The Japan Expedition

In 2016 my friend Chris Pratt planned a most excellent trip to Japan. It was different than our previous expeditions as this one involved a formidable hike through the Kumano Kodo that required training in advance and some dedicated tools.

Sidenote: Hiking poles are amazing.

It wasn’t all cardio. There were stops at an art island and covered cities and experiences large and small across the country. I didn’t post in my journal along the way, but shared a gallery on Exposure.

I’d always wanted to revisit the photos from the trip and do something special. After seeing Craig Mod talk in 2020 at a Figma Conference, I finally had a framework! He shared the story of a book he made documenting the creation of the Flipboard application. The cover features the first Git Commit of the project and the insides contain all the design comps and UI/UX sketches, chronologically through launch on the app store.

It stuck with me.

I came back from Craig’s talk and the conference all fired up, gathering ephemera that led up to the Japan trip… the first messages in our Slack group… the extensive itinerary that Chris pored over for months… documents on what to pack and what shots to get.

Coupled with all the photos? It was super easy to make a book.

I finished all 164 pages in a few days and had two copies produced (at Blurb), sending one off to Chris and one for myself.

So much of what I do is on a screen or disappears… flipping through the pages of this book makes my heart fuller and gratitude palpable — and those are the best metrics for any endeavor.

The birth of the Japan trip Slack group
One day of the itinerary