A walk in his shoes: Japanese man caps off years-long walk around world in Tuktoyaktuk

Masahito Yoshida has been walking around the world since 2009. He ended his 77,500- kilometre journey at Canada’s Arctic coast.

“I’m so tired now,” says Masahito Yoshida, who started walking from China nearly 10 years ago

Aman Haj-Touama, left, with Masahito Yoshida on the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway. (Submitted by Michael Wieleba)

You could say Masahito Yoshida likes to walk. The Japanese man has been doing it since 2009 — so much so, he's worn holes in the bottoms of his shoes.

But this isn't your average walk around the block. No, Yoshida's journey has taken him all around the world — from Asia to North America to Africa — on a trip he says spanned about 77,500 kilometres.

Now, he's finished it all off in the North, walking the new highway from Inuvik to reach the Arctic coast, in Tuktoyaktuk.

Whitehorse to Inuvik in 20 days

"I want to see the culture, everything," said Yoshida, who travelled by foot from Whitehorse to Inuvik in 20 days.

It took him another three days to walk to Tuktoyaktuk.

Along the way, Yoshida saw pingos and lakes.

He stayed with locals who were "very nice" and "kind," he said, and sometimes cars stopped along the highway to see what he was up to.

"They gave me food, water," he said, after he told them what he was doing.

All the while, Yoshida pushed a little cart with him that carried all his belongings.

Masahito Yoshida carries his cart of belongings behind him as he heads out onto the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway. (Submitted by Weronika Murray)

Cross-continent walking tour

Yoshida started his journey in Shanghai, China, and walked all the way to Portugal.

From there, he flew to the United States and has since stepped across more borders — from Canada to Egypt to Australia and Argentina.

While some people prefer to travel by bus or a plane, Yoshida travelled by foot so he could visit small towns.

By walking, "I can meet many local people," he said. "It's my purpose."

Yoshida said the Arctic is beautiful and quiet, with people who "usually … are helping each other."

Next stop: Japan

But now that he's reached the Arctic Coast?

"I don't want to walk now," he said, explaining his journey is over. "I'm so tired now. Look at my shoes."

Masahito Yoshida holds up his shoes — or what's left of them — during a stop in Inuvik, N.W.T. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

Yoshida plans to head back to Japan next — this time by plane — where he said he'll take on a job working at a hotel at Mount Fuji, and get some rest.

With files from Mackenzie Scott


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