Episode 1 – Return to the top (2015 – Season 1)

Synopsis : 

Almost a year after the first adventure, Dean is back, and with a brand new team, and this time he’s going further, longer and harder than ever before! After a short and insanely hectic pre-production, ready or not, the team are leaving to climb back to the top of Mt. Fuji. Their adventure begins from the summit, starting where they left off. They know 50 days of travel and unforeseeable adventure await them all, but with the public voting by social media for their next direction, they don’t even know which way down they will descending the mighty Mt. Fuji.


Dean Newcombe, Duncan Buckley, Megan Page, Natali Jacobsen and Timothy Buerger


Tokyo and Yamanashi Prefectures

Points of Interest

Tokyo, Shibuya Crossing and Mount Fuji

Day 1:

The Next Journey

It’s been almost a year since Dean journeyed from Tokyo to the top of ‘Mt. Fuji’ with his companion Dario. Now he’s ready to go deeper into Japan and even though Dean has lived in Japan for over 6 years, there is so much he has not yet seen. Once again he moves far from his life as a model and begins planning his next trip, but this time, for 50 days! With Dario back in Italy, Dean begins the search for new team members. He meets friends in Tokyo and gathers ideas, but he meets with a lot of negative reactions to his latest endeavor. People feel the challenge is too unrealistic. (Only in Japan’s street food guide for Tokyo!)

Day 2:

Recruting the Team

Dean finally finds his first team member, Duncan from the UK who is both a cinematographer and a martial arts enthusiast. Things are looking more positive already, and they search for their first female member, recruiting Megan, a Californian fitness lover with skills in Social Media. The plan is starting to look stronger, but with time running out before the planned departure date, they doubt the realism of what is being planned.

Day 3:

Time is Running Out

Natali, a Norwegian model whom Dean had met in Korea a few years previously, suddenly visits Japan, and she seems like a great candidate for runAway. She is a dancer with a keen eye for art and she quickly agrees to join the team, seeing this as a chance to see much more of Japan. With 3 members in place they get to work, buying and painting a team van. They also head to Zushi to test equipment and team dynamics and successfully make a short film. Now they need just one more member, a photographer, and they need to find them fast, before climbing Mt Fuji becomes impossible due to seasonal conditions. With just days to go, Dean goes to meet Tim, a Tokyo based photographer, who agrees to meet them on the road after his work commitments. With the team decided, they frantically gather equipment on the very last day before leaving for Fuji, and return to base to look over maps.

Day 4:

The Climb

The team gather at Shibuya Crossing. They will drive in their newly created team van out to Mt. Fuji, where Dean will climb it for a 2nd time, with this new team so full of energy. Followers of the show begin voting via social media for the next destination of runAway. South to ‘Izu Peninsula’ was the popular choice, and so they climb the North face of Fuji on the ‘Yoshida trail’, with plans to return down the south side ‘Gotemba Trail’. They visit a shrine at the base of the mountain before climbing quickly to a rest hut close to the peak. Dean surprises his new team with a giant 2kg ‘shu-cream’ (cream puff) which he carried from the base of the mountain as an added challenge. The mood in the camp is strong, and tomorrow they will stand on the highest point of Japan as the sun rises, and begin a 50 day adventure.

(We retraced out steps back to Mount Fuji)