Japan has been my home for three years and four months. I’ve lived in one tiny apartment and slept on the same futon every day. But I decided to this year do something I don’t do every day. I’ve embarked on a monumental challenge – to cycle the length of Japan. From Cape Sata in Kyushu to Cape Soya in Hokkaido, I will be making this journey alone.
The idea of cycling the length of the country took ahold of me nearly three years ago. A friend of mine wanted to cycle around Lake Biwa and, as I live close to the lake, invited me to join him. Two days riding and a night camping out – I was hooked. The following year I learned about mountains. Another friend and I cycled from Shiga to Takayama in Gifu. A quick translation of the name Takayama (high mountain) offered a pretty clear hint as to what we were in for – cycling uphill for three days. So I have a little experience, but by any real cyclist’s standards, it is very little.
The ride will be hard on my legs and hard on my backside but I predict that eventually, it will be hardest on my mind. Going solo is my biggest trepidation. Not just riding but camping, eating, and sleeping alone. That is why I want to share my adventure. Not just with my parents and girlfriend, but with everyone who knows Japan, or wants to know Japan. My blog Travels with Chari will be a place to share my tales from the road and for me to interact with the people who are interested in seeing Japan through my journey. Perhaps most importantly though, it will operate as my fundraising page.
Travels with Chari is not just about me. As most of the world is well aware, Japan suffered one of the greatest natural disasters in recorded history just three years ago. What many don’t hear much about is the continual fight to rebuild. I have chosen to support and bring awareness to one group in particular. The Ogatsu School Restoration Project unites two things that I hold very dear; education and the environment. The project aims to convert an old school building into a centre for outdoor recreation and environmental awareness that will host children from all over the world and provide jobs to a shellshocked community. Please help me raise $10,000 (¥1,000,000) towards their cause. I don’t know them, they don’t know me – and neither do you – but giving is good for you!
You can follow Daniel’s blog at travelswithchari.com or see Travels with Chari on Facebook.
You can read more about the Ogatsu School Restoration Project or donate by visiting travelswithchari.com/donate