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Month: August 2014

Wrong Way Round – Day 6

Wrong Way Round – Day 6

Churui to Chokubetsu (忠類町 – 直別) – 76km Come the morning the campsite was positively buzzing: I met a pensioner who had come from Tokyo to escape the heat and play what is known as ‘park golf’ (‘You only need one club,’ he said. ‘What, you mean you don’t even use a putter?’ ‘Nope!’), a cyclist from Western Hokkaido who was practicing for a three-month tour of France the following year, and Mr Bell Tree, who like me had travelled…

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Wrong Way Round – Day 15

Wrong Way Round – Day 15

Lake Kussharo – On-neyu (屈斜路湖 – 温根湯) – 111km At the Wakoto campsite the temperature fell to single figures, and during the course of the night I put on pretty much every item of clothing I had, including long trousers and a raincoat with the hood up. In the tent next to mine was a scooter-riding university student from Yamagata Prefecture who was at Lake Kussharo for the fly fishing. As it turned out he had been the second-to-last customer…

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Wrong Way Round – Day 35

Wrong Way Round – Day 35

Muroran – Tomakomai (室蘭 – 苫小牧) 72km Muroran is only fifty kilometres or so from Tomakomai, from which I planned to catch a ferry back to Ibaraki in the evening, so along the way I paid a visit to the Porotokotan Ainu museum in Shiraoi Town. The Ainu have lived in Hokkaido, northern Honshu and on islands in the Sea of Okhotsk for the best part of a thousand years, and while they were never subject to the kind of…

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Footie

Footie

A couple of weeks ago Japan earned a 1-1 draw with Australia, thereby becoming the first team to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Brazil, and in order to fully savour the achievement, I paid one of my very occasional visits to a nearby Western-style pub (that’s Western as in non-Asian, not Western in the horses-tied-up-outside / customers-wearing-cowboy-hats / poker-games-ending-in-shootouts sense). Watching the footie in a pub with one’s mates is a British tradition that stretches way back into…

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