Hi everyone, I’m sorry I haven’t written. I have been crazy busy meeting people and trying to get this run going.
I have had the best 2 weeks ever… I went to Tokyo for the week last week and went around meeting sponsors and other people that I thought could be a part of this run. I didn’t really have a plan of how to get things going but just thought about who might want to come in and help make this work in the fun way that I hope it will.
First up I got to meet the New Balance team. Awesome team, they have jumped right in and got things happening like you wouldn’t believe, introducing me to other companies and hooked me up too. Amazing how it can just all happen right in front of your eyes and you don’t know how but it just does. I’m so lucky everyday in my little life I get to meet some great people and can’t thank everyone enough.
As I’m not the average Japanese size we had to search for my shoes especially and clothes that would fit, but Takikawa san was amazing and sorted everything out and then some. Also met up with Suzuki san who is head of Marketing for NB Japan.
Then Takikawa san & I headed off to TOMS, there we sorted out the layout for the logos that are to go on the t-shirts that I will run in this time. There is a lot of thought that goes into this, trying to get everything looking right and not clashing with others takes a bit of time. But we got it sorted pretty quick which was good as with only 2 weeks til I start there wasn’t time to waste. Thank you so much to Chuujo san and Takikawa san for your help.
Through NBJ I got introduced to Suunto watches -they have also jumped on board and are sorting me out with watches. They have a new GPS watch coming out next month and I’m getting one to use, which will be great. It’s a beautiful watch called “Ambient” – check it out. I haven’t had a chance to meet them yet but am really looking forward to it. Thank you so much for your support.
Everyday I had 3 or 4 meetings which was awesome. I never thought I would ever be that busy but am very grateful for it.
I was off next to meet Cory and Nose san at “Kidzania”. I went up and had a look around their place – they have all different set ups of different work places that the kids go around to each of the shops or jobs and learn how to do them. For example they have an ANA Airlines airplane inside that you go into and learn how to be a pilot or stewardess.
They have Banks, police stations, fire brigade, Nike, La pizza, sports gym and many many other jobs that the kids can try out. The kids have their own money to use in there and banks to learn how to use ATM’s to get money, a great way for them to learn and enjoy an adults life before they get there. Everything is lots of fun.
Cory and the team are going to help us out and run an event where I can go and meet the kids and run around with them, do some activities when I pass through Osaka and Tokyo. I can’t wait. Thank you so much for the great afternoon.
Kidzania – Getting ready for a better world http://kidzania.com/
Just across the mall was a Bubba Gump restaurant from the Forrest Gump movie ,so I had to go get some power from the man himself Forrest. As I was looking around I got talking to the manager and she loved my run idea and gave me a t-shirt and hat that Forrest ran in in the movie, so might have to wear it on the road somewhere. Thank you so much Kikuchi san.
I went out to Toride and met a lady who sells Burley baby buggy’s. I have been given a van to use but I don’t have a driver as of yet, and for the first 10 days I will be jumping between Islands in the south, so I thought it would be faster to just have a pram to put my gear in and push it as I run. I saw these online and thought it could be the way and also could be fun. It will stand out a bit which could get people talking about the funny-looking foreigner running down the road. So I bought one and have been pimping it out over the last week. Got to pack light and have everything right there so I can just keep going without too much trouble.
Here is a shot of my Buggy – check them out at http://burley.com/
That night I went and met a running group in Tokyo, Namban Rengorunning club. I had been introduced to Bob through a friend and I went along hoping that they might want to join me when I run though Tokyo in late May. A great group of keen runners. After training they all go out for dinner and I got to go along and say hi. I look forward to meeting everyone when I get back this way.
If you are keen to run while living in Tokyo please get in touch via this link http://www.namban.org Thank you very much Bob and everyone.
Tonight was a late one so I didn’t really want to get an expensive hotel, so I thought I would try out the Capsule hotels that I had heard so much about but had never been to. They are about $45 a night and well, they are not super big but good if you just want to sleep, and there are showers and toilets too of course. They just have a plastic sliding curtain for the door. An Alarm went off in the morning and I sat up quickly to smash my head on the tv so dont do that if you ever stay in one. What do you think?
I have an idea of showing everyone around the world who is reading this blog what a great place Japan is. I have been coming here for 18 yrs now and every time I’m about to come back I always get asked why I am going again. Well, I want to show you why on this run.
So I went to the Japan National Tourism Board and told them about what I was planning to do and if they would be interested in helping me get the word out, and that I would also help them if I could by showing towns and places that are great to travel to. At first they just looked at me thinking why are you here boy? But as I explained what I’m going to do they came around and are now interested in at least helping get in touch with a lot of the information centres around Japan. So we will see how that goes. It is a long shot but you gotta ask if you want something. http://www.jnto.go.jp/ There is English at this site.
While I was running NZ I met a guy called Liam when I ran into Nelson, and Liam wrote to me telling me about his mate Josh in Japan – so I went and met Josh for lunch. Great to catch up with Kiwis in Japan. Since then Josh has been busy helping spread the word and finding support in all parts of Japan. It is this kind of thing and friendliness that makes it so much fun to run 4000kms! Haha thanks so much Liam and Josh for everything.
I then was off to meet up with Ken Imaya from Bluetag Japan. http://bluetag.jp/contents/index.html
I met Ken last year at the Ginga Marathon in Iwate. Ken took some time out to listen to what I was planning to do and has helped me with a lot of things since. He works in marketing and knows a hell of a lot of people. I can’t thank Ken enough for everything he’s done ever since I met him last year. As we were talking he introduced me to others and then to Gaku Hirasawa from BUFF Japan. You know the headbands I wear when I run to hold the mop in control? Well they are a Buff product. They’re awesome and can be worn in a lot of ways, not just on your head. Please check them out: http://buff.jp/
Gaku was kind and has offered to sort me out with some new Buffs – thank you so much for your supper and also to Ken for being a Champion and helping me so much.
On my search for more support I dropped into the New Zealand /Australian Chamber of Commerce. I had a talk with Tim who was a great help and had heaps of ideas for me, and some great contacts to write to. Thinking big and going for it is lots of fun and I have been having meetings with a lot of great people. Thank you Tim.
On the way to find the Chamber of Commerce I got a little bit lost trying to find the building I needed to be in, so I asked a foreign guy who was sitting near me. His name was Alan Malcolm. Alan helped me and I asked where are ya from bro? Alan answered New Zealand and I was like, where bro? He goes New Plymouth, and I’m thinking what if he was to know one of my bestest mates in the world Bublitz… and what do you know they use to play tennis together – haha just shows you how small and fun this world can be. Got talking to Alan and he is one of the owners of the Metropolis Magazine Japan. Of course I said can he help me with a little write up in it, so we will see what happens. Thank you for helping me bro. http://metropolis.co.jp/
While working back in Aussie I met an awesome group of people at Mooka camp which is in Port Hedland up in the North west. In that group was a special lady Anouska – a lovely Kiwi lady who I just fell in love with. Nouska is one of those people who I have to have in my life. Nouska then introduced me to her Japanese friend Miki who I got to meet today.
Miki is awesome too, full of energy and super keen to come on the road and crew for me. I was so stoked to hear this. Good to have someone there to chat to as I go along. I’m not a big one for having no friends in my everyday life. Friends are everything to me and Miki has just come into my family. Looking forward to travelling Japan with her.
As it is Saturday I didn’t have any meetings, so I was off to meet my old mate and probably one of my first bros in Japan way back when I was twenty. Hide! Hide has been helping me right back from when I starting sorting Running NZ. He is a computer genius and helps me with my blogs and all the things I don’t know how to do, which is almost every time I open the computer. We had an awesome dinner at a little yakitori place and I met some fun people there. Not having had a beer for a while we downed a few and then tried some Saki. Ah I love hot (atsukan) saki, great on a cold night. We went and visited some mates at a bar I had been to last time here. Great to catch up Hide.
Today I got to hang out with Aika and her son Reece. I first met Aika in Karratha in Australia. Beautiful lady with an awesome smile. It was pissing down so we went to the underwater world about 40 mins from Yokohama. Reece is just turning 2, so was loving all the fish and animals we got to see. Was a great day and good to just chill after a fun, yet hard week.
Sunday was spent with my old mate Yasuo and his family. I haven’t seen them for about 5 yrs which was too long. The kids have grown up and are at school now. We had a Takoyaki and Soba party, so yummy. I stayed the night and it was nice to relax before the week started again tomorrow.
March 19th Monday
First up I was at Foot Trainers who are sponsoring me again. Iida san makes insoles for shoes and they also do massages and shoe fitting. Iida san was there onboard with Running NZ too and just to let you know how good his insoles are – I had no blisters or sore feet for the whole 3000kms I ran there! I’m so stoked to have them again this time. Thank you so much!!!
Running a little late I ran to the train to go and meet my great friend Kazu Tomita who has lived in Wanaka – my home town – for the last 15 odd yrs. He is now back in Tokyo working for Outland Japan. They have mobile and PC websites that have heaps of info on camping and tripping around Japan.
I met Kazu and his boss Watanabe san. It was great to talk to them and they are going to be helping me get the word out, helping to translate my blog everyday into Japanese which is no little job. A huge help that I was kinda worried about. But with their support it will be sweet. Thank you very much Kazu and Watanabe san!!!
Check them out at: http://outland.japaho.com/outland/
Just as I finished I had a call from New Balance and they had sorted a talk with Suntory Japan. They are a huge company who do so many different kinds of drinks. I couldn’t believe I was heading there to meet with them. I met Mr Kato and he was very nice and super interested in our run. They are going to be supplying me with Gatorade drinks for my whole run. A massive support and an awesome sponsor to have . I have been so lucky every single day and this just topped off an amazing 10 days in Tokyo.