How to Travel Japan for Free ★ ONLY in JAPAN

How to Travel Japan for Free ★ ONLY in JAPAN


[Music] only in Japan welcome to the cheapest way to get around Japan hitchhiking while hitchhiking the whole country from Kagoshima Tokaido I stopped halfway to make a quick guide with tips on how to hack the system all this adventure can be yours if you put away your Japan Rail Pass and take out your phrase book adventure awaits the adventurers hello everybody I thought I’d take a break out of my very busy highway schedule to give you a little guide on how to hitchhike in Japan so I’ve been doing this for about 15 years now and I absolutely love it the reason why I do it it’s not because they don’t have any money but that’s exactly why I started hitchhiking back in 2003 when I travelled the road from Watzke Ida Kagoshima the opposite way I wanted to see the whole country without draining my bank account and during the one month trip 20 people stopped taking me the length of the country I spent only 150 dollars for four weeks staying in towns off the beaten path discovering new places not in any guidebook but I digress it’s because I want some adventure I hate it because I want to meet people and Japan is a very safe country in the sense that people will pick you up are doing so because they want to help you they want to meet you the curious about what you’re doing and why when you hitchhike they’ll get in a car if you don’t feel comfortable with the person who’s picking you up 9 to 10 times out of 10 I can’t say that 9 99 out of 100 times the person picking you up you’re going to say yes to because they’re very kind hearted person don’t go by the way people look go by the way people ask one instance was a man who saw me holding my sign at a service area and offered me a ride in the first 10 seconds I felt comfortable he told me he was traveling to Toyama alone I could use the company and I was happy for the ride don’t bring a lot of luggage don’t do what I did I have in here lots of cables tents batteries a tent batteries stuff for video video equipment very little of it as clothing this is what I’ll be wearing for the entire month and I’m able to do laundry because there’s laundry mats in Japan just about everywhere every 2 or 3 days I will I do the wash and this bath so I’m always pretty clean which isn’t a problem but it’s ok to look scruffy which is number 3 don’t look like a million bucks no one’s going to pick up someone in a business suit right like why don’t why aren’t you taking your private jets oh yeah just down a little bit and but they need equipment tent because if no one picks you up need a place to stay having attentive extremely invaluable I’ve used it four times on this trip already so where do you sleep when you’re traveling on the road like this this is not camping not really when you say camping in Japanese people think of recreational camping with barbecues cooking on fire and friends and families making a lot of noise in those cases you need a recreational camping area if you’re just pitching a tent and crashing for the night a local park or public area will do the unwritten rule is to set up late after dark and get up early and leave when the Sun comes up make sure the area is clean and don’t disturb the neighborhood if the area is private property like farms ask in advance if you’re not sure find another place the local tourist office and train stations can sometimes point you in the right direction so very very important to have cardboard you need to be able to communicate with people so having cardboard is the way I communicate to let people know where I’m going this is my Judah which is the next destination or near the next station the next destination where I want to go you’d have markers have more than one have maybe two or three handy keeping it nice and neat that’s the sort of a Japanese trait you want to have it looking pretty good I have a lot of duct tape which I use not just for making it more visible designs but also for taping them back to keep them from flapping around in the wind there’ll be times when the wind is very very heavy and having the duct the duct tape helps a lot it also helps in case there’s a hole in your tent or other reasons if you might need it like taping a camera to wall or something like that communication I told you about the cardboard it also helps to be able to speak for Japanese you have to be able to write where you want to go the reason why I don’t write it in romaji is Japanese eyes although traffic signs have both japanese kanji and romaji english letters japanese i see this they don’t see the english letters foreign tourists see the english letters first not the japanese characters you’re getting picked up by someone who’s japanese you want to write in their language that’s an essential key you can do that with Google Translate app which is free or just a map and copy down what you see just be very careful in the way you write it because the strokes sort of matter in being understood you want to have a smile you want to have a good attitude you want to be able to speak Japanese a little bit have a phrase book or a guide