August 15, 2012
Meeting with the agent in charge of the incredible amount of bureaucracy to get out of Russia at 7.30 Am. The agent escorts us and our bikes to the port where at 10.00 AM we should board the boat that will take us to Japan. The mood is very positive among all of us due to the fact that we have been crossing difficult Siberia without any major injuries and are very close to Japan, the land of the raising sun.
As soon as we boarded the boat we immediately notice a big difference. This Japanese boat is nothing compared to the boats we took in Vanino (Siberia) or Turkmenistan. Everything is spotless, the crew is very efficient, believe it or not, they even cleaned our motorcycles. We don’t really know if they want to be nice and professionals or if they have some kind of rules about importing in their country dirty vehicles. Arriving in Wakkanai, we encounter the same efficiency by the officials at the custom clearance control. Matteo and myself had plans to go to Sapporo in order to register our ” Carnet de Passage” before being able to temporary import our motorcycles to Japan, but we learned that this was not necessary and a simple ” Temporary importation” document was sufficient.
With our paper and motorcycles on hand we follow the new “captain” of the group Akira, which leads us through the first kilometers of this new and fascinating country.