Day78 Waimate to Timaru

The final day of January. And one-twelfth of the year is over.

5 days to Christchurch.

I have enjoyed anything in New Zealand including people, nature and culture.

There’s no doubt that I learned so many things.

After I come back to Japan, I have so many things to do but now I have to live for today and live for the moment.

We can create world peace by keeping peace of mind, throwing away our ego and accept anything.

That’s also what I learned through travel.

Throwing away ego means to become a part of the universe.

We don’t need any desire but we live to share anything with someone else.

There’s nothing that belongs to you. Even your life is given to you.

It rained much in the morning. I haven’t seen blue sky for a few days but this rain will be good to the dry ground.

Ran about 1040km in January. I have run 2587.66km since I left Auckland on the 15th of November.

Just 200km to go to Christchurch in 5 days.

No more big hills. Even head wind brows, heavy rain falls, I got to go forward.

Running every day I talk to two legs of my own.

“Are you OK?” “Can you hold on?”

They don’t say anything but I know they are also part of me and they are doing their best.

My heart and body keep running as well as my soul.

There is no time for troubles and accidents.

Although there is 200km less than I have expected but I’m sure I can finish just in time.

I really appreciate the road on which I’m running, two legs of my own and all the supporters and sponsors of mine.

I decided to run by the 5th of February after running about 250km since I left Ranfurly.

There’s no problem on my legs and body at all even if I have run 1000km per month.

As I run so slowly, I’m not tired at all and I can sleep well at night.

I eat two meals per day plus some snacks from time to time.

I don’t eat so much but I can run enough.

I wonder if it’s true of others but I don’t believe any common sense that someone creates by themselves.

For me running is just a tool for transportation not for races.

Time and record don’t matter at all.

All I need is communication between body and mind.

They may encourage each other. It’s good for them to work together. That’s why I keep running a long distance each and every day.

We can do almost anything by moving 6000 billion cells in the level of soul.

Now all the cells of my own move one by one, some of which don’t move so often.

But this goal is nothing but a waypoint of 40000km on 5 continents around the world.

According to my plan...

Sun. 1 Geraldine
Mon. 2 Mount Sommers
Tue. 3 Glentunnel
Wed. 4 West Melton
Thu. 5 Christchurch(Finish)

*Distance Today: 45.72km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2583.66km

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Day77 Oamaru to Waimate

Tomorrow is the final day of January.

On February 5th I will finish my run at Cathedral Square, Christchurch.

On 9th I’ll leave New Zealand from Christchurch.

Hope everything will be all right until I get back home.

Shige-san made an excellent meal. Chimney’s B&B is worth visiting for sure!

Started at 8:40. Drizzle again. Not so cold.

Almost flat route today. I ran on the flat road for the first time in New Zealand, didn’t I?

Get off SH1 and follow Route82 to Waimate.

Small town but I like this size of town.

I checked in at a motel whose owner John is also a runner.

He has completed some full marathons.

We talked about running for a while.

How lucky I am!

He gave me a 20 dollars discount of ordinary rate.

Today I covered 2500km in New Zealand. Just 250km to Christchurch.

Last night I visited blue penguins’ colony in Oamaru.

Here’s a YouTube movie which someone who visited Oamaru uploaded.

According to my plan...

Sat.31 Timaru
Sun. 1 Geraldine
Mon. 2 Mount Sommers
Tue. 3 Glentunnel
Wed. 4 West Melton
Thu. 5 Christchurch(Finish)

Just 250km to Christchurch. A week to go!!

*Distance Today: 48.95km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2537.94km

*See Where I am

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Day76 Hampden to Oamaru


Cool morning.

Calm and quiet morning. I really appreciate having such a great time here at this motel.

34km to Oamaru. One week to go to finish my Running Across New Zealand.

Next Thursday will be my final run.

Left Hampden at 8:20am.

Glad I had no head wind.

Drizzling then blue sky spread.

Running along the east coast but there are mountains along the way.

Wherever I run, I cannot get away from hills. It’s New Zealand.

Sheep trucks come and go very often.

About 3pm I finished today’s run at B&B run by Shige-san where I spent New Year’s Eve and New Years Day.

I had never expected to be back here in Oamaru again.

But I guess there’s a reason for sure.

Everything that happens here in the world has a meaning.

SH1 between Oamaru and Timaru is the route I haven’t taken on southward bound.

Just 300km to go to Christchurch.

I have kept pushing my buggy aiming for the peak thousands of times but it finishes in just a week.

Sooner or later all these memories are gone somewhere in my mind.

A herd of sheep and cows cannot be seen once I get back home.

Those are the scenes I can see only in Hokkaido.

Thinking that way, I really like sheep and cows which have been so familiar scenes to me.

I have visited so many towns and cities in this country. I have seen so many people and have talked with them.

Running along so many roads, there have been so many encounters and discoveries.

I have learned and noticed in many ways.

What I am always trying to do is to open up my mind and catch as much as I can from anything that surrounds me with full of sensitivity.

And soaking up various things. They all mature inside me and some day will be fed back to this world in a better way.

What I have got through travel is the most precious thing of all.

To live, to run and to travel have the same meaning to me.

There’s one thing I have to learn and seek for betting my life.

To extreme the road..

I just follow the very one road by two legs of my own…

*Distance Today: 34.97km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2488.99km

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Day75 Dunback to Hampden

Woke up to find myself okay.

Isn’t it incredible for me to have myself already recovered?

I ran almost 67km yesterday!

Today less than 40km to Hampden but some more hills.

I remember running that route from north to south just one month ago.

Left Dunback at 8am.

Route 85 is not fun for most of tourists because there’s nothing special to see or experience but I like it.

It’s fun to find something that even local people cannot experience or see.

Sheep trucks come and go so often.

Some drivers give me a horn instead of saying hello to me.

