Craig McLachlan

Craig McLachlan, a lifetime adventurer, writer, trip leader, and photographer, hails from New Zealand but has been connected to Japan for more than 30 years. He’s the ultimate guide for the Japanese Alps and Shikoku, having climbed the 100 Famous Mountains, walked the 88 Temples of Shikoku Pilgrimage, and hiked from the Sea of Japan to the Pacific, climbing all 21 of Japan’s 3,000-meter peaks along the way (2000 miles in 99 days!). With a degree in Management Studies and Japanese from Auckland University, Craig earned his MBA from the University of Hawaii. In 1997, Craig approached Lonely Planet about writing a Hiking in Japan guidebook, and has authored 10 titles since, covering everything from the Greek Islands to the South Pacific. In winter, Craig leads hiking tours for Japanese visitors to New Zealand, and in summer, he brings hiking groups to Japan. Craig met and married his Japanese wife, Yuriko, in New Zealand in 1990, and they divide their time between the two island nations. Craig holds a 4th Dan Black Belt in Okinawa Goju-ryu Karate. “In Japan you don’t have to go looking for a cultural experience…it’s all around, ready for you to soak it in. I want my trip members to see ‘the real Japan’ and the only way to do that is to get beyond the ‘public face’ so we can see the ‘private face’ of the Japanese that few visitors get to see.

Upcoming Trips:

Hiker's Japan, September 27-October 9, 2015
Hiker's Journey to Shikoku, October 13-25, 2015

Client Testimonials:


Craig was great. He was efficient, sensitive to the individual needs of his group participants, and at the same time an easy-going fellow who made a great travel companion. Marc N., Washington, DC
Japan: Shikoku Island
Craig's enthusiasm, attention to detail, and concern for each member of the group were notable plusses. Julien L., Washington, DC
Japan: Shikoku Island
Craig was cheerful, enthusiastic—a good leader as well as traveling companion. His knowledge of the country and language was immensely helpful. Martha G., Cambridge, MA
Temples, Treasures and Teahouses