Thank you for your support !

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Dear friend,

Hello! Thank you so much for all your support!?
I safely completed around-the-world journey and returned to Japan. We crossed the finishing line by Tokyo Station at 1:30 pm on December 1, 2008.?The Journey kicked off from Tokyo in December last year.? It took us through North America, across Atlantic Ocean, to West Europe.? We then drove down to North Africa under the simmering heat of 52 degrees Celsius, and up again to West Europe then through East Europe, Russia, and Kazakhstan.?We finally drove through Siberia where it reached minus 30 degrees Celsius.?

However, while we had to overcome various obstacles including language barriers, difficulty in collecting used cooking oil, ice-cold weather, rough roads, and visa expirations, the kindness and support of everyone we encountered kept us going.? We had new discoveries and surprises everyday.? Each day spent on the road offered us a very rich and heart warming experience.?I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to everyone who supported us throughout the journey. We could not have completed the journey without the help from each and one of you.

Please keep an eye out for the Biodiesel Adventure's future endeavors.

Best regards,

Shusei Yamada

Crossed the finishing line in Tokyo

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December 1, 2008 Sunny 

After 360 days has passed since I left Tokyo last year on December 5th - I came back to the city after circling the globe eastward!
To tell you the truth, I had no idea how I would collect used cooking oil. I had to let the fate to take its course... and I actually made it!! I actually was able to collect enough used cooking oil, process biodiesel fuel for more than 150 times in the back of my vehicle, and cover the total distance of 47,853 km. It feels as if a greater power allowed me to return home - I am overwhelmed by a sense of wonder. I sometimes ask myself if I have really made it.

Only after I play back the memories of each and one of the places I visited in my mind, can I convince myself that I actually did drive around the world: working my butt off driving through North America when I still couldn't get the hang of it, simmering heat in North Africa reaching 52 degrees Celsius, faces of people who helped me collect used cooking oil in Europe, people who let us stay at their homes in Russia, warmth of people who drove us to and from the garage, super rough Russian roads, and freezing weather in Siberia.

Today, after I drove down memory lane around Tokyo station, I headed towards Nihonbashi Plaza building where we set the finishing line. We were able to use the space thanks to the support of Fuji Filter Manufacturing Co., Ltd. I drove by Tokyo station, onto Sakura road, and finally to Nihonbashi Plaza Building. I could see the faces of the people from the media and good old friends. At 1:30 pm, I crossed the finishing line.

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Fuji Filter provided me a conference room at 11th floor. I held a press conference and explained about the project, unexpected incidents we had to deal with during the journey, and fond memories along with the photographs I took along the way. Afterward, we headed outside and I explained about the vehicle and the processor. I have repeated the process almost every day in 17 different countries. I was happy to be able to explain in my mother tongue after so many months. I could not help but to feel frustrated when I had to explain in English or explain through translators. Various questions were thrown at me - from super technical ones to asking for some memorable events. I was so happy to see so many familiar faces show up at the finishing line. I even found Hasegawa-san whom I travled on road.

Last, but not least, I want to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who helped me collect used cooking oil, provided me accommodation, helped me fix the vehicle, and was involved in the project in any way. Thank you so much!!! The cooking oil you gave me actually fueled my vehicle which allowed me to return to Tokyo. I was energized by your thoughts and prayers and was able to complete the journey. Please allow me to once again express my appreciation to people who supported and sponsored my project.

"Thank you!!!"
I am very very grateful.

Shusei Yamada

I am home!!

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November 13, 2008 Thursday Fushiki, Toyama (Japan)


We crossed Sea of Japan on a ferry taking two nights & three days and arrived in Fushiki Port in Toyama prefecture in Japan at 9 a.m. yesterday. Everything went smoothly and we could set our feet on home land by noon.

Japan is so warm that I felt as if I were in Hawaii. Then I was so relieved that I could just talk in my own tongue. And then lastly, the roads are FLAT!! "Amazing! It is even and no holes!!" Yusuke and I screamed.

My friend, Eiichi, brought some things we needed including biodiesel fuel Hiroshi, (who were with me in Portugal through Morocco, remember?) made back at his facility. I am going to drive back to Tokyo stopping by some places on the way to say hello and thank you, to get a check-up/registration of the car done (Japan has really strict rules about the conditions of the cars on public roads.), and then my machine needs a lot of repair.

