Japan day 32

Japan day 32
Iwamizawa-Romoi 117 km
As I write this, ‘suffering in extremis’ after a long relaxing hot spring, I have just studied the map to calculate the remaining journey to Cape Soya……and my calculation is about 210km (130 miles). I am slightly ahead of my schedule, and with the weather forecast being promising for the next few days, there is every incentive to make a mad dash, and get there a day before anticipated……and the day before rain is anticipated once again.
The final stretch will follow the Sea of Japan coast (north west coast of the island) and that will basically take me to Wakkanai, the most northerly town in Japan, just 32km short of the Cape. If the Cape gave off a scent, I reckon I’d be able to smell it from here.
As I was nearing the end of my route today, I began thinking about where to spend the night. Paid accommodation or stealth camping? With night time temperatures hovering just above freezing, I ruled the latter out immediately. But when I passed this remarkable little bus shelter, with its own closeable door…


…looking like a desireable piece of real estate in its own right, I was sorely tempted…….but it was 30km short of my target for the day.
But a good reason for turning down the bus shelter became apparent as I crossed the mountains to get to the coast….

Hokkaido could as easily be a part of Siberia as Japan, and the slowly receding winter snows gave a penetrating chill to the air, even when the sun was shining.


And that chill at night time would be even more pronounced. I would be expecting too much of my 2 season sleeping bag, which only has a comfort tolerance down to 5C degrees.

As a complete ‘non sequitur’, and only because I have seen tens of thousands of these on my journey, I present to you the shape of the most popular little car in Japan…


….snub-nosed and rated 0 for road tax. When you see one pass by, it looks just like a box on wheels……which is what it is, basically.

And at the other end of the spectrum, Japan has been celebrating, what I understand to be, a new world speed record on the railtracks.


This screenshot shows a speed of 603 kph (about 370 mph)…..getting closer and closer to the speed of a jet plane.
And can anyone tell me what this little contraption is for? It was one of the several freebies in the hotel room.



About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on April 22, 2015, in End-to-End of Japan 3000kms and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. 370 mph?! That’s CRAZY FAST! Happy trails on that last hundred and change.

  2. Looks like a sock stretcher to me …..

  3. The pic of the little house-bus shelter is cute! I have slept in a few bus shelters in old hitchhiking days , that wud b a palace . Bet u can speak Japanese now Frank .
    Go Well.

  4. Miniature waffle maker… 😀

  5. Bahaha. Classic about the box on wheels. They sure are everywhere here. Also I love the tiny white trucks that are everywhere … the ones with the open back like a ute (pickup in American English). Have you also noticed all the 220V car charging stations and how all the car engines turn off at the traffic lights? You have covered so much ground in your month here. I feel kind of slack that I will barely make half your total distance in the same time.

  6. Mystery item – is it a pair of tongs to handle cycle shorts that have been lived in for over a month???

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