Hitchhiking is cool, I really like it, I have done it in Mexico, Taiwan, Finland, South Korea and now in Japan sometimes I do it without thinking or just with the feeling of “oh I should walk that way and then start walking in the road with my finger in the air till someone picked me up.
It makes me feel alive, makes me feel weak and in the middle of nothing it gives you the sensation that you just big failed, but if things went well, you will enjoy 100x more than taking a train or a bus.
But after the Busan mistake I will be more careful, so the night before departing I looked on google maps and looked for the express ways from Fukuoka to Hiroshima.
|Walking to the Expressway|
Starting the adventure!
Because I was in Kasuga city I decided to go to the expressway in the south thinking that maybe most of the cars that come from the south has to take that route.
Second shock in Japan, Japan is clean!!! when walking in the highway in Korea I could easily find any paper or carton to write my destinations name, but here there was nothing, not a single piece of paper in the first hour walking, just some plastic bags that were perambulating in the air but no cardboard or big pieces of paper. Luckily in a phone booth there was the cover of a disposal ice cooler, so I took it and in the next stop I wrote down in Kanji 広島 “Hiroshima”, and kept waking to the last entrance to the expressway.
It took me almost an hour walking there and another hour to get somebody to pick me up, many people on my way wished me good luck and “Gambatte”, some girls in a car stop just to cheer me up, that actually helps. I tried to look for the plate of the cars that instead of saying Fukuoka said Hiroshima, but most of the traffic was local one.
The first people that picked me up were a young Japanese couple that offered me to take me to the service station, Keiichi had done hitchhiking before to Osaka and Niina loved to travel so they recommended me to be in the station and things will be easier, the funny stuff is that we went to a station first, Niina got some mochi, Japanese rice cake, and then we went to another station, and another, and another, they had a free day at work so it seems they were enjoying the trip as much as I was,
We crossed the Kanmonkyō bridge, the one that connects Japan two of the four main islands, and they told me that it was a place where a lot of important Samurai fights happened. At the end we drive half way from Fukuoka to Hiroshima, after that Niina we were hungry so we stop and eat some Japanese roof tile noodles, really good ones!!!
After a long goodbye and a hundred thank you they went back home and I stayed in the station with my sign and looking for people with Hiroshima plates, after maybe 20 min a man try to explain me that we wasn’t going to Hiroshima city but he can drop me in a really close rest station. We tried to communicate with a phone translator, after half an hour I couldn’t stand it anymore and fell sleep until the next stop where they left me, they give me a package of cookies 🙂
|The noodles are over a traditional Japanese roof tile|
|After the second ride and only about 10km from Hiroshima the Sun was going down|
Again in the last station it was only 10km from central Hiroshima and I notice two mistakes I made before leaving the “Wi-Fi safe zone”
1.- Not downloading the maps to where I was going to (Hiroshima)
2.- Not downloading the English-Japanese pack in google translator
*extra mistake: maybe bringing 2 jackets from the beginning of the trip wasn’t the best idea either.
The Sun was almost down and there was some snow in the shadows or the sidewalks, a lady told me that it will be better to write “Hiroshima city” because we were already in Hiroshima prefecture, and then also to put “inside” so people knows that I want to go there, and at the bottom she wrote the district I was going to. I wait for about 20min until Yamamoto told me that he can take me to the city and his house was not far from the central station. Yamamoto is the manager of 17 Yoshinoya stores, he lives far from his family but seems to be happy with his job position, his English wasn’t fluent but enough to have a conversation for the drive.
In central station I could either take a bus or walk for another 40-50 min, again, the weather still good so I decided to walk, I could see the Hiroshima castle, and some nice buildings on my way, I arrived at the hostel maybe 6 pm and that day I felt like its going to be a good place to be for the next weeks.
|At least! Central Station!!!|