As far as I can remember I have never hitchiked before, not in Japan and not in the Philippines.
After exploring the 7 falls of Kawazu in Izu, T suggested we go for more walk and so we did. There were no other people walking that road. It was just the forest and us. The road was wide, and the only sound we can hear is the flowing of the river and sometimes chirping of the birds. Along the way we met 2 hikers going the opposite way, a couple of wasabi plantation and more trees :).
After more or less 2 hours of walking, we emerge in a highway. There was a bus stop but we have around 30 minutes before it arrives. And so T started to put up his fingers to ask for a ride. I was aghast. He was laughing so hard at the expression of the drivers passing us. I could not believe he would do it. Then he asked me to join him and what the heck might as well give a try, so I just stand beside him and waited.
To my big surprise a car did stop. He was a young Japanese guy who loves to surf. T was laughing at me on how big my eyes had become. I have to asked the driver a couple of times if it was ok before finally getting in. It was surreal.
We told him where we are going and good thing is it was along his way, so he said he was taking us there. It was a good 30 minutes ride to that bus stop. When we got there, he told us that we may have to wait for an hour for the bus to come. We were basically half-way to our destination already so it was ok. He then asked us of our final destination, when we told him that it was Shuzenji Station he just said, I’ll take you there without any hesitation.
During our ride, we found out that he is working as a mechanic for Toyota and that he wants to some voluntary work somewhere in Latin America teaching people how to repair cars. He passed a chance once because he can’t speak the language. He asked for our advice since we are also foreigners who went to a different coutry with different language and culture. The only advice we gave him is “DO IT.!”. Language can be easily learned when you are already living there and completely merge into the society. You just have to be willing to learn.
My first hitchiking experience turned out to be really FUN. Although T said never to do it when I am alone hehehe.
I have forgotten his name, but I wish him all the best and hope that he will pursue his dream to teach voluntarily and share his knowledge to those who need them. Good Luck and Thank you for giving us a ride .