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Monday May 17, 2010

Japanese ex-financial consultant cycling around the globe to inspire children

IPOH: Former financial consultant Ryohei Oguchi has given a new meaning to the word ichiban (the best) by embarking on a round-the-world trip with his trusted mountain bike.

Oguchi, 29, who hails from Nagano, 230km west of Tokyo, started his trip in March 2007.

“I cycled a total of 25,000km around Japan and Taiwan,” he said after making a brief stop here on Saturday.

He took one-year-break from his journey before starting again in March last year and went to Australia where he covered half of the country.

“I needed to work to save up money,” he explained.

Since then, Oguchi had travelled to New Zealand, Indonesia and Singapore before arriving in Malaysia through Johor Baru on May 4.

“I am a person who likes to challenge himself. By cycling I can see the world at my own pace,” he said when asked why he chose cycling to see the world.

On his visit to Malaysia, Oguchi said he had met many kind-hearted and friendly Malay­sians.

Citing an example, he said while in Kampar a police officer paid for his hotel-room stay while other generous Malaysians bought him food.

“Normally I just put up my tent in parks or petrol stations and cook with my portable stove,” he said, adding that he earned pocket money by writing for a travel magazine in Japan.

Oguchi, who hopes to cover Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, China and Tibet by January, said he hoped to share his stories and inspire children in Japan when he completes his tour.

Asked on his parents’ reaction when he told them that he wanted to travel around world by cycling, Oguchi said,

“They supported me whole-heartedly.”

Those who wants to follow Oguchi on his journey can do so through Facebook or email him at