I'm Alex Kearney, a PhD student studying Computer Science at the University of Alberta. I focus on Artificial Intelligence and Epistemology.


Yesterday I visited Nara and hiked to the top of Mount Wakakusa. The friends I met at the top weren’t just hanging out at the peak: deer are all throughout the city, mingling with people; however, this congregation was a bit more wary of me than the city-dwellers. After sitting and resting a bit they warmed up to me and continues grazing as I watched the sunset over Todai-ji. In Nara, deer are sacred natural monuments believed to be messengers of the gods by one of the local temples.

Kyōto Station → Tōdai-ji → Mount Wakakusa


Yesterday I made it to the top of mount Hieie: the second highest mountain in the Kyoto prefecture (according to the family I met at the top). At the top of the mountain I took a break to enjoy some tea and met three groups of people who made it to the top.

The first was a Canadian from Toronto who was traveling.

The second was a trail-runner. He started digging around behind one of the trees and retrieved a mysterious granite pyramid which he placed in front of the tree. He said it was famous. I’m still confused by this.

The third was a Japanese family who hiked the mountain. The father started telling me how young Japanese people don’t like hiking and that Japanese people don’t hike anymore. He told me about all the mountains in the area, the number of mountains in japan, and the heights of their peaks.

I left the mountain informed.

Kyōto Station → Ōtsu → Mount Hiei