... a delightful if often overlooked book by an amazing foreign woman who traveled widely in Japan a century ago: Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, by Isabella Lucy Bird.
Isabella Bird was a world traveler in the pattern of the great Victorian eccentrics. She claimed to suffer from bad health. In order to cope with it, she undertook travels to unbelievably remote places, where she then saw the sights with iron strength and willful determination that would have put the most robust constitution to shame. Though the world indefatigable most easily comes to mind to describe the way Miss Bird went about her travels, it is clear from her accounts that it must only be applied to her and to her alone. Everyone with whom she came into contact, whether native or resident foreigner, was clearly fatigued beyond description just trying to keep up with her.
Arriving in Japan in 1878, only a decade after the beginning of the Meiji era, Isabella Bird undertook an all but incredible trek through the most remote parts of the country. This she did against the best advice of all the foreign colony and totally ignoring and serious warnings of the Japanese authorities themselves, who pointed out that not only was she determined to go to places where there were neither roads nor inns nor any other type of accommodations for travelers of any variety, much less for foreign ladies, but also that she was dead set on doing all this at just the worst time of the year - the rainy season - when tiny streams would be swollen to torrents and normally difficult roads would turn into impossible mud trails.
But it was no good telling Miss Bird what not to do; she did what she wanted to, wherever she was. She managed to complete her overland trip through the Japanese countryside under appalling conditions of weather and facilities, a trip that would be no simple matter to retrace even today, with modern roads, trains, and all the other conveniences that have been added to the scene. In the preface to the book of travel accounts that she wrote during her stay in Japan, Miss Bird noted rather dryly: "The climate disappointed me, but, through I found the country a study rather than a rapture, its interest exceeded my largest expectations."
from: Roy Andrew Miller, Japan's Modern Myth (1982).
Посмотрите, какая у нее была жизнь: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_Bird
И теперь мне хочется прочитать эту ее книгу тоже: Unbeaten Tracks in Japan.