Epic walk for tsunami victims

Japanese man Yuuichi Iwata stops at the Quarantine Bay bends en route to South Pambula on Wednesday. Yuuichi is entering the home stretch of a marathon charity walk from Perth to Sydney, raising funds for Japanese tsunami relief.

Japanese man Yuuichi Iwata stops at the Quarantine Bay bends en route to South Pambula on Wednesday. Yuuichi is entering the home stretch of a marathon charity walk from Perth to Sydney, raising funds for Japanese tsunami relief.

It isn’t every day you come across a man dressed in Japanese clothing, walking the Princes Highway.

The sight so intrigued one Magnet reader, she rang us to send out the alert.

When we caught up with Yuuichi Iwata, he was coming through the Quarantine Bay bends, and looking forward to making it to South Pambula for the night.

Yuuichi is nearing the end of a marathon walk from Perth to Sydney, to raise funds for tsunami relief in his home country.

He left Perth in September 2013, but hit a sponsorship snag and had to stay in Adelaide for five months to raise money before he could get back on the road in May this year.

Devastated after visiting the tsunami-hit region of Tohoku in 2012, Yuuichi came up with the Beyond Walk concept, inspired by Australian Jacob French, who walked across the country dressed as a Star Wars stormtrooper in 2011 to raise money for the Starlight Foundation.

It’s no easy task.

“Not good,” Yuuichi laughed when asked how his legs were holding up.

“The distance I travel each day depends on [how far it is] from town to town.

“[On Wednesday] I am going from Kiah to South Pambula, where I have a friend I can stay with.

“It’s only 30km, but the last two days I have walked 50km.

“I think this is the second hardest part of the whole trip; the Nullabor Plains were the hardest, but there are so many hills here and I worry about the traffic.”

Yuuichi has so far raised over $4000, and is hoping to drastically increase that total by the time he reaches Sydney on August 6.

“Many people stop when they see me and give me cash, and I also have a webpage with my bank account details.

“It’s beyondwalk.com, so you can donate money there and also read my blog, which I write every day.”

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