Travel Journal

TRAVEL JOURNAL #8 | Hitchhiking through Japan

travel journal japan

We survive our first hitchhiking adventure and now we are totally ready for our second, and third, and fourth… From Kyoto we travel to Osaka and farther. Read our hitchhiking adventures in our 8th travel journal.

Missed the first journal about Japan? Check it out here!

Journey to Osaka

A dad and his daughter pick us up, but not to bring us in the direction of Osaka. In their opinion, they bring us to a better spot. We are not sure about that. They bring us on the road towards the toll road. We think we were already standing on a good spot? Nonetheless we make the best of it. So there’s our sign and a big big big smile. After a while a very fancy car stops for us, yay! A grandpa takes us with him, though we are not sure if he knows what he’s doing. A bit uncomfortable, he doesn’t speak English, we tell we want to go to Osaka. Though we can’t really communicate with each other we can tell this guy is the sweetest. And he brings us all the way to the place we need to go to. We don’t think he was even planning to go to Osaka, but he was probably in for a ride with two blonde girls!

New family in Osaka

In Osaka we stay with a family of a friend of ours. Two cats, a Japanese style room and Okasan (Dad) + Otosan (Mom), we immediately feel at home. And we have the best time together, Otosan cooks Okonomiyaki (our favourite Japanese dish), we go to the Onsen, we have a Dutch party and we join an English Rakugo show. From Osaka we do day trips to Nara, Minoh and Kobe. All three amazing places to go to. And especially Nara is so lovely. All those beautiful deers walking around the town. A must see when you go to Japan. After a week in Osaka it’s time to say bye to our new family. They drop us off at a new spot. We will hitchhike all the way from Osaka to Hiroshima (332 km, our longest hitchhike journey so far).

travel journal japan

Hiroshima

It takes us four rides to get to Hiroshima. Starting at a Family Mart is the best. People see you, go inside the Family mart and think about the idea of taking you. That’s how we get our first ride of the day, a young man who’s on his way to work. He drops us off at the service area of the toll way, and before we know it we have our next ride. We don’t even have time to go the toilet or finish our food. Our last ride of the day is probably the best one, two handsome guys take us the whole way to our next couchsurf address. And we end with a photo session. They want pictures of us, with and without them, and we want a picture with them as well of course.

travel journal japan

Our new couchsurf hosts are a cute, artistic couple. She makes the most tiny Origami creations. We buy some of her beautiful Origami earrings. And Hiroshima is a very impressive city. Right after we have arrived we go out again to walk around. And we enjoy the Okonomiyaki version of Hiroshima (we like the Osaka version more). The next day we go to Miyajima Island, we are impressed. We love the Island with the amazing shrine in the water, beautiful nature and lovely deer. In the evening we cook a delicious dinner.

travel journal japan

Meeting up in Fukuoka

After Hiroshima it’s time for Fukuoka! And in Fukuoka we meet our Italian friend again (whom we met in Tokyo). Before that, on our hitchhiking trip we meet an amazing guy who had nothing to do for the day so he takes us to some nice sightseeing places. Another ride is with a guy who can’t speak a word English but a friend of his does. So he types everything he wants to know on WhatsApp and we get the message back in English! How funny and resourceful. In just three rides we arrive in Fukuoka. Michèle is again staying at the same couchsurfing host, but this time it’s not a coincidence. Our couchsuring host is the most funny guy, who’s very busy – like all Japanese. So we explore the city together with Michèle. Fukuoka is a city at the sea, so of course we take a look at the beach. It’s a beautiful city, but enough for one day. Together with Michèle we cook some delicious Italian food and enjoy some red wine.

Hitchhiking together

The next day the most funny thing happens. We are planning on hitchhiking with the two of us to Nagasaki. Michèle joins us to say bye bye – and to spot us in hitchhike action. But when a guy wants to take us with him, he’s going in the direction Michèle wants to go as well. So we join the ride with the three of us. It’s Michèle’s first time hitchhiking, and definitely not his last one (we encourage him to do it as well!). It’s not our easiest hitchhiking day but we arrive in Nagasaki. Our last ride is of a girl who obvious gets fined for turning around to pick us up, but when we ask about it she says everything’s okay. She even drives a lot further than initially planning to go (according to her Google Maps). She drives full speed and we bond over K-Pop music she is listening to.

travel journal japan

Nagasaki & Saga

In Nagasaki we stay at a girl who invited us in her house through couchsurfing. She has Dutch lessons and is curious about Dutch people. And so are we about the Dutch lessons she has. We never thought about people learning Dutch on the other side of the world. We join a lesson and it’s so much fun! Couchsurfing at her place is a bit weird though, we don’t feel really welcome in her house. And the rest of the city disappoints us a bit as well, the rain doesn’t help.

travel journal japan

From Nagasaki we travel back to Saga for our last night in Japan! We catch our last hitch, all the way to Saga. In Saga we sleep in a hotel, it’s our only night in Japan we pay for accommodation. All the other nights we were able to sleep at a local’s place! We still have some Japanese Yen left over, so I go the supermarket to buy some delicious things. And we enjoy our last night in Japan. We now for sure, we will definitely come back to this amazing country.

See more? Take a look at our Japan Gallery and Travel Video.

travel journal japan

If you have any questions about our trip through Japan, feel free to ask anything.
And we would love to hear your (Japan) hitchhiking adventures.

 

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