Zuzana & Michal Czech couple
― CYCLING ACROSS JAPAN ―
Dear readers, dear supporters, dear friends.
In the past 11 months, we’ve lived out the adventure of our lives.
We arrived in Japan on June 1st 2019, just 10 days after getting married; tired and inexperienced, but excited for our honeymoon and ready for the unknown.
We had no idea that we’d only complete our journey from North to South by April 2020 instead of January. We didn’t expect to cycle as many as 7500 kilometres either.
Our vision was to explore Japan, deepen our love for one another and be happy; and what exact shape it would take didn’t really matter all that much. Indeed, we fulfilled this dream and spent the most joyful and unforgettable year in this wonderful country. But there was so much more to it, too.
We loved every mountain, respected every river, admired countless shrines, participated in extraordinary festivals, tasted the most mouthwatering dishes, bathed in beautiful seas, appreciated heavenly hot springs…
Yet there’s one thing that stands above all of this: the people of Japan. We never imagined how kindly we could be treated on our trip. As complete strangers, we received warm welcomes by local people wherever we rode. Time and again, we were gifted with sweets, snacks and fresh produce. A single day didn’t pass without words of support and cheers.
We are forever thankful for this amazing opportunity.
We’d like to thank the IHCSA for their partnership and friendship: especially Mr. Ushiyama for his honest will to help us anytime needed and his tireless translations of our adventures; we’re also grateful for Mr. Miki’s enthusiastic work on the blog and his patience in communicating with us.
We will cherish all the people across Japan who trusted us enough to invite us to their homes and their lives. Our doors are always open to all of you as well.
Now we are back home with our family. Not in our Czech home and not with our actual families, but in a place that feels just as safe and as loving. Thank you, Erika, Naoyuki, Ryuki and Elena for making us part of the Shibata crew. YOU ARE where we headed in the beginning, YOU ARE where we were navigating to from Hokkaido and Tohoku and YOU ARE where we returned to. It’s been you who we could turn to, day and night, if we needed a hand, a smile or just an ear. Spending our last weeks in Japan with you all in these bizzare “stay home” times is the perfect finale of our year – of our honeymoon, the best year of our lives.
This is it! This is the last episode we have for you, dear fans. Thank you all for spending your time with our stories. What’s next, you wonder? We’re not sure. Zuzana is writing a book, and who knows, perhaps it can become famous and get translated to Japanese, which would provide an ingenious excuse to return to this unique land and do a whole new tour again!
Whatever we get ourselves into and wherever our lives take us next, we’ll always think back on Japan: our stepping stone towards a lasting and happy marriage. A memory which will put huge smiles on our faces even in the saddest days.
Děkujeme a na shledanou!
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