“Hitching Rides with Buddha” by Will Ferguson

18 04 2008

“Hitching Rides with Buddha: A Journey Across Japan” (Canadian Title)
“Hokkaido Highway Blues: Hitchhiking Japan” (USA & UK Title)

by Will Ferguson

Being here in Canada, I got a hold of the one with the Canadian Title. So I guess I’ll take you through “Hitching Rides with Buddha”. But I don’t think there’s any difference between the Canadian and the US/UK Title in terms of the novel itself.


Progress: Done 6 Chapters

“Hitching Rides…” tells the story of the author’s journey across Japan from the tip of Cape Sata on the South to the northern tip of the island of Sapporo on the north.

It’s quite amazing to see Japan in the eyes of a foreigner because you are able to figure out two value systems which are conflicting at each other. Will Ferguson is a Canadian humourist and being in Japan, there is no doubt that he would write a lot of interesting facts and funny reactions to it.

Sometimes these writers would come up with something satirical but my favourite part in these first 6 chapters was the reference on TV Shows like “Ultraman” and “Godzilla” and how monsters are destroying Japanese cities. There were fans of these shows from a certain city – Fukuoka maybe – who were mad because their city was not chosen to be the victim of the humongous monster about to be defeated by Ultraman. Seeing your city destroyed on a TV show… I have to say the Japanese people definitely are amazing with all their bizarreness.

Ferguson have made me laugh throughout this book and I do recommend it to those who are in love with Japan, its culture, and its society, and to those who are looking for an adventure in this very comprehensive travel diary that the author have wholeheartedly shared with a title he have always wanted to put up. For the US and UK publications, the title is “Hokkaido Highway Blues: Hitchhiking Japan”. From the introduction, Ferguson said that the American and British publication companies said that the Canadian title was too religious.




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