After running 13km I reached Palmerston where I did some shopping.

I love towns with population less than 100. People living there make great effort to try to please a tourist like me who happens to step into the town with the best of their hospitalities. Isn’t it something exciting and interesting?

About 1pm, I checked in at a motel in Hampden.

I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time in a while.

I realized I came back to SH1.

I have seen lots of mountains so far and it’s kind of exciting to see the blue sea.

All I can do is run north to Christchurch. About 300km to go.

But still I have head wind today too!

*Distance Today: 38.90km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2454.02km

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Day74 Ranfurly to Dunback

Two weeks before I come back home.

On February 10 I’ll be back in Osaka!

And 9 days to Christchurch.

I got to hold on. There is still a long way.

I don’t want any troubles and accidents to happen.

All I got to do is enjoy myself.

On halfway point I reached Red Cutting Summit 640m but there were more hills.

Heat, hill climbing and head wind…

If I got two of them, my running performance goes worse.

It was cool today with no heat.

I had a daydream today that I was still running in the Nullarbor Plain, Australia.

I kept silent for 12 hours including resting time.

Just talked to a herd of sheep.

After 6:30pm I arrived in Dunbuck.

As I was thinking about camping out somewhere, I was so happy to see the sigh board of Dunback Hotel. 25 dollars were quite cheap!

Talked with a lady drinking at a bar counter. I said I had come running from Ranfurly and people around her were extremely surprised.

Today’s 66.76km is the 2nd longest distance record I have run in New Zealand since I left Auckland.

Without pushing a buggy, I can run 70-80km per day, I’m sure.

Both my legs are OK. Owing to headwind it was cool enough.

I drank just 1.5 liter water.

*Distance Today: 66.76km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2415.12km

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Day73 Ranfurly

Taking a day-off after tough and hard 3 days. 160km run was not bad but got some damage on my body as well as legs.

Yesterday Sam, a cyclist from San Francisco came late.

We talked a while about our journey. He has spent almost 4 weeks in South Island. Tomorrow he will finish his ride and fly back home from Queenstown via Auckland.

Did some shopping after laundry.

Sweetcorn was 99 cents and looked so sweet and I got one. It was so good.

It is said that we should take food cropped at the place at the right season of the year. It’s true.

I found that every house has a small garden and makes any kind of vegetables.

In summer the daytime is long and it’s good for crops.

There’s been little rainfall so far. They say they had just 4mm last month. They need to save water before the council orders them to limit.

Made a new plan for the route to Christchurch. I will have to follow the same route between Parlmerston and Oamaru as I ran from the south-bound.

430km in 12 days. It will be adjusted a bit more.

Still more hills. Seems like there’s no flat part.

I will finish my running across New Zealand on February 5th at Cathedral Square, Christchurch.

*Distance Today: 0km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2348.36km

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Day72 Omakau to Ranfurly

The first thing which came into my eyes when I woke up this morning was the Southern Cross shining so brightly in the night sky.

I was so happy feeling something good would happen today.

It was hot last night too and it’ll be sunny with no rain today.

Leaving Omakau at 6:40, I followed Otago Central Rail Trail.

Gravel road which used to be railway tracks. It’s good for mountain bike riders but not good for road bikers.

For me it’s not good either because the tires are too thin to run on gravel road. Sometimes it’s hard to control and it takes more power to push and go.

About 10:40 Susan the cyclist from Switzerland caught up with me. She said she would stay at camping ground tonight.

It’s been dry and hot recently with no rain at all.

A bit cool today.

With no rain and no watering, grasses won’t be green any more.

Sheep too seem to feel hot but they cannot take off their real wool coat.

After running 25km on the trail, I got out of the trail and got back to SH85.

Running on the trail gives me shocks and makes both my hands numb.

Even front wheel axel of my buggy gets more damage.

Met some tourists from Christchurch in Oturehua.

I was taking a break on the bench and enjoying an ice candy in front of the grocery store.

About 10 people gathered around me. They kept asking some questions and I started talking about PEACE RUN.

Some of them took pictures of me and VIENTO the buggy.

All of them had the same opinion as for WORLD PEACE. We never ever want any war or terrorism to break out again.

After covering a 630 meter-peak the highest point today but some more rolling hills. And then head wind did welcome me.

Tough and hard day today too. Ran more than 50km 3 days in a row!

After 6pm, I finally finished running 72nd day at Old Post Office Backpackers Hostel in Ranfurly.

According to its name, it used to be a building of post office.

The owner Bill and Suzy took good care of me. I really appreciate it.

By the way, Ranfurly sounds the same as ran fully, doesn’t it?

*Distance Today: 58.19km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2348.36km

*See Where I am

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Day71 Cromwell to Omakau

Last night I went to bed at 8pm, it was pretty hot with the roof heated.

But this morning I was wrapped in a sleeping bag because it was chilly.

Under the heat of summer, it’s not good to sleep in a tent or in a small cabin.

The sun sets about 10pm. And when the mountains surround the town, it starts to become dark about 8pm.

Left Cromwell at 6:30 following SH8 running along the Clutha River.

Had a comfortable tale wind.

After 10am, the sun shines so hard that I sometimes need to take a break under the shade.

Water in the bottle gets hot water and chocolate becomes hot chocolate easily.

When it’s chilly I don’t drink water so much but this afternoon I drank about 3 liter.

But it’s cool enough under the shade.

Following Route 85 from Clyde.

The landscape reminds me of desert plain.

Some more rolling hills on the way.

Met Susan a cyclist from Switzerland as soon as I entered the town of Omakau.

Before 5pm, I checked in at Commercial Hotel in Omakau.

I knew there was a trail called Otago Central Rail Trail along the SH8. But I followed SH8 because I’m not good at running on the gravel road. It’s hard to control the handle bar and I don’t like both my hands shaking on dirt road. Especially when I run the distance carrying heavy stuff, I prefer paved road with smooth surface.