You guys, I am finally home!

We are going back.

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November 10, 2008 Tuesday Vladivostok (RU)

Boy! I am telling you that the traffic, the driving manners, the roads must be the worst in the whole country of Russia. And the custom system was so hard to figure out. First of all, the rules and regulations, laws were pretty unclear and (probably) corrupted. Nobody knows about anything. So I spent hours going one place to another as they told me to. In vein. Russia imports cars from Japan. So it seems easy to bring the car in. But no one takes cars out of the country to Japan. So I heard it could be extremely hard, especially by Ship. Anyway, there have been so many surprises here in this country and I am finally used to it and even liking it...

I spent 5 days for the paper work for the ship. Yusuke's visa expires on 11/10, so we really have to get out of the country by then. We just loaded the car on the ferry and we are ready

If all things go well, we will be arriving at the port in Toyama, Japan on the 12th. We truly enjoyed Russia.

Thank you so much to those who helped us in Russia.

Today we thank: Andrei's family, Maxim

Finally made it to Vladivostok!

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November 6, 2008 Thursday Vladivostok(RU)

I have not heard from Shusei directly yet, but we got a confirmation that Shusei arrived in Vladivostok safely. He must be currently taking care of custom celarance and other paper work to leave the contry. He will take a ferry from there back to Japan in several days. We will keep you posted.

Report from Khabarovsk

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November 04, 2008 Tuesday Khabarovsk (RU)

Hello, everyone.

Yusuke and I arrived in Khabarovsk last night. It was cold enough in Irkutsk and Chita but Wow! the level of the coldness is far beyond belief here in Khabarovsk. -16℃ (3 in F)really gets to you after 5 minutes.

Luckily for nights, we found garages in villages we went through. But the fuel (BDF) we keep on trailer was almost frozen. We had to heat up the fuel (not the waste oil) on the portable heater for the first time on this whole trip.

There is going to be still ice roads waiting for us. But here in Khabarovsk , we can get some supplies. So I feel a bit relieved. I plan to get to Vladivostok on 11/06.

Here we got supporters from Auto Club people who offered garage to keep the car, place to stay, waste oil donation etc. They even gave us some money. Thank you so much!!

And those of you who have given me information on where to get oil, whom to contact for other supplies and media, thank you. I really appreciate your support. It keeps us warm.

Home stay

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November 3, 2008 Monday Khabarovsk(RU)

I just heard from Shusei that they arrived in Khabarovsk today. They will be leaving soon to get to Vladivostok by 11/6.

4000km to go in Siberia

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October 29, 2008 Tuesday Chita (RU)

I arrived in Chita after 2 a.m. It is 12℃ below zero (11F).

I will have to leave the country by 11/9 and for the custom etc. I think I will have to be in Vladivostok by 11/5 or /6. I have 4000km to go. There is supposed to be about 2000km of really bad condition.

So far it has been hard but we are surviving. The trailer in the back has problems and we have to fix it everyday. Roads are pretty bad and we had to go along railroad track. So as you can guess, we have not slept for days.

Biodiesel gets frozen below -2℃ (below 29 F). While we are driving, it is fine. So the challenge is where to keep the car at night.

I plan to head up north about 1000km tomorrow and continue on. I am getting help from local people and they gave me some information on the roads etc. According to them, fast drives pass this area in two days but considering how heavy my car and trailer etc. I think it will take me about five days. I got a note written in Russian saying "We need a warm space to park my car because ...," Also we put the tape heater to warm up the fuel tank and the pipes.

Well, I did everything I could to be prepared for the cold we will be experiencing.

I am blessed with all the local people always offering help to me everywhere I go. And they send me to their friends in further towns. It is really amazing.

I am getting a lot of support and advice from Japan for cold weather solution. Thank you !

I have 30L of methanol left. I bought some fuel Ice racers use, but the chemical reaction did not happen. It has been difficult to find methanol since August. I am not too sure if I have enough to get to Vladivostok. Some people suggested that I use SVO (Straight Vegetable Oil)....Then we will have to have some work done on the car.

In any case, I really appreciate all your help, support and cheer from all over the world. I hear that you guys are spreading the words through all the network to find methanol in Khabarovsk Krai . Thank you so much! I have not given up on finding methanol there.

We will see what is waiting for me. Please stay with me!! