Barefoot across Japan: “Barefoot” Rob Nugen walking across Japan for suicide prevention 

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Barefoot across Japan: “Barefoot” Rob Nugen walking across Japan for suicide prevention 

Apr 16, 2021 - May 8, 2021

Barefoot Rob Nugen, known among Japanese TV audiences for going almost constantly barefoot, is to walk, mostly without shoes, from Yokohama to Niigata. In addition to the personal challenge, Nugen also aims to raise funds for suicide prevention in Japan. 

The walk starts at Rinko Park on April 16 and will end in Niigata’s Aoyama Seaside Park on May 8. Nugen plans to walk about 15-20km per day. On the first day, before setting off, Nugen will lead a guided walking meditation. His progress can be followed on his website.  Anyone is welcome to join him for a leg or two of the journey, but will need to take care of their own transport and accommodation. 

Nugen has set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the journey in both English and Japanese.

All additional funds will go to TELL Lifeline.  This telephone and chat support service provides free English counseling to people in Japan.

The idea for the walk is not a new one. “I have been adding different important components of my life together, and they have woven together into this walk,” Nugen says. These components include his walking meditation events, and his and his work as founder and member of various support groups in Japan. 

Nugen sees a strong connection between the meditative effects of barefoot walking and wellbeing.  “Walking helps me be in touch with my body, gets me moving, connects me to Earth, (and) connects me to myself. All of these are ways to reduce stress, and do self-care.” 

Indeed, self-care is an important parts of preventing suicide.

“Coming to the present moment is one of the key ways of noticing what’s here now. And that’s a key way to help go through the feelings, get beyond the feeling of wanting the pain to end.” 

So will he really be walking barefoot? Here, Nugen is realistic: “I will start walking barefoot across Japan… But when I encounter snow in the mountains, I’m going to put on boots.  I’ll be Barefoot Rob wearing boots, walking through snow to continue the journey.”

For further information, visit his website at robnugen.com

Nugen can also be reached at press@robnugen.com

You can follow Nugen’s journey and also donate at this link. 




Apr 16, 2021
May 8, 2021
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