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March 05, 2013

Japanese cyclist touring the world falls in love with Cape Town

Hiromu Jimbo and his faithful mountain bike, bearing the South African flag. Photo courtesy of Tara Hossack

He wanted to see the world, so he gave up his job in Kanagawa, Japan, set off for Istanbul, bought a mountain bike and didn't look back.

Hiromu Jimbo, 32, left his home country in 2009. Since then he has been to 51 countries, arriving in Cape Town in November after cycling from Namibia. He says he fell in love with Cape Town and decided to stay on longer than he normally would.

"I stayed for four months. It was a very good place to be in," he says. "I am most impressed with Cape Town, it is the most beautiful in the world. I love it."

Jimbo says he normally spends between one day to two weeks in a city, but Cape Town was just far too beautiful. "It was a good place to rest after travelling down the continent. I learnt about fynbos, went up Table Mountain and to the Waterfront."

Jimbo travels on his own, with everything he needs securely packed on his bike.

"Nothing bad has happened to me on my travels, people have been good to me. I have never been attacked. Sometimes the police and soldiers have stopped me to question me," he says.

Jimbo left the Mother City a few days ago. The next leg of his journey will take him up the east coast of South Africa and then up into Lesotho, and on to Johannesburg and Swaziland. He anticipates being back in Japan in the next three to four years, where he will work for a while.

"Then I will take on another adventure. I will travel the Americas," he says.

  • Interviewed on 567 CapeTalk yesterday morning, and speaking from Cape Agulhas, Jimbo said he embarked on his journey because he wanted to "see and feel the ordinary life of the people living in different cultures"
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