Japanese peace run pays Ceduna a visit

DONATION: Katzhiko Takashige receives a caravan park pass from Ceduna Foreshore Caravan Park manager Marty Andrews.
DONATION: Katzhiko Takashige receives a caravan park pass from Ceduna Foreshore Caravan Park manager Marty Andrews.

JAPANESE runner Katzhiko Takashige has taken on the massive role of running around Australia, and recently visited Ceduna on his journey.

Mr Takashige is undertaking his 'Peace Run', which will see him run 40,000 kilometres across five continents, and is currently on the leg that takes him across Australia and New Zealand.

This run will have two purposes, to continue his peace run and to raise money for the victims of the Fukushima tsunami.

Mr Takashige said it was important to help the young people living in Fukushima.

"Two years ago there was a big earthquake and tsunami, and I decided to donate to the victims, especially the kids of Fukushima," he said.

"I want the kids to move from their home town to somewhere safer as soon as possible."

The run began two years ago with his run across the USA from Los Angeles to New York, which took him over 5800 kilometres and 138 days to complete as he travelled across the prairies and Rocky Mountains.

Mr Takashige said he used to be a cyclist, and decided to cycle across several countries in 1994.

"I'm an ex-English teacher and I made up my mind to travel around the world by bike," he said.

"I cycled across the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, and I'm taking the same route again."

In 1995 Mr Takashige cycled from Perth to Sydney, taking 85 days and 5500 kilometres to complete.

This included riding through the Nullarbor and Ceduna, which he said he felt a special connection with.

He said he likes to enjoy the great nature of Australia.

"Last time I crossed the Nullarbor Plain I was surprised to see the longest stretch of nothing but desert," he said.

"We don't see such an isolated place in Japan."

After having a hard time in the Nullarbor during his first journey, he went into the region with a plan, including shopping for supplies in Esperance and Norseman.

He was also fortunate to be paid a visit by some of his friends from Japan while he was in Madura, who provided him with some of his favourite foods including rice and cookies.

Mr Takashige said while on the road he also received donations from people passing by.

"Many caravan drivers stopped to ask questions, and also offered canned food, frozen vegetables and water," he said.

"I couldn't imagine how kind the local people were, every day I received a lot of food and water, and have received around $600 in donations so far."

While in Ceduna Mr Takashige stayed at the Ceduna Foreshore Caravan Park, which provided him with donations of water and money, as well as a pass to other caravan parks on Eyre Peninsula.

Some of the visitors who saw him on the road also provided him with donations for his cause.

Mr Takashige said he hoped to arrive in Sydney by the end of January, where he will fly to Aukland to begin his New Zealand leg.

From there he will depart back to Japan, and plans to continue the peace run next year through Europe, Africa and South America.

He said he hopes to meet as many people as possible in his journey around the world.

"When I first travelled to Australia I didn't notice how beautiful the coast is and how nice the people are," he said.

"I'm enjoying everything I see and the people I meet."

"I'm happy to run across Australia on my own two legs, but next time I visit I will be driving."

For more information or to make a donation email to kaytaka@hotmail.com