2010 04 29 - Sendai day 1

Sendai Travel Blog

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I woke up late and checked my "ToDo" list. It was almost empty, except for "Geisha", "Kabuki theater", "Hanayashiki amusement park (inside a shopping mall" and "Sumo". I had failed at "Geisha" so far, Kabuki would be torture to watch without speaking Japanese and the Amusement park would take to much time. But close to the hostel was Ryogoku where Sumo practised. I biked there, was denied access (again) because I was a foreigner but I did see two Sumo-wrestlers walking around on the street. I visited some of the best places I had found to get food, returned the bike, packed my stuff, got a basic idea of how to travel to Hokkaido, said goodbye to everyone in the hostel and started walking towards the highway-entrance.

I was hoping the 1200 km (including a ferry) to Sapporo would be doable in 2 days, but I was very worried about hitchhiking out of a huge town like Tokyo. Getting in had been surprisingly easy. Getting out turned out to be as well. The 1st ride was in a big van and was only 35 km but it got me on the highway, out of Tokyo and at a service area. I have a family with a father that spoke English very well and a mother that was sitting on the backseat with their son to thank for that.

The 2nd ride was with an older woman and her husband. She spoke a little English and used an English/French/Japanese tourist guide with some useful sentences in it to tell me about her 27 year old twin daughters that were both single. I politely declined meeting them at the end of our ride to Niko.

The 3rd ride was with another wife and husband that were in their mid 40's. They took me almost all the way to Fukushima in a very fast car with radardetector. She told me about the North-Japan area and about HER daughter of 19 that was studying Kendo in Tokyo and her daughter of 21 that lived in Yamagata

So far rides had been one after another, but it was starting to get colder and was dark already. I had to wait an hour before 2 newlyweds helped me continue. She was 39, he was 35 and they married in March after knowing eachother since August. They had their honeymoon planned to Cambodia later that year. She was very happy to point out that "younger is better" several times.

My 5th and last ride for the day took 15 minutes to appear and by now it was late and cold so I was happy to see 35 year old Ken appear. He did Muay Thai training since he was 28 and we quickly started talking about the great Dutch K1 fighters. He was especially proud about becoming the 400 meter hurdle prefecture (district) champion when he was 18.

When it was time to build up my tent I found out the ground was totally soaked. I had gotten used to the luxury of the hostel bed and didn't want to repeat the last tent experience from Mount Fuji. I was lucky to find a nice gazebo which had a dry floor and a wooden roof. It felt strange not sleeping in the tent that night but I was very dry and comfortable. I was also very happy with the distance I had covered in those few hours after leaving Tokyo in the late afternoon.
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photo by: Lotus28