
  • Reuters Plus
  • NineMSN
  • ArchiExpo
  • Jetsetter
  • eFinancialCareers.com (freelance Japan correspondent 2008-2011)
  • Vertu

Books

  • Be More Japan, Dorling Kindersley, 2019 (contributor)
  • Tokyo: From Islands to Mountains, IBC Publishing, 2019 (author, with Akihiko Seki)
  • The Japanese Inn, Tuttle, 2017 (author, with Akihiko Seki) 
  • Japan Traveler’s Companion, Tuttle, 2017 (author)
  • Travel Pack Kyoto and Nara, Tuttle, 2016 (author)
  • Fodor’s Japan, 22nd ed, 2016 (contributor)
  • Fodor’s Tokyo, 6th ed, 2016 (contributor)
  • Tokyo: Capital of Cool, Tuttle, 2015 (author)
  • Travel Pack Tokyo, Tuttle, 2014 (author)
  • Fodor’s Japan, 21st ed, 2014 (contributor)
  • Fodor’s Tokyo, 5th ed, 2013 (contributor)
  • Travel Pack Japan, Tuttle, 2013 (author)
  • Insight City Guide Tokyo, 2013 (full update)
  • Insight Guide to Japan, 2012 (full update)
  • Fodor’s Japan, 20th ed, 2011 (contributor)
  • Rough Guide to Japan, 5th ed, 2011 (contributor)

Poetry and Fiction

  • 101 Words
  • 50-Word Stories
  • Haiku Journal
  • 50 Haikus magazine

Broadcast work

  • BBC 5 Live
  • BBC Radio Wales
  • Sky TV News
  • SABC

I specialize in the following areas

  • Travel writing (articles and books; with a focus on Japan)
  • Features on topics ranging from sustainability to the arts
  • Haiku, haibun and short-form storytelling (micro fiction)
  • Editorial management (magazines/books/media projects)

Associations and Societies

  • British Guild of Travel Writers (full member since 2014)
  • North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA; full member since 2012)

Awards and Nominations (Individual)

  • NATJA 2018 Awards: Gold Prize Winner, Travel Guide or Book category (for Japan Travelers Companion)
  • NATJA 2018 Awards: Finalist, Long-form Narrative category (for “Night Train to Izumo“, Japan Visitor)
  • NATJA 2018 Awards: Finalist, Culinary Travel category (for “Last Days of Tsukiji“, DestinAsian)
  • NATJA 2018 Awards: Finalist, Travel Guide or Book category (for The Japanese Inn)
  • NATJA 2017 Awards: Finalist, Travel Trade Article category (for “Lights, Action…Tokyo”, MIX Meetings)
  • NATJA 2017 Awards: Finalist, Travel Guide or Book category (for Travel Pack Kyoto & Nara)
  • NATJA 2016 Awards: Finalist, Destination Travel Feature International (for “Tokyo by Design”, Omega Lifestyle)
  • NATJA 2015 Awards: Silver Prize Winner, Travel Guide or Book category (for Tokyo: Capital of Cool)
  • NATJA 2013 Awards: Gold Prize Winner, Travel Guide or Book category (for Travel Pack Japan)
  • Tripbase’s 100 Favorite Travel Writers

Awards and Nominations (Projects)

  • NATJA 2017 Awards: Silver Prize Winner, Travel Series (print) category (for “Mini Guides” series, National Geographic Traveler)
  • IAA Brilliance Awards 2017: Nominated, Best Content (with Dentsu, Economist & TCVB for Tokyo: Modern, Traditional
  • IAA Brilliance Awards 2017: Nominated, Best Mobile (with Dentsu, Economist & TCVB for Tokyo: Modern, Traditional)