Dear Sir, Madam, Child or Beast,
I am Daniel Doughty and I have a plan. Abeit a loose one. Armed with a 1 year Japanese Visa and a pushbike I plan to circumnavigate Japan both beginning and ending in Tokyo! Visiting all 47 prefectures en route. Simple right? Well, maybe not. I’m sure I’ll encounter some trials and tribulations along the way to keep things spicy, and I for one wouldn’t have it any other way!
I first visited the island nation of Japan back in 2007, and since then it left such an impact on me that I found myself returning again in 2009 for stint of just under 6 months. The people, the culture, the food, the language, the customs and the all round scenic beauty of the place were all very much absorbing factors that led me to have such an inspired fascination with the country. In 2009 and coming from a agricultural background I enveloped myself into the Japanese farming scene, whereby I volunteered my man-labor on various organic farms (predominantly rice) throughout the country in exchange for food and board and a slice of real Japanese rural life. Along the way I picked up a little lingo, made some lifelong friends and came away with a treasure trove full of unforgettable memories. Needless to say an amazingly rewarding experience was had.
Fast forward a few years to 2012 and it began to dawn on me how much I really missed Japan and how many other places in the country I was yet to visit and experience and how much I really desired to return. Obviously with Japan your main threat is the cost of living, as it certainly isn’t cheap. So what would be the best way to see all of these places in one rather bulky and cost effective trip and at the same time adding to it an element of a personal challenge? Well lets not beat around the bush here, rather more lets just beat off directly into it. As I’ve already mentioned what my initial plan is going to be, and to the best of my knowledge cycling and camping and fending for myself at my own free will is going to be the aforementioned best technique in which to navigate myself around the Japanese archipelago, and hopefully the most rewarding.
I’ve saved long and hard for this trip and believe it will be my biggest life challenge to date and I’m determined to complete the task that lay before me. One could claim to learn a lot about one’s self through the art of travel, some pretentious folk even claim to discover themselves, all I can say is I don’t really know what the fuck to expect this time, I figure it could make or break me….or even rape me. I wouldn’t fully concede to diving straight in at the deep end as at the end of the day this is Japan, renowned for its excellent cycling and high levels of convenience. There are plenty of other places I could have chosen that would have encountered treacherous terrain and unforgiving inhabitants. But this bicycle touring malarky is virginal territory for me, so what better place personally for me to start and end than in one of my favorite destinations, this is Tokyo to Tokyo.