Yuuichi's Aussie walk nears end

After walking nearly 4000 kilometres solo with a rickshaw from Perth to Wollongong, Yuuichi Iwata admits his feet are feeling pretty sore.

‘‘To walk across Australia is not easy,’’ the Japanese national said.

But the former store manager said it had all been worth it to raise awareness and funds in support of the more than 270,000 people who are still displaced, following the 2011 Japanese Tsunami.

‘‘Two years ago I went to the tsunami hit area and I saw with my own eyes the situation,’’ he said.

Yuuichi Iwata walking up Kiama Bends.

Yuuichi Iwata walking up Kiama Bends.

‘‘At the time I was so shocked and decided to show some some support for them.

‘‘That’s why I chose to walk.’’

Mr Iwata said he had been inspired to undertake the challenge after reading an article about Jacob French, from Bussleton in Western Australia who completed the same walk while wearing a Star Wars costume in support of the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Unsurprisingly, Mr Iwata said the hardest part of the journey had been crossing the Nullarbor, a task he said had taken him four weeks.

He said while crossing the Nullarbor, he walked between 50 and 60 kilometres each day, stopping by the side of the road to rest.

‘‘The Nullarbor Plain is a big big big section,’’ he said. ‘‘There were many road trains and road houses are very far, sometimes 100 kilometres apart.’’

He said the best part of his walk had been watching the sun rise over Ceduna after finishing his walk across the Nullarbor.

Mr Iwata first began his journey in September 2013. In December he stopped in Adelaide to work at a friend’s Japanese restaurant along the way.

On Saturday, he will complete the next leg of his walk - Figtree to Coledale - before continuing on to Sydney.

Mr Iwata estimated he would arrive in Sydney on August 6.

‘‘I’m a little bit sad because I love Australia,’’ he said.

So far, Mr Iwata has raised $6,000 for his cause.


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