Tomorrow to Ranfurly 55km. I’ll follow the trail. Susan may be following me. She said she would stay at camping ground tonight.

Cool in the morning but hot in the afternoon. Under such climate I have to save the distance in the morning. It’s much smarter.

*Distance Today: 53.21km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2290.17km

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Day70 Arrowtown to Cromwell

In the morning when I was just about to start, it was chilly enough to wear a jacket.

But about 10am, it’s pretty warm under the sun.

Some more hills but basically I’m going down along the Kawarau River. Shoulders were mostly narrow. I got to be careful for the rear traffic.

Met a 63-year-old Japanese cyclist Mr.Ohashi from Kanagawa Prefecture.

The scenes were almost the same, mountains after mountains.

There were some vineyard and winery on the way.

It was chilly in the morning but in the daytime I took a break in the shade of the trees. Totally different from the humid summer in Japan.

About 4pm, I checked in at holiday park in Cromwell.

The east coast is not that far. Got to keep going.

*Distance Today: 50.70km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2236.96km

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Day69 Queenstown to Arrowtown

Because of the time limit (90 days from the arrival), I have to skip some of the route I planned.

From Queenstown I'm going to head to the north-east and finish in Christchurch.

Will run 575km in 2 weeks. Some more hills...Got to enjoy it!

Next time I’ll run along the west coast from Pikton.

I’d like to visit Mt.Cook, Milford Sound and Te Anau.

Leaving at 9:30. Saying goodbye to the great view of Lake Wakatipu.

As soon as I left Queenstown, hill climb started.

Some were steep hills but no problems at all today just 20km.

Seemed like perfect weather. Sunny and dry. Humid summer in Japan is totally different.

Saw some cyclists on the way. And triathletes too. They seem to practice on the hilly route.

About 1pm, I checked in at holiday park in Arrowtown.

Just 20 years ago I was here for a gold panning tour.

They say this town used to be at its best during the gold rush age but now it’s very quiet.

Some more hills to go.

Tomorrow 48km to Cromwell.

550km in 2 weeks from here. If I run 45km average per day, I’ll be in time to finish in Christchurch. Hopefully I’d like to finish on February 5.

As the travel is coming to an end, I feel kind of sad.

I am supposed to leave New Zealand on February 9 from Christchurch.

Planning the final run 10km away from Christchurch to Cathedral Square.

I wish as many runners and cyclists as possible come and join me.

Looking forward to the day.

*Distance Today: 22.88km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2186.26km

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Day68 Queenstown2

Last night Mr.Kitamura did come and see me.

We drank two bottles of wine.

The cheese he got was so good.

Talked a while over 3 hours.

Life’s been good so far as well as my travel.

No fear no worries. All we got to do is move on with love and courage.

I happened to find another hotel to stay tonight.

That’s why I am going to take another day off today.

I just want to spend time enjoying tranquility along the lakeside.

Wishing PEACE for people all over the world…

Strolling around downtown and along the lakeside today too.

Afternoon I walked in One-Tooth Geta for the first time in 2 weeks.

Warm sunny day, wind feels good. Everybody looks happy in the summery sunshine.

Sometimes I wonder if everything I see or experience is just an illusion or something created in a fake world.

Or some day when I wake up to find everything dream...

What’s important is that I live and am allowed to live in this world. Reality doesn’t matter.

Any way I will do my very best.

*Distance Today: 11.90km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2163.38km

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Day67 Queenstown

Slow but easy day taking a day off.

Got to move to another room. So after checking out I went to the laundry to wash my clothes.

Then I tumbled into the downtown.

Along the lakeside of Lake Wakatipu, I just spend time without anything in my mind.

This is a peaceful place for tourists from all over the world to relax themselves.

Queenstown is a little bit different from Lake Tekapo.

Of course, it is a town made by human beings in many ways but everything looks perfect in harmony.

People come here to enjoy something.

Watching over the sky, some people enjoy flying.

In the lake, in the river and on the mountains people find their own ways to have a really good time.

Yes, you can enjoy doing nothing too.

Just relax, there are more and more time to make ourselves comfortable here in Queenstown.

Standing along the lake side and watching clear blue water of the lake, I take a deep breath.

I feel something, something like new energy get into my body.

Gradually memories of 20 years ago, which have long been gone for a long while, are coming back to me.

Though it’s important to seek for a peace of mind, it’s more necessary to find out my-true-self which I have been missing.

Sometimes we need to reset ourselves.

Tomorrow is a day I have to re-start my run. I have to get back to the basic idea of my travel.

I draw a line from one point to another. All I got to do is enjoy anything on the line.

*Distance Today: 0km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2151.48km

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Day66 Kingston to Queenstown

Had some rain and wind last night.

Still raining in the morning.

9 degrees. Chilly but no heating system in my tent.

It’s always troublesome to put away a tent wet and heavy after camping in the rain.

I wish I could have time to dry my tent under the sun.

SH6 runs along the Lake Wakatipu which has a long shape from north to south.

Traffic becomes heavier between Kingston and Queenstown.

It’s because Queenstown is one of the most famous tourist spot.

Two big hills and five small ones, not so steep but I’ve always had three hard days in a row. Not much energy left.

Saw a beautiful rainbow on the lake.

It rained on and off. With the sunshine the scenes would have been more gorgeous.

A car stops from time to time. And I was often asked recently if I had a website of my own.

It means we are living in a digital age.

First I stopped by at New World the supermarket.

No such supermarket in Queenstown.

It’s a bit heavy to carry a lot of food and water but it’s a smarter way to get them cheaper.

Followed a quiet trail along the lakeside.

I like lakes here in New Zealand.

Cyclists, walkers and runners were seen there.

