One Sunday back in 2011, after a taxing week at work, I spent 6 hours straight in bed reading article after article on different travel blogs. So much in fact that I became really angry. By the end of the night, all I could think was “Why do all of these people get to travel the world and have amazing experiences while I’m stuck here like some sucker working 9-5, too tired to do anything worth mentioning?” I went to bed fuming but woke up the next morning determined to do something about it. Just months after starting a new job and beginning to create a more stable life, I decided that I would quit at the one year mark, save up as much money as possible, and travel around the world for a year.

This is Sushiyama Travels, my corner of the web where I share my love for travel, nature, and food through writing, photos, and videos. I’m passing the torch in the hopes of making you mad enough, hungry enough to go out and create your own adventures.

LaZat Cooking Class Photo - Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Who am I?

Hello! My name is Kimi Sugiyama. I’m a passionately curious world traveler, foodie, and mountain child who uses curiosity and appetite as a compass. Life started out in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan without much of an agenda. Went to school, worked odd jobs, and frequently road-tripped throughout the United States. When I graduated from university, I moved to NYC to work in the music industry, convinced that one day I’d be a top executive at a well-established record company. Frequently traveling out-of-state to go to concerts was the launchpad for a very wanderlust-stricken chapter of my life that took me to 20+ countries over 5 years. Now, I live and work in Tokyo as a tour guide, and it’s an absolute dream come true.

Why do I [choose to] travel?

Since being bitten by the travel bug, my creativity and appetite demand an occasional change of scenery so they don’t go stale. Understanding the way other people live and think have become staples for my growing curiosity and general knowledge. Through travel, I’m learning to expand my comfort zone (and taste buds) and working towards making every corner of the world a slice of home.

About Sushiyama Travels

The name “Sushiyama” is a play off of my last name (Sugiyama) and is the intersection of my four greatest loves: Japan, travel, mountains (yama (山) is mountain in Japanese), and food. Here you’ll find a collage of insights on the quirks of Japanese culture, personal challenges and lessons that come from living and traveling abroad as well as travel videos, stories, snapshots of my favorite travel moments, and photo essays of my favorite destinations.

Who are YOU?

This blog isn’t just mine. I share it with everyone who comes across it. Don’t hide behind your computer screen. Tell me who you are, what makes you laugh, and your personal aspirations and stories. I’ve just spent a whole page talking about myself, something surprisingly out of character for me, and now it’s your turn.

My Travel Wishlist

  • Antarctica
  • Cuba
  • India
  • Indonesia

  • London (Harry Potter Studio Tour)
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • Peru

  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • UAE
  • Vietnam

Fun Facts

  • Allergic to kiwi, animal hair, and most nuts except peanuts and almonds
  • I don’t drink alcohol, coffee, or pop
  • Certified to teach English as a foreign language (as of December 2011)
  • I was a dancer for 13 years (hip hop, ballet, tap, jazz, etc.)
  • Volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Alaska and Nepal
  • My day always starts with a cup of hot tea
  • Big fan of pop music and jazz
  • I prefer mountains over beaches
  • Conversationally fluent in Japanese (JLPT level N2)
  • Photography is one of my favorite pastimes
  • One time, I was in a music video

Thank you so much for reading & joining me on this incredible journey.