Hi ! My name is François, from france. フランソワ、フランスから。many japanese already
think my name in itself is funny. I have been travelling around for more than 10 years now.
Japan has always been on my list, but I thought that the language barrier would be too
difficult for a first expérience. So I went one year in new zealand, mainly farming, wwoofing,
sharing family life and experiencing other cultures. I met lots of wonderful people, and it
raised my awarness on environmental and society issues. So I went back to France to study
It took me 8 years to get my master degree, because I did travel again, and seek as many
experiences as possible. The most life changing one was in Ecuador. I stayed with local
communities to help them developing communuty based tourism, basically tourism by the
locals, for the locals. The most complicated part was to raise their self-confidence, so they
admit that their culture was worth sharing. It was a turning point for me. People who couldn't
believe in themselves, because the way they chose for their life was outside of the global
standards. But that is exactly what we need right now. People who think outside of the box.
With this new set of mind, I was ready for Japan.
When I first set foot on the land of the rising sun, I went straight to Tokushima, to walk the
Shikoku pilgrimage. And I knew I was where I should be. I was finally in the places I read
about in books. I was this ronin, takeo, on his way to become Miyamoto Musashi. Walking
30 km every day, with all my belongings in my backpack, smiling to everyone on the path,
seizing every moment, … I did see more about Japan. On Honshu mainly, from Chiba to
Miyajima, collecting stamps from the places I saw. But the feeling of the pilgrimage was
stronger, more vivid than any other experience I had. So I did this pilgrimage 3 times, with
the side temples. 4 years ago, 2 years ago, last year and probably this year too. I will
become a guide of the pilgrimage, and bring other people to experience this part of Japan.
For my other experiences in Japan, I did a ascetic training in a temple for 4 month (no doubt,
the hardest 4 month of my life), I helped a forest project to replant thousands of native trees
and worked in a organic pizzeria. With my working holiday renewed for one more year, I had
other opportunities offered, and I took time to come to Okinawa. Far from the main island, I
was wondering if the culture would be different from others prefectures I did visit. I am also
interested in discovering the wild life, diving, and meeting with locals. I am really keen on
learning new crafts, or arts. よろしくお願いいたします❗