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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Messages 1 2 

drive to japan..... by mr_alex on 4 November 2005 5:51pm
Does anyone reckon that it is possible to drive from England to Japan? I came up with this idea a couple of days ago as a joke, but then started to wonder if it is possible.I would absolutely love to do it in a campervan with a few friends for charity. Its probable that we could find sponsors to help us out as well as my uni. I was just wondering if anyone has any idea if it is possible, what the best route would be and what likely problems there would be?

p.s I'm aware we would have to cross 2 seas although I'm sure a ferry would be possible.
Re: drive to japan..... by tucsonmike on 5 November 2005 3:50am
I had thought about taking the train for charity once but driving a van would be interesting. I know there are ferries from China and Korea to Japan. Couple of questions:
1. Why those particular destinations?
2. What would be done with the Van when you arrived in Japan?
3. What would you want to do along the way? Of course, a documentary would be the best bet. Especially from this site, you could get an Intl representation.

Hey, I would be game to do it. Especially in China, because I speak Chinese. I have some idea of the route.

I'll have to think more on this.
Re: drive to japan..... by suzulu on 6 November 2005 1:34am
Many years ago a Japanese friend travelled from England to Japan, travelling across Russia by train (the Trans-Siberian Express?), presumably she took a boat afterwards to Japan. Don't know what it would be like by road across Russia, though!
Re: drive to japan..... by tucsonmike on 6 November 2005 3:49am
I just found a website yesterday. Apparently the Russians have built a basic highway to match the Trans Siberian Express, but much of the road is still dirt.
In Russia you have to be prepared to pay off police who pull you over. (If you drive in Mexico, you deal with similar stuff. Mexicans call is La Mordida or the bite). Once you get East of Poland and the Baltics, apparently life gets interesting.
Re: drive to japan..... by mr_alex on 6 November 2005 8:09pm
The plan was originally to go through china but I read yesterday that foreigners can not drive in China. So Russia all the way it will be but may be a bit cold.....
Re: drive to japan..... by tucsonmike on 7 November 2005 3:12am
I found another site that said, that was lifted and foreigners can now drive in China. Let me see where I found it.
Had you figured out yet who would back this and what you would do it for. In Blathering On, someone put up a note about "responsible Travel." Maybe you could use that angle? Well, at least for the Asia part, I might be able to help with the magazine I now help to edit on the side Asia in Play.

There are no guarantees. I am only working on the second issue now.

As for routes, were there any particular countries, you wanted to see, report from?
That would certainly guide the choices.
Re: drive to japan..... by simon1287 on 14 November 2005 10:22pm
Well personally it certainly seems to be an interesting idea.
However, as tucsonmike said, there are quite a few authoritive figures in Russia that are corrupt; in fact one report suggests that many are too unstable to really be given these responsibilities!
Therefore, if it is possible, I'd suggest analysing the risk factor as you don't want to set off on such a journey unprepared for the unexpected; although I'm sure that as a responsible person you would do this.
I keep saying that someday soon I am going to do the Trans-Siberian or Trans-Mongolian Railway so please keep me informed how you get on.
Re: drive to japan..... by tim96 on 23 November 2005 5:25pm
if ewan mgregor can do it on a bike im sure its possible!
Re: drive to japan..... by bruey on 26 November 2005 7:33pm
I can remember watching a programme called "The Big Race" at least I think it was called that. It had two teams of people, vehicles supplied by Ford. They drove overland from London to New York where they presented something to the UN, can't remember what that was though. They drove through the Channel Tunnel while it was nearing completion, through Europe and Russia, used a vehicle called the Arktos to cross the Bering Strait and drove onto New York.
Re: drive to japan..... by pauli on 2 December 2005 1:35am
I did a charity trip from London to Japan without flying to race to the 2002 World Cup. I took the boat to Denmark, ferry from Sweden to Finland. Both of these are camper van friendly.

Then I took the Trans-Siberian to Beijing then across China then boat to Korea and then onto Japan by hydrofoil- although I wasn't driving - no I never bribed anyone. I spent 3 days in Mongolia - magical.

It took me 28 days - by car maybe 6 weeks.

It is one of the best things I ever have done.
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