Hokkaido Highway Blues

Hokkaido Highway Blues : Hitchhiking Japan

3.99 (4,144 ratings by Goodreads)
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Abridged edition

It had never been done before. Not in 4000 years of Japanese recorded history had anyone followed the Cherry Blossom Front from one end of the country to the other. Nor had anyone hitchhiked the length of Japan. But, heady on sakura and sake, Will Ferguson bet he could do both.

The resulting travelogue is one of the funniest and most illuminating books ever written about Japan. And, as Ferguson learns, it illustrates that to travel is better than to arrive.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 21mm | 236g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • Main
  • maps
  • 1841952885
  • 9781841952888
  • 17,745

Back cover copy

"A mild stroke of genius ... savagely hilarious." Sunday Herald

With the same fervour they have for outlandish game shows and tiny gadgets the Japanese go nuts each spring when the cherry blossom sweeps from island to island towards the country's northern tip - Hokkaido. Will Ferguson was celebrating the event in the standard fashion. And after way too much sake� announced he would be the first person in recorded history to follow the blossom's progress. And to make it a challenge worth doing he'd hitchhike all the way relying on the kindness of some very weird and wonderful strangers . . .

The resulting travelogue is one of the funniest and most illuminating books to be written on Japan.

"For anyone thinking of going to Japan, this will be an invaluable read. If you've already been you will find yourself laughing out loud in recognition." Geographical Magazine

"You trust both his humour and his insights ... an admirable pair of eyes through which to see contemporary Japan." Observer

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Review Text

A fantastically offbeat odyssey brimming with irony, poetry and insight Scotsman
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Review quote

A fantastically offbeat odyssey brimming with irony, poetry and insight * * Scotsman * * Beneath that thick skin lies a poetic soul: he may drink too much, and end up sweaty and alone in sad 'Love Hotels', but he can write about Shintoism, history, nature and architecture with real sensitivity. Hitching allows him to give us a fresh and funny perspective on a nation that can be both mysterious and "beyond surreal" * * Sunday Times * * I enjoyed Hokkaido Highway Blues immensely - Mr Ferguson is a very gifted writer -- Bill Bryson Loaded with insights and highly original observations, this is overall an outstanding piece of travel writing. That so much of it is side-splittingly funny helps * * Insight Japan * * A mild stroke of genius . . . it's difficult not to warm to his free-wheeling style. It always sounds stupid to describe something as "laugh-out-loud-funny", but parts of his concisely-sectioned travelogue are savagely hilarious * * Sunday Herald * *
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About Will Ferguson

Will Ferguson was born and raised in the former fur-trapping settlement of Fort Vermilion in the backwoods of northern Canada. Fortunately, he managed to escape, and he has since travelled throughout Latin America and East Asia. Indeed, he prides himself on having gotten utterly and hopelessly lost in more than a dozen exotic locales, including Ecuador, Peru, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Korea, and Japan.

'How I ever became a travel writer is beyond me,' he confesses. 'I have absolutely no sense of direction.'

Ferguson has a BFA in screenwriting from York University, Toronto. His first three books were plucked from the slush pile: he is the author of the satirical bestseller Why I Hate Canadians, which was all but banned from export (though it can be ordered online at chapters.ca, he advises), and his other works include a nuts-and-bolts traveller's bible, The Hitchhiker's Guide to Japan, as well as a humorous expose about his experience in a misguided drunken government youth program, entitled I Was a Teenage Katima-victim! He has also written an insightful and highly scientific political analysis: Bastards & Boneheads (it was a study of our leaders).
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Rating details

4,144 ratings
3.99 out of 5 stars
5 33% (1,361)
4 41% (1,701)
3 21% (855)
2 4% (173)
1 1% (54)
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