And along the lakeside were so many mansions and apartments.

After all I finished tough and hard 3 days at Pine Lodge, Queenstown.

Hijiri came by car and we had dinner at Japanese restaurant.

Isn’t it wonderful to enjoy Japanese food abroad?

I did felt so because I am used to eating simple food.

He came here when he was 18 and he’s been here for 28 years working as a guide for tourists from Japan.

His story sounds very interesting.

Maybe I can write a book about Japanese people whom I met here in New Zealand.

Day off tomorrow.

I have had one of the toughest and hardest days these three days.

*Distance Today: 51.03km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2151.48km

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Day65 Lumsden to Kingston

It stopped rain before dawn.

Clear sky with stars and crescent moon.

But wind was blowing from north.

60km to Kingston. It’s going to be a long day.

As a traveler, I am always trying to think in a flexible way.

I never get captured on a fixed idea or common sense.

Of course I do my very best just the way I am.

Head wind was blowing as soon as I got into SH6.

Ran on a cycle trail. Hard gravel road, mostly smooth surface.

It’s only for cyclists and pedestrian.

Stress free with no cars entering.

Got back to SH6 in Garston.

20km before Kingston chilly rain started to fall.

Plus hill climbing and head wind.

Got to be patient.

But it’s important to erase myself in my mind.

With no ego in me, I may not feel anything.

Just keep running with no one to talk to all day long.

Running on empty, trying to be nothing.

It isn’t easy but it’s a good opportunity to think how to be my-true-self.

At 7:30, I arrived at holiday park in Kingston.

It was one of the longest days in New Zealand.

I wanted to stay in cabin but 120 dollars didn’t make sense.

That’s why I chose to pitch my tent at tent site.

Finished pitching my tent at crowded tent site at 8pm.

Exhausted. Ate some crackers, canned tuna, nuts and dried fruits for dinner.

Went into sleeping bag without taking shower.

*Distance Today: 62.61km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2100.45km

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Day64 Winton to Lumsden

50km to Lumsden today.

2 days to Queenstown.

Yes, I was here in New Zealand 20 years ago too.

It was when I was at a camping ground in Fox Gracier that I heard the news of Hanshin Awaji Great Earthquake.

Something awful was happening but I had no idea what to do.

I called my parents in Japan but it took 6 hours to get the phone connects.

Some of my friends in Kobe lost their houses and families.

20 years have passed since then…

Enjoying terrible head wind.

Mr.Sato a cyclist from Japan caught up with me just before entering Lumsden.

He said he also had met Mac in Dunedin.

At the library of Lumsden I met 2 other cyclists from France and Germany.

Luke from France treated us beer.

Later Mr. Kitamura joined us. He came here to see me with my third pair of shoes.

Finally today I completed running 2000km in New Zealand.

Soon after I arrived in Lumsden, it started to rain.

I checked in at cabin of camping ground at the north edge of the town.

Tomorrow 60km to Kingston.

*Distance Today: 52.19km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 2037.84km

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Day63 Invercargill to Winton

Has been quiet all through the night even in the town center.

Late start.

Journey on SH6 started heading to the north.

Cloudy. When sun shines it’s warm. But still cooler than summer in Japan.

After leaving Invercargill, ruler landscape has come back.

Lots of farmland where there are lots of sheep and cow.

Slow and mellow, I keep going forward.

I’m not living a life on the fast lane.

Keeping my own pace is the most important both in life and in running.

Peace of mind is created in slow and mellow life.

It’s a world with perfect freedom.

Time and money is not everything we need.

We got to know desire cannot control our world.

Minimalism only can free you from any desire.

Do not want MORE. Want less.

Travel is an activity which draws one line on your map.

It’s an action you can connect one point with another.

The town where I am now is the place ordinary Japanese tourists never ever come and visit.

And it’s also a place where any KIWIs just pass by.

But encountering and experiences that I can have in such a place is worthwhile.

Anywhere I go, there are people living and there are ordinary lives of local people.

The more different their daily lives from ours, the more interesting travel becomes.

Travel is an activity which draws one line on your map, as I said.

But our lives is just like one line.

Wondering how much more exciting and thrilling we can find in our lives.

We got to find out more.

*Distance Today: 31.20km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1985.65km

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Day62 Invercargill

Just 2 months from the departure of Running Across New Zealand.

Taking a day off here in Invercargill.

The rest of my running days are limited.

But all I got to do is live, run and enjoy myself.

And I’m glad if all the supporters of mine are pleased in many ways.

Also, I’d like to have more chances to share PEACE with people all over the world.

Got to move to other hotel because there’s no vacancy at the hostel I’m staying now.

Fortunately I found on the website a hotel near the town center.

A room usually about 120 dollars is now just 45 dollars!!

I booked without checking the details.

And I have to spend time until 2pm when I can check in.

Walked around Queens Park. What a peaceful moment I have!

I guess I do like a park with lots of green and colorful flowers.

Time is passing so slowly.

Or time doesn’t pass anywhere. There might be time which is only accumulated.

It’s a place to heal people.

We human beings need some time to relax ourselves.

I think we got to stop any work to rest our body and soul.

Trees are alive.

They live each and every day breathing just like us human beings.

They cannot move away but keep watching our world and the history spreading their roots deep into the ground.

Walking in the forest, the spirit of the trees talk to me.

“Are you living your very best now?”

“Are you having a good time at the moment?”

I answer with a slight hesitation.

“I guess I live my best in my own way and I’m making an effort to live for the moment.!

I’m just a traveler like a rootless wanderer not like them.

It’s my mission to go forward experiencing so many things all around the world.

Our lives is too short, far shorter than the history of the universe.

And trees which have lived hundreds of years are much greater than we.

Forest is full of peace.

Branches, leaves, trunks and roots become together to keep the trees alive keeping its balance perfectly.