where you can communicate with the person who picks you up they’ll probably be able to speak a little bit of English because they’re picking up a foreigner but you want to be able to speak enough Japanese to carry a fun conversation if you can but again the reason why I’m hitchhiking is purely it’s for the adventure for the fun of it and to meet people hitchhiking it’s sort of a science you have to think about where the people on that road are going to go to and the high percentage of them taking you to that spot and maybe you got a hitchhike twice to get to the place that you want to go you have to kind of figure out what are the number of plates the license plates going in your direction what do they say where are they all heading what’s the traffic one of the traffic patterns this spot was a little outside Kagoshima on the way to the expressway towards Kumamoto traffic was heavy but it was hard to find a place for a ride to safely stop and pick me up bus lanes can work when the roads aren’t super busy on average it took 20 to 45 minutes for a ride to stop the fastest was 45 seconds and the longest was over 4 hours my ride to Kumamoto initially passed me then went around the block to pick me up 25% of my rides went out of their way to pick me up just like this just not my day Asahikawa cost in Sapporo I started early at the entrance of the Hokkaido Expressway my first ride only took me about thirty kilometers to the town of Awami I almost never turned down a ride if I feel comfortable with the driver you just don’t know when the next ride will stop any waaah me at the toll gate the traffic was very light and after an hour the road service kicked me down to the low road it’s prohibited to hitchhike on the highway unless you’re dropped off there one guy did stop but I had too many bags and his back seat was full sometimes that’s the way it goes I wasn’t sure of the roads in Emami big intersections have a lot of traffic but a kind woman on foot told me to go further down the road about 200 meters away was a place where a car could pull him safely to pick me up but I didn’t realize that most people on this road were not going to Asahikawa after over an hour here a lady in a pink car with a sleeping baby in the back picked me up and drove me three kilometers down the road to the main free road to Asahikawa she had passed me once already and came back because she felt like I’d be there for hours and this is why I should have been route 12 is the highway not the highway but it’s the low way it’s the other way to go to a cycle which is 94 kilometers on this road so at least now I’m in the right direction I hope a hard day but if you keep at it and stay positive good things happen and sometimes the way to your destination finds you I made it to a cycle by sunset but it took more than four hours to get a ride the kind driver who picked me up when passed his destination to make sure I got to Asahi kala okay finding the right place to hitchhike from isn’t always easy take this map of Toyama for instance in the morning I took the bus from the train station to the highway entertain I got cardboard from a nearby 7-eleven and hitched by the entrance it took 45 minutes for someone to stop he pulls into the parking lot and I got to my destination by the end of the day I have ten rules that I follow when I’m hitchhiking never hitchhike at night when the headlights are coming on I know it’s time to stop always carry enough cash for the next 48 hours away from cities there aren’t always ATMs available when you want one always smile and be respectful even when you think no one is watching you have a plan B if you’re waiting a long time at a spot maybe consider changing to a closer destination or changing your hitchhiking spots carry an extra piece of cardboard whenever possible I usually put a small backup piece inside my sign always have at least three black markers always carry and exchange business cards if you forget something the ride can always contact you or you can send a postcard or gift later to say thank you when you exchange cards you’re no longer a complete stranger never sleep in the car when driving always know your destination hotel station the address without question always stay positive even when things go wrong come out here I’m working hard I’m trying to get a ride and my reward is being picked up as to me that is the ultimate in the hitchhiking war getting the pickup and the ride that’s your reward for standing out here and working hard and making new friends there’s no better feeling than when somebody stops for you there’s a warmth that comes when strangers show kindness to one another and more than the fact that the right is free it’s a chance to really get to learn about Japan from someone who cared enough to stop good luck with your trip and see you out there on the road next time is this the world’s most beautiful Starbucks a lot of reviews say so I stopped by for a visit to see how it stacks up to other shops around Japan if you liked it hit that subscribe button and watch another one of only in Japan shows [Music]

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