The Roads to Sata: A 2000-Mile Walk Through Japan - Alan Booth

No idea why it took me so long to finish this book, because it is awesome and super interesting. Specially if the reader is a fan of Japan... the Japan that does not consist of otakus, manga, anime or Tokyo. This is about the rural Japan.


This author impressed me with his determination and tenacity to walk the entire coast (thousands of kilometers) without taking the bus not even once. He walked for 128 days. He met a lot of interesting, as well as not-so-interesting, people. People of all diversity: Japanese boys who made fun of him because he was a gaijin; Japanese girls who giggled at his sight; Japanese women who were polite; Japanese men who were rude and other very kind. He met all kind of people, and he was the center of atention because, in that time at least (1985), it was like a rare phenomenon to meet a foreign guy... Some even asked him for an autograph, which I found very amusing. Most of them thought it was so weird that a gaijin could speak so well the Japanese, as well as eat raw fish and eat with chopsticks.


I loved this book. It was very instructive, because so far I've read about the Cosmopolitan Japan, with it big cities and pachinkos and otakus and aidorus. This is the first time reading about rural ryokans and simpler life. I envy the author a little bit for making this walk a big adventure.


There were times when I thought it was a little outdated, but nevertheless, it was very enjoyable.