And I listen to the voice of the spirit of the trees in the deep forest where those trees come together.

Yes, time doesn’t fly. There’s a time which is definitely accumulated.
And I am told here this moment has already been forever.

*Distance Today: 9.07km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1954.45km

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Day61 Bluff to Invercargill

13 degrees in my room this morning.

Still chilly. The road is a bit wet because of a slight rain last night.

Got to get back in Invercargill again.

Next target is Queenstown and Wanaka.

Hope it will be warm and sunny.

Today I met some cyclists.

After running about 10km there come two cyclists.

They are Dan and Ben from Sydney, Australia.

They started in Picton cycling around South Island.

First they cycled along the west coast and today they are going to reach Bluff. Then next cycle along the east coast.

Cycle tourist are easy to come across wherever we are. But it’s unusual and very rare to see a running traveler like me.

Most of runners run at running races or they run as a daily routine around their neighborhood.

Next cyclist were Yutaka from Hyogo, Japan.

He said he was going to enjoy cycling in Australia.

He’s a vegan and he wants to promote a vegan campaign.

We chatted for a while along the roadside.

We may have a chance to meet again in Japan.

About 2pm, I came back in Invercargill after running 34.86km from Bluff.

Cloudy all the morning but sunny broke late afternoon.

Tonight I stay at a backpackers hostel near SH6.

For a while I’ll run along SH6.

It’s been chilly and cold running with a jacket on.

It’s too chilly to run with only a T-shirt on.

Not so cold as long as I run but once I stop running I feel cold.

Soon total distance from Auckland will be 2000km, still far from 3000km that I have long expected.

But I got to keep running.

It’s just 2 months tomorrow since I left Auckland.

I’m running as slow as ever. Taking a day-off so often and I run as far as 1000km per month.

Everyday is a winding road but I have fun.

Without any exact plan I can go on with no troubles.

That’s what I really want to appreciate.

What I got to do is enjoy myself while traveling.

*Distance Today: 34.86km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1945.38km

*See Where I am 

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Day60 Invercargill to Bluff

It’s 2 months tomorrow since I left Auckland.

In 4 weeks I’ll be back in Christchurch to finish my run.

Left Invercargill at 8am.

Soon it started to rain.

Put on rain suits. 13 degrees is not warm.

With no sunshine, it’s been chilly.

Encountered a female adventurer from London just after I left Invercargill.

Anna was her name.

She started running across New Zealand in Bluff yesterday.

It’s Day2 today. She runs 20km per day taking 5 months to cover 2000 miles(3200km) until she gets to Cape Reinga.

Maybe I’ll catch up with her soon somewhere along the road.

She was quite surprised and glad to know that another runner is running across New Zealand.

We exchanged name cards and hugged goodbye.

It’s been raining on and off. Soon after entering the town of Bluff it stopped.

The Stiring Point is about 1km away from the town center and 1900km away from Auckland.

At 1:21pm, I arrived at the point and finished my running across New Zealand.

Spent about 1 hour there taking some photos and chatting other tourists.

But this is not the end of my run here.

Tough and hard run starts here.

At 3pm I checked in at Bluff Lodge Backpackers Hostel.

Bluff looks similar to Wakkanai, Hokkaido.

If so, I should say that the Stirling Point is like Cape Soya.

Very quiet town. They say it is a popular and famous town for oyster business.

Now it is a tourist spot just because it is the southernmost point of New Zealand. But not every tourist comes here.

Maybe some tourists stop by on the way around Invercargill.

There are not so many people coming just to take a photo of the Stirling Point.

I am here just to visit the Stirling Point for the first time in 20 years.

I have no idea what happened to me here 20 years ago.

But it’s worth visiting because this is the south end of my run.

Yes, New Zealand is a paradise for travelers.

If you want, you can enjoy a comfortable travel.

So someone who wants much tougher and wilder travel, it’s not enough.

I should have a task to challenge as Adventure Runner.

All I want is a run from my soul.

I’ll go and run my own way.

For me, travel is not a tool by which I can reach somewhere but a process itself to move on.

It’s more important than anything else to learn something on the very way moving from one point to another.

There are so many encounters and discoveries, notices and learnings there. Travelers can get anything by the power of sensitivity.

I’ve already done about 12,000km under the name of PEACE RUN Running 40,000km on 5 Continents around the World.

But I just want to keep moving on just to move on, getting nowhere.

Wonder what road and people are waiting for me, which I don’t know until I get there.

There must be someone to meet or some experiences to enjoy unless I visit.

No matter when and no matter where I am, I want to keep traveling with a pure childish heart so that I can get excited forever.

I wanted to become a forever traveler when I was 23.

But 31 years from then, I’m still a traveler.

Exactly speaking, I’m a dreamer.

To keep traveling forever is to keep dreaming.

Dreams are for us to make them come true, not just for dreaming of.

And my life is the very stage where I can make my dream come true.

*Distance Today: 33.99km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1910.52km

*See Where I am

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Day59 Mataura to Invercargill

Perfectly quiet morning in the town of Mataura.

Whole town is sleeping.

Started at 6:40am.

Heading to Invercargill 50km away from here.

Headwind was blowing all day.

The former hals was some hills but the latter half almost flat.

Without head wind I was able to run more easily.

With a strong head wind I felt as if I had been climbing mountains.

Seems like wind encouraged me to slow down.

Running along Old Dunedine Road, but some part about 5km was gravel road.

Quiet enough to enjoy running country side.

In the afternoon, sunny blue sky spreads but the chilly wind was blowing.

Peace Run should not make any enemies. So I always run with head wind together.

All I can do is accept anything.

At 3:45pm, I checked in at backpackers hostel in Invercargill.

Tomorrow is the day I reach Bluff the southernmost point of New Zealand.

And I’ll be at the Sterling Point which is the end of the State Highway 1.

