I’m a British author and writer based in Tokyo, writing about Japan across a variety of mediums and genres.

Whether feature length or short, 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 for Roads & Kingdoms, looking into Okinawan longevity and traditional washi for National Geographic, and attempting to interview the cat that  saved a Japanese railway for the BBC. I also enjoy more in-depth projects. That’s included this long-form piece of historical writing for Narratively/Smithsonian about the island of Dejima during Japan’s isolationist era. I’ve also edited, updated or contributed to roughly 30 books on Japan and have authored seven books of my own, including The Japanese Inn and the 2018 NATJA Gold Awarding-winning Japan Traveler’s Companion.

Beyond the above, I’ve worked with companies such as National Geographic Creativeworks, CNN Create, BBC Story Works, and Reuters Plus on large-scale branded content and content marketing projects, helping to produce standalone websites like this guide to Tokyo’s modern and traditional sides, scripting this animation for the BBC, and travelling extensively to create in-depth social media content for a year-long Facebook project (2018-19) for the region of Japan that was devastated by the 2011 tsunami. Most recently, I’m half of a virtual agency called Untold Japan Media, which aims to tell stories from less-known corners of Japan with short videos like this look at the city of Hachinohe’s food culture.

Besides the constant search for a good story, my current long-term projects include a collection of writing that looks at Japan in short form (through haiku, flash fiction and non-fiction vignettes) and a book on small town Japan. I’ve started writing scripts too. My short Nine to Death (I promise it isn’t a straight-to-DVD Seagal movie) has been nominated at several international film festivals

Selected List of Publications

  • National Geographic
  • BBC Travel
  • National Geographic Traveler (US)
  • The Independent
  • The Times
  • CNBC Global Traveler
  • Fodor’s Travel
  • Business Traveller
  • Economist 1843
  • Time
  • U.S. Airways Magazine
  • British Airways Business Life
  • Morning Calm (Korean Air)
  • Dorling Kindersley
  • Four Seasons
  • Voyeur (Virgin Australia)
  • Delta Sky Magazine
  • Discovery (Cathay Pacific)
  • Lexus Magazine
  • Omega Lifetime
  • Roads & Kingdoms
  • Experience (Bombardier)
  • Go Places (Toyota)
  • SilverKris (Singapore Airlines)
  • Holland Herald (KLM)
  • Jetstar Australia
  • Jetstar Asia
  • Graffiti (Graff Diamonds)
  • Continental
  • DestinAsian
  • 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
  • National Geographic Creativeworks
  • BBC StoryWorks
  • CNN Create
  • Airbnb
  • Wanderlust
  • Reuters Plus
  • NineMSN
  • ArchiExpo

Books

  • DK Eyewitness Japan, Dorling Kindersley, 2021 (contributor)
  • 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

  • Asahi Shimbun
  • 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
  • Tourism- and culture-related branded content and content marketing
  • Haiku, haibun and short-form storytelling (micro fiction)

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)

  • July 2021 San Francisco Indie Short Festival: Nominee for Best Unproduced Short Script
  • 2020 GTMA Global Travel Writer: Finalist
  • NATJA 2019 Awards: Silver Prize Winner, Cultural Travel category (for Model Citizens, RONDA, Iberia Air)
  • 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)