Professional rock climber Paige Claassen aims to raise money for Colorado flood relief efforts, but from afar: Japan! In the latest installment of the her global tour, she explores the customs and climbing opportunities, while getting used to a new culture.
-Climbing takes us all over the world. It takes us to foreign places where we can't communicate or even understand what's going on. This seems scary but it's not because what is an unknown place to us is someone else's home. the locals teach us. They guide us. They show us how to survive. As a result we learn and we find inspiration in these unknown, in things unfamiliar. This is why we explore. -My name is Toshi Takeuchi. And I'm from Tsiba, it's near Tokyo. Japan is special because they have lots of old tradition, culture and history. It makes me comfortable compared to other country tradition. -My name is Toru Nakajima. I'm from Nagano, Japan. [foreign language spoken but with translation] The traditional religion "Shintu" believes that there are spirits in everything. Like stone spirit, tree spirit or water spirit. Everything has a spirit. I always think Japan is special wherever I am because I feel there are spirits in everything everywhere. -My name is Harumi Tokunaga. I'm living in Tokyo. [foreign language translation] The people are so kind, the foods are marvelous, and the culture is very unique. It is a perfect place to live. -My name is Paige Claassen. And I live in Colorado. Japan is special to me because as a foreigner, no matter where I look something really unfamiliar and entirely fascinating is happening. -I love climbing because it's like a simple game. You succeed or fail. But it's also deep. -[foreign language spoken with translation] I love climbing because simply it's fun and I like all the processes you face on the rock. It's just fun to clean the holds on a new climb, even if I'm failing on my project. -[foreign language translation] I love climbing because, I can't even explain in words, I just love to climb. I feel like it energizes and heals me when I touch the rock. -We're climbing in Jogasaki, Japan which is on the southeastern coast of Japan. And we're climbing on these beautiful cliffs and you just see are giant waves crashing right below us. Every day that you climb, every route that you climb presents a new challenge that forces you to cross paths what you thought, what you landed. -We all climb, travel or go on adventures because we get to meet people, see amazing places. And learn the simple things about life along the way. We learn how other cultures value the things that make their country special. We learn how to eat soup with chopsticks. And we learn that we aren't all that different after all. Each of us wants to challenge ourselves and support those around us. This is why we climb.