Finally I finished running across New Zealand at Bluff, 1900km away from Auckland.

But I got to keep running until I get back to Christchurch.

Running is, for me, a tool for transport as English is nothing but a communication tool.

Yes, transport means travel.

Tool itself is a tool, means, not a purpose.

These two are the tools by which I seek for peace.

Talking to people whom I meet on the way and share a happy time with them.

That’s what I can do just because I’m a traveler and I can understand English.

Unknown world has been waiting for me.

There are so many people there whom I cannot meet unless I go on a journey.

27000km on the rest of 3 continents.

Let’s go by two legs of my own!

*Distance Today: 50.08km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1876.53km

*See Where I am

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Day58 Clinton to Mataura

As railway track is very close to this motel, I heard the cargo train running just before dawn.

But except that the town is pretty quiet with no other noises.

Highway 93 crosses SH1 just in front of the motel. I’ll follow Highway 93 today. Traffic is less than SH1, I’m sure.

Left the motel at 7:40. The town is always quiet even in the evening and the morning as well.

Wondering where all the cars and people are gone.

Some hills in the former half. Just kept running with no one to talk to but cows and sheep in the farm.

Cloudy. Sometimes drizzle. Wind blew from west or southwest.

Had a chilly head wind almost all the time.

No flat road so far. Rolling hills are endless.

Finished at a motel in Mataura at 3pm.

Tomorrow I follow SH1 again. I’ll reach the southernmost city Bluff the day after tomorrow.

But I still have to keep running along the west coast until I get to Hokitika.

Then I’ll be back in Christchurch my final goal via Arthur’s Pass.

Hopefully I’d like to finish by the time the first week of February ends.

*Distance Today: 43.89km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1826.45km

*See Where I am

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Day57 Balclutha to Clinton

Just one month to get back home in Japan.

I made up my mind to get to Invercargill on Day60.

No need to think about the future. We got to concentrate on the very moment.

When the right time has come, everything will be all right.

Just 30km today.

Had Japanese style breakfast, Miso soup, rice, avocado, fried eggs, erie seaweed and tomato.

She made me some rice balls. I really appreciated.

About 9am, I said goodbye to Yumiko, David and Luna on the bridge. It was impressive farewell.

In downtown, Balclutha, I met a guy with a smile.

“I saw you on the paper the other day. I know you’re from Japan and running for the charity.”

His name was Mike and gave 20 dollars for donation.

He came to Tokyo for the first time in 1964 in Tokyo Olympic Games.

Yes, 2020 is also a year when the Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo again. I told him about it but he said he would like to travel by the bullet train or Shinkansen again.

I gave him my business card and told him about my PEACE RUN.

He gave me a big smile and wished me for a good luck.

Some more rolling hills today. No flat route at all.

Hill climbing after downhill on and on and on.

Cooler than I had expected. Head wind was not so strong.

Watching the herd of sheep in farm land, I kept running in the landscape of pasture. Isn’t it nice to enjoy running in that way?

Today’s goal was Clinton. A small quiet town with no supermarket but instead petro station and takeaways.

Found a motel in town and checked in with a great welcome by the owner.

Some small towns before Invercargill.

Tomorrow I’ll be in Mataura. 

3 days to the southern most city Bluff!

*Distance Today: 33.66km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1782.56km

*See Where I am

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Day56 Balclutha

Taking a day off in Balclutha. Late breakfast and enjoyed walking around.

Clutha river is the longest river in New Zealand. It’s famous for trout or salmon fishing.

And this area used to be busy during gold rush age.

Then we went for a drive.

What impressed me most is there are many kinds of natural beauty here in New Zealand.

Sea, rivers, mountains, lakes, forests, trails and caves…

The landscape which can be seen from the car is blue of the sea and the sky, white of the clouds and green of the field. Only gray of the highway looks artificial.

The population of New Zealand is just 4 million with 3 million in North Island, 1 million in South Island.

Wherever we go, we don’t see very few populated area. It’s so different from Japan.

Japan is a small country the same as New Zealand but 120 million people live in the populated area. And they take vacation almost at the same time, which cause some problems.

We human beings are also a part of the nature. We have to learn how we should coexist with the great mother nature.

*Distance Today: 0km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1748.2km

*See Where I am

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Day55 Lake Waihola to Balclutha

Late start. Sunny today. No rainfalls for a while.

Passed some small towns. Took a long break in Milton.

Met two cyclist today.

One is from Mr.Nagatoshi who lives in Wellington and enjoys cycling in South Island. He soon finished his trek in Dunedin.

The other, a cyclist from Switzerland.

It was a big surprise. He asked me if I had been running across Australia last year.

Yes, we have already met in Australia.

Kasper was his name. He runs a cycle shop in Switzerland.

While taking a vacation and enjoying cycling tour, he came across me between Melbourne and Sydney.

“What a small world!”

That’s what we both say.

After saying good bye to them, so many rolling hills slowed me down. Push and walk in climbing hills but run down hills. This interval gives me a damage on my legs and whole body.

If there’s nothing to push, it’s okay but pushing buggy especially on steep hills causes lots of stress. It cannot be helped.

About 5pm, I finished today’s run in Balclutha.

Visited David and Yumiko.

Yumiko is a Facebook friend of mine. She’s been following my journey from the start.

After taking shower, we enjoyed chatting over beer.

We had a good time enjoying KENDAMA and Ipponbageta(One-Tooth Clog).

As the sun sets about 10pm, daytime is very long about this time of the year.

*Distance Today: 41.20km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1748.2km

*See Where I am  

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Day54 Dunedin to Lake Waihola

Spent 4 days and took a perfect rest in Dunedin but finally I get back on the road again.

I remember the hard time when I struggled climbing when I entered Dunedin.

And I remember what happened to me yesterday.

