One Man Walking
Entries from July 2008

2008-07-31 Nikko

July 31st, 2008

Nikko has to be seen to be believed. Founded hundreds of years ago and kept active ever since, there are so many shrines and large temples that it kept fast walkers like us busy all day. We got there before the tour buses and appreciated the calm before the storm of school children that had [...]

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2008-07-29 Urubandai National Park

July 29th, 2008

The man running the youth hostel in Urubandai National Park was exceptionally nice to us. We’d been planning on staying in one of the cabins there but as it was raining and as no one had booked in advance they hadn’t been cleaned and the electricity was turned off. At least I think that’s what [...]

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2008-07-28 Steam, samurai and shrines

July 28th, 2008

Sukayu onsen, in the hills north of Lake Towada, is sometimes referred to as ‘the 1000 person bath’. A slight exaggeration I think but the hotel it is part of could certainly hold that many. It’s an old building of long creaky hallways and winding staircases creating a confusing labyrinth that makes following the receptionist’s [...]

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movie  ·  onsen  ·  photo  ·  shrine

2008-07-23 Hakodate

July 23rd, 2008

Hakodate had the worst of the rain. Possibly the worst rain I’ve ever seen first hand. We lay on the futons expecting each lull to be the end of it only to have it pick up again with more force than before. If it wasn’t by the sea there would have been major flooding, but [...]

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2008-07-22 I’m a legal alien

July 22nd, 2008

It’s been nearly a week since I reached the cape and in that time I’ve travelled south to Hakodate, a journey that took 22 days on foot.
It’s still the rainy season up here so while the rain alternates between light-drizzle and heavy-monsoon there are occasional breaks of scorching heat making dressing for the day [...]

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2008-07-18 The End

July 18th, 2008

More grey skies this morning, but the rain held off. With fresh supplies from the nearest Seicomart convenience store (of which Wakkanai probably has 200), Tania and I started the 30km walk north east along the coast to Cape Soya. The wind was against us the whole way, with shelter provided in the half-dozen small [...]

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2008-07-17 Reunion

July 17th, 2008

There will now be a brief intermission.
Word of the day: i-sho-ni = together

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2008-07-16 Reaching Wakkanai

July 16th, 2008

Day 94 and I’m on the northern most coast of Japan. I have seen the peninsula that I’ll be walking along a couple of days from now but the cape is out of sight until the last few kilometres.
The feeling of non-Japan, or maybe the lack of Japanese feeling continued today. For the 35km that [...]

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2008-07-15 Counting down

July 15th, 2008

The town of Nakagawa was still asleep when I passed through just before 5am. There were clouds still sitting on the low hills that create this valley but the sky was starting to clear. For 10 hours I walked without taking a break. There was nowhere but the roadside to sit and I had no [...]

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2008-07-14 Pace

July 14th, 2008

The day started, that is the daylight part of today, hours before that I’d woken to see clouds rolling over the hills in darkness, with a hearty breakfast courtesy of Barabara’s campsite neighbour Sato-san (not to be confused with the Sato-san I met at Takochi-dake Onsen). A light salad, chunky vegetables in a thick sauce [...]

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