One Man Walking

2008-05-16 City walking

May 16th, 2008 · 8 Comments

Shoes on at 5am and I was off, slowly. Sunrise by the bridge was pretty. Akashi has built a nice park around the bottom of the bridge (perhaps too noisy for houses) and l enjoyed having it to myself. I walked from Akashi through Kobe and into Osaka. The buildings changed as I went through different districts. The suits all coming out of the suburbs where I began, then a fancy shopping district with all those stupid expensive brands. Big stores, little stores, 10 lanes of traffic, tiny one way streets. And 50km later a small sign that read………..

“Sorry Closed”.

So I’m in Utsobo Park. It’s more of a rose garden really, with coloured lights tonight and a few water features. Another ¥2,500 saved, another day without a shower. I’ll get one in Nara tomorrow.

Utsubo Park    the suits

Update: Sleeping in a park is an interesting experience. About 9pm a pair of boots approached my tent. I heard them on the gravel of the empty lot around the corner and then watched them through the mesh at the bottom of my tent walls. Leather and half way up someone’s legs they were “fashionable” so I knew I wasn’t in trouble. They stopped, and waited a few inches apart. Before the man could take another step, or worse, I said in my sternest voice
“Mawwawawaw GAJIN!” (that means foreigner) came the response as he leapt backwards, much to the amusement of his friends. I don’t know if he didn’t expect the tent to speak or it to have a funny accent.
“Hai, gajin desu” (yes, I’m foreign)

He said something to his friends, his voice still quivering a bit, and they all left.

“Sayonara!” I called and they laughed at him more.

urban jungle of Osaka

Word of the day: o-do-ro-ki = surprise

Distance today: 54km

hiking  ·  photo

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Denis // May 19, 2008 at 4:22 am

    That rather unusual-looking structure among the cranes in the urban jungle photo is part of Kobe Portopia

    where the staff decided you were too cute to ride the big coaster

    and instead directed you to something more appropriate

    As usual, you got the last laugh

  • 2 Roger // May 19, 2008 at 10:07 am


    Has Craig got his GPS tracker back or are you trying to simulate his route?

    Craig:- Keep going. We’re still following progress back here at N. However I haven’t got a big map to put on the wall to plot it…still working on that.


  • 3 Peter // May 19, 2008 at 10:11 am

    You can call yourself hiker trash when you cowboy camp in the wilderness, but when you do it in an inner-city park you’re a bum.
    And doesn’t ‘konichiwa’ mean ‘good day/afternoon’? I thought only ‘konbanwa’ was ‘good evening’.

  • 4 Denis // May 19, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Hi Roger

    We’re doing it the hard way. Craig described his route for 10, 11, 14 and 15 May to me and I traced it on the GE map to produce the .kml tracks. That was easy while he was on numbered country roads. For the 16th and 17th of May Craig has done something similar to produce .gpx files that I have converted to .kml. I think it was a bit fiddly to do on his Nokia. I hope the replacement GPS tracker will be available soon. It’ll take some organising to get it to him.

  • 5 Mike // May 19, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    man! your japanese is impressive. You would think with all their tech savviness, they would be prepared for a talking Gajin tent. And a very polite one too.

  • 6 Roger // May 19, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Denis,

    I applaud your efforts. It makes it so much easier to see where he’s going.



  • 7 Caitlin // May 20, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    oh. my. god. i just read the ‘update’ part of that entry to my roommates and we just about died laughing. the idea of you saying “KONICHIWA!” to a pair of boots in your sternest voice pretty much made my and Kristen’s day. glad to hear you’re hanging in there. i wish (as usual) that i was out hiking too…

  • 8 alan // May 28, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Hi Craig`s dad and girlfriend. Cath and I walked with Craig today from Magome onwards. Just thought I would let you know that he is looking very fit and healthy but obviously relies on all the support that you guys give him through his nifty computer thing. From the little we did with him ~ we can see that it must get pretty boring. Couldn`t help but think of Craig roughing it under a highway shelter while I was lazing in a bath this evening. Poor bugger. Anyway I think his words for the day should be kureji na gaijin (crazy white dude). Good luck to you Craig. al

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