A Chinese boy told me I was a famous runner. His friend is a cyclist but he knows about me very well.

I’ve never thought about that.

I checked out at Kiwis Nest after spending 4 nights.

Last night I slept at dormitory, where there were 4 beds.

Not so noisy but very cozy.

At 8am, I met Mac at the Dunedin International Peace Pole just before Otago Museum.

Then I got interview at Radio One 91FM of Otago University.

Jamy was a DJ. He asked me so many questions.

The questions included about nuclear power plant, World Peace, my travel and so on. We were talking about 15 minutes.

Then at 9am we came back to Peace Pole where Pita came and see me off.

Mac and I headed for the railway station. Pita took a movie of our running and riding together in Mac’s i-Phone.

Had a really good time with Mac. He took a good care of me while I was in Dunedin.

I’m so glad to have met him.

Next time we will meet in Christchurch where they have a meeting of World Peace Bell.

Saying goodbye to them, I got back on the road again.

Running on a side road of SH1 which is motor way for a while.

The former half was a hilly route, but the latter almost flat.

Wind blows hard all day, mostly head wind. It’s still cool with the temperature lower than 20 degrees.

Running less than 50km makes me feel “SHORT” and hills, whether it is steep or not I have to go. What’s important is I have to accept as it is.

At 5:30 I arrived at Lake Waihola Holiday Park.

What a surprise! I saw Katrina waiting for me at the entrance of Holiday Park!

I saw her at Holiday Park in Omarama for the first time and on the highway entering Oamaru for the second time.

So this is the third time we met.

Tonight I’m going to stay at cabin.

No rains for a while so far. Mostly cool.

4 days to go to get to Invercargill. I’ll do my best!

*Distance Today: 46.37km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1707.7km

*See Where I am

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Day53 Dunedin 3

Given a chance to have presentation to the students of University of Otago this morning.

About 50 people including some staff of the university were there.

Most of them are from Asia(a few from Japan too). They listened carefully to my talk.

The class started at 11am but there seemed to be something wrong with the projector. I had no choice but keep talking.

I was happy I had been a teacher. I kept talking for 30 minutes.

One of the staff members kept making an effort to revive the projector and all of sudden he made it!!

The latter half I was in my element with this digital tool.

The students sometimes laughed out loud, sometimes nodded and became serious.

I mainly talked about my experience through my travel, adventure, dreams and challenge.

They were so glad and excited as soon as I finished the presentation.

Some of them came up to me to hold out their hands.

Others came up to talk to me or to thank me for the presentation.

Their reaction was far more than I had expected.

The next class was just about to start but still some students were asking me to take photos together.

I did realize it is my mission to sow the seeds of PEACE in that way.

I couldn’t help being deeply moved by myself while I was talking to the students from all over the world.

That’s when I thought about the fact that we are the citizens of the world.

Yes! It was an exciting moment and the most wonderful experience here in New Zealand.

Thanks Dunedin and New Zealand!!

Cheers to WORLD PEACE and all the citizens of the world!!

After that, Pita gave me a ride back to KIWIS NEST where I was staying.

Then we drove to Baldwin Street which is designated as “The world steepest street.”

Yes, standing at the top of the street, it looks like a jump stand for skiing.

I saw 2 brave cyclists trying to go up to the top, both of whom seemed to give up.

Then next to St. Clair Beach. We went to have ourselves a drink or two at a bar. He got me a pint of Peroni, Italian beer.

Soon after I came back, Mac came and visit me.

As it was the last night I spend in Dunedin, he invited me to a dinner again.

There came 5 students of the University of Otago.

Two from Saudi Arabia, the others from Korea, Chile and Japan.

They are cheerful and positive. They seems to have a great time at university every day.

We laughed a lot, ate a lot. And I noticed it was the last night in Dunedin.

Funny how time flies…I spent 4 happy days here in Dunedin.

Tomorrow I’ll be back on the road again.

Two legs of my own and only one road keep me running.

*Distance Today: 0km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1661.33km

*See Where I am

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Day52 Dunedin 2

Dunedin's ‘Otago Daily Times(ODT)” introduces my PEACE RUN on today’s issue.

This is the 2nd time I got interviewed but for the first time I saw on paper and website.

Mac and I met at Governor’s Cafe at 8am, where we saw the article on paper edition.

After that I walked on Ipponbageta around the Octagon by myself taking some pictures and movies.

I remember being here just 20 years ago and I know most of buildings but I cannot remember how I was then.

I’m wondering how 20 years matters to me.

And I thought about 20 years from now. I’m sure the time will come but I have no idea how I can keep the memory today in my mind.

I decided to stay another night after presentation for the language students of the University of Otago.

I just want to do something for WORLD PEACE as often as possible if there’s a chance.

It doesn’t matter even if the schedule has been changed.

All I got to do is to be flexible.

So I’m going to leave here on Wednesday morning.

At 3pm, Mac and I visited the City Museum.

It was a great opportunity for me to learn the history and culture of New Zealand including the Maori people.

At 6pm Mac took me to an Indian restaurant on George Street.

How many people did I meet today?

I saw so many people that I couldn’t remember their faces.

Mac is a good mixer who often takes some pictures when he stops them and talks to them.

I guess he believes that we are all brothers and sisters on the same planet.

I know what he means to me. It’s a still long way to go to meet as many people as possible out of 7 billion on earth.

But it’s the very mission of my PEACE RUN.

According to Google Map, I still have 1100km to go back to Christchurch even if I skip Te Anau and Bluff.

I I run 50km every day I need 22 days, 40km 28 days.

It’s not impossible but a tight schedule.

Balance is necessary. Running hard and taking a break so often.

I used to take a rest once a week but now I take a day off every 3 or 4 days.

Everything will be all right. What’s important is to believe that way.

