I've just got back tonight. Trip was cut short for several reasons:
1. reaching my budget fast
2. tired and sleepy
3. car was at its limit
That's it. I've "been" to 40 of all 48 prefectures in Japan. I did it by driving and took no expressway whatsoever. My car travels span the entire length of the country except Kagoshima (鹿児島) and Okinawa (沖縄).
4000km (5% margin of error) (=2485.48477 miles, roughly the distance from New York to Key West Florida and back) driven on this nine-day trip from Chiba(千葉県) to Hokkaido.
Nine days and eight nights (car, Internet café, love hotel, minshuku 民宿, car, ryokan 旅館, car, car)
I'm thankful that I'm alive and relatively well. Not that traveling in Japan is not safe. But what I did is probably not the most comfortable way, but surely it'll be memorable. For all I know I could have been killed by some bear in Hokkaido, or a car crash. (note: neither of those actually very likely, but possible nonetheless)
I was certainly pushing my luck. The car though finally "gave out" last night. The engine bay was screaming with screeching noises and it refused to be fixed. I was really worried then. I stopped every ten minutes to check on it. Everything seemed to be falling apart, and the worst part was, I was 400km from home. One sleep and some engine oil did the trick to hold it together for the while it was driven home. I need to ask my boss to take it to the shop for a thorough once-over (oxymoron?). I hope it survives.
4000km / 50kmph(avg.) / 9 days = an average of 8 hr 53 min of driving per day.
80000yen (=727.54 US dollars) spent on:
gasoline: 9 receipts = 21304yen
accommodation: 7500 + 4500 + 3800 = 15800yen
ferry rides: 12800 * 2 = 25600yen
omiyake(おみやけ, obligatory souvenirs): 4000yen
food and drinks(est.): 80000 - 21304 - 15800 - 25600 - 4000 = 13296yen + change