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Month: May 2015

Gaijin on a Push Bike – Day 11

Gaijin on a Push Bike – Day 11

Saturday 30th July 2005 – Shimonoseki to Akiyoshidai (下関 – 秋吉台) Presents received – two nigiri, key ring Since that first night in Toridé, I had developed a speedily efficient routine for putting up the tent, and my beeper and fan also appeared to be doing their job. So it was ironic that a mosquito should pester me at the youth hostel, and having been bitten several times during the night, I only swatted the offending insect after my alarm…

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Gaijin on a Push Bike – Day 24

Gaijin on a Push Bike – Day 24

Friday 12th August 2005 – Naruto to Shodoshima (鳴門 – 小豆島)Presents received – ice cream Stirred as the sky began to brighten at about four thirty in the morning, I moved to close the outer door of the Snow Peak in case the sun managed to find a path through the trees and catch my eye later on. Whenever the zip for the inner door was undone, I made sure it was for as short a time, and to as…

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Gaijin on a Push Bike – Day 28

Gaijin on a Push Bike – Day 28

Tuesday 16th August 2005  – Osaka to Mount Koya (大阪 – 高野山)Presents received – dinner, two beers, fee for campsite To celebrate the end of my final year at university I went to the Glastonbury Festival with a group of friends, with the intention of getting thoroughly wasted for the entire weekend. By the time we arrived the site was a quagmire, as it had already been raining for several days, and after a yomp from the car park worthy…

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Wrong Way Round – Day 8

Wrong Way Round – Day 8

Kushiro City to Akkeshi Town (釧路市 – 厚岸町) – 56km Mr Small Field slept for almost the same amount of time he had been drinking, and somewhat improbably claimed not to have a hangover. He drove me to the nearest internet café and looked positively sheepish as we said our goodbyes – a different man entirely from the rosy-cheeked, world-peace-promoting party animal I had met the previous day. ‘Hello,’ said a woman’s voice on the other end of the phone.‘Is…

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Wrong Way Round – Day 11

Wrong Way Round – Day 11

Day 11 – Betsukai to Shibetsu Town (別海 – 標津町) – 35km With no snoring bikers, crowing cocks or foghorns to disturb me, I managed to sleep for eleven hours, and after a leisurely breakfast, stopped off in Nakashibetsu Town for an equally leisurely lunch. When I sat down at the counter of a local café, I could hear the fellow sitting next to me confer with the waiter in Japanese (‘How do you say “Where are you from?” in…

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Wrong Way Round – Day 36

Wrong Way Round – Day 36

Oh-arai – Hitachi-ohta (大洗 – 常陸太田) 39km The man next to me in one of the ferry’s communal dormitories had some kind of sleep disorder, and kept me awake for half the night talking, walking around and even singing. He was so noisy that eventually I gathered up my things and moved to the next room, although he soon sleepwalked in to join me, and come the morning was complaining that his wallet had been stolen, when what he had…

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The agony and the ecstasy

The agony and the ecstasy

Baseball is by some distance the most popular sport in Japan, and in order not to feel left out when the subject comes up in conversation, I have been trying to learn a little more about it. Obviously there is a national league with its dominant team, the Yomiuri Giants, and several Japanese play in the American major leagues – most notably Ichiro Suzuki of the New York Yankees, who just passed 4000 career hits, something that only six other…

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