*Distance Today: 0km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1661.33km

*See Where I am

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Day51 Dunedin

I had a hard time from tough and hard hill climb yesterday but I don’t feel so bad.

What’s done is done. Probably my body knows it so well.

Hope my body is strong enough to be like an iron which is hit while it’s hot.

Before noon I hopped into city center on Ipponbageta.

Walking along George Street, I looked outstanding.

Mac and I was supposed to meet Governor’s Cafe at 11:30am but I left before 11 to enjoy city watching.

I still remember Knox Church when I first saw this tall building 20 years ago.

Mac is kind of a good mixer. He likes to take photos with anyone he doesn’t even know wherever he is.

After that, Pita showed me around the city in his car.

Enjoyed the great view of the city from lookout on the mountain.

Yes, I saw the same landscape yesterday but I was too tired to enjoy the view while climbing so hard.

Next we visited Lanarch Castle. It is the only castle in New Zealand.

This is a mansion which some rich man built. Its garden and cottage, cafe are open to public.

Pita says his mother was from Kyushu, Japan. That’s why he’s much interested in Japanese culture. He says he’s been to Japan several times but never in Hokkaido.

Speaking of Hokkaido, Dunedin has a sister city in Japan. Yes, Otaru is it.

Every time I walk on Ipponbageta, I am paid much attention to by everyone around me.

*Distance Today: 0km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1661.33km

*See Where I am

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Day50 Palmerston to Dunedin

Left Palmerston at 7:20.

Some small hills one after another.

About 6km point, Mac showed up with his friend Erina.

Erina gave him a ride here with his bike.

Mac and I met in Christchurch for the first time at Peace Bell meeting.

As he promised he was here for riding with me.

He’s also a teacher and a bike lover too.

He once cycled across Japan from north to south.

We are the same kind as we love PEACE, always searching for the way to WORLD PEACE.

Today there were two peaks on the way. The first one was OK. But the second one was not easy. Hill climbing seemed to last forever.

Some were too steep to run. So I just kept pushing and walking.

Downhill also too steep and long, my right hand got numb on the brake lever.

I took a break from time to time so that both my knees wouldn’t get damage.

This hill climb may be harder than climbing Mt. Fuji twice per day.

Or should I say running 100km trail marathon, running 100km marathon two days in a row.

It was quite hot and dry. I drank 5 liter water today.

Without Mac pedaling with me, I may have quit somewhere along the road or I might have kept walking not running.

So many people we talked on the way today.

And I got interviewed by Otago Daily Times (ODT). The article will be seen on Monday paper.

On Tuesday I have a chance to present to Erina’s international students.

We visited Erina as soon as we arrived in Dunedin. Drank some local beer as a small welcome party.

Finally I checked in at Kiwi’s Nest Backpackers Hostel in Dunedin about 7pm. Too exhausted to speak normally.

I have run 271km in total since Monday in 5 running days.

This pace equals to 1600km running in a month.

I was planning to run tomorrow too but I don’t want to run for a while. No, I can’t. I’m sure that’s enough.

I’ll never ever forget today’s run. It will be recorded as one of the hardest run in my life.

*Distance Today: 56.69km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1661.33km

*See Where I am

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Day49 Oamaru to Palmerston

  Troy and Pauline...we met along SH1 just after I left Oamaru.

Breakfast was gorgeous here in Chimneys B&B.

I really enjoyed breakfast Shige made for me.

Riku, his eldest son seemed to love One-Tooth Geta.

He must have gone to bed with One-Tooth Geta on.

Left Oamaru after 8am saying goodbye to Shige and Riku.

Just after I left Oamaru, a pickup truck stopped in front of me.

A man got out of the car. He said his name was Troy the farmer.

He asked me so many questions showing his curiosity so much.

I answered all the questions and he gave me some gifts in return.

I got 3 pieces of pork steak and a dozen of free range eggs.

What surprised him most was the story of my running across the Nullarbor Plain, Australia.

“How crazy you are! I’ve driven across the Nullarbor before and I already knew how tough and hard it was.” he said.

“I’m wondering how many crazy runners like you there are in Japan!”

We chatted for about 20 minutes.

“I cannot something outrageous like you did but I really liked a crazy man like you!”

His wife Pauline appeared later and said, “You’re too skinny. Eat a lot to run across New Zealand.”

Troy shook my hand so tight and strong when we said goodbye.

Sunny but wind was chilly.

Cloudy afternoon. Lots of hills but had a flat road only the last 15km.

Last 10km was also a hill climb again.

Even entering the town of Palmerston I had to climb a hill.

The final hill was on the way to a motel from SH1.

Annet, the owner of the motel was kind enough to give me a discount. She offered me a room usually charged 100 dollars for 80.

*Distance Today: 60.83km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1604.64km

*See Where I am

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Day48 Oamaru

Welcome New Year’s Day at B&B Chimneys, Oamaru.

Funny how nothing’s wrong with my body and legs at all.

I can’t believe I ran 67km yesterday.

Maybe whole my body is getting super now.

The first thing I have to do is laundry.

And ordinary breakfast as usual.

Toast with vegemite, peanut butter and honey.

Coffee, cereal and milk. Yogurt with some fruits.

I’m just glad I’m alive here.

Shige and his elder son Riku tried One-Tooth Geta for the first time.

Riku really liked it. He says he wants to get one pair for a training tool.

He’s also a runner who has completed a half-marathon.

In the evening, Bettina Shige’s friend comes and visit and we had dinner together.

I ate Japanese Curry and Rice (photo above) here in New Zealand for the first time for a long while.

Thanks, Shige-san for your hospitality!!

*Distance Today: 0km

*Total Distance from Auckland: 1543.81km

*See Where I am

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A Happy New Year!!

2015 has just started.

We human beings live together on Earth and we runners run together in this world.

May PEACE always be with you in 2015!!