WHAT are you to do when feeling down about your life? Cycle 100,000 miles across the entire world, of course.

That is what Hirohisa Tajima is doing – and 10,000 miles into his epic journey he is not looking back.

The 33-year-old photographer was unhappy with his life in Tokyo when his best friend suggested that travelling was the way forward.

Tajima explained: “My friend, he’s a really spiritual guy and, he said ‘I can hear what your body says. It wants to move as far as it can. So you should walk, run, anyway, go everywhere. That’s for your happiness in life.’

“I was really unsatisfied with my life even though I had a job, good friends and a partner. But I had no idea what to do for satisfaction. So I decided to follow his advice. That’s my pursuit of happiness.”

The National:

Tajima (above) has loved his journey so far, making countless friends along the way. He brings his own camping equipment everywhere he goes, carrying it on his back. He stays wherever he is able to, often relying on the generosity of people to let him sleep in their garden. He said: “It’s totally just fantastic! I have found lots of friendly, good people who helped me so much everywhere. The world is open-minded. This is the biggest learning experience from my journey.”

Tajima reckons the entire journey will be around 100,000 miles, and he’s travelled 10,000 so far. “It’s not been easy,” he said, “but everything it leads to is a good experience and I really love it.”

Tajima said the best parts of his journey have been the new friends he has made along the way, while the worst has been the Covid restrictions.

He said: “The best part about it is the friends I met on the road unexpectedly. They told me a lot about themselves and that’s always impressive. The worst part is the pandemic restrictions. I have to check the situation of restrictions carefully before I cross the border and take expensive tests many times. Sometimes I had to give up and change destination.”

Asked how he felt about Scotland during his journey, he said: “I really like landscapes almost everywhere.

“Huge farms, sheep and cows and lovely looking houses. It’s like the fancy stories I’ve read in Japan when I was a small kid. Here it is the real.

The National:

“I’ve cycled through Gretna, Wamphray, Moffat, Broughton, Edinburgh, Perth, Kingussie, Aviemore, Inverness and Alness. My favourite thing is the sound of Scottish bagpipes. And the beautiful patterns of tartans in Scotland. The scenery is really lovely. I can feel so comfortable and really enjoy just running and looking around. From farms, nature and fancy traditional buildings. The people are friendly and relaxed. I still keep finding good, new friends in Scotland.

“I loved the Scottish sausages and brown sauce. Scotch is too strong for me but has good taste. Pale ale beers are totally fantastic. But I’m not so good about porridge. My stomach starts to refuse it after I eat some.”

Tajima’s journey continues, as he sets his sights on Ireland, before making his way through the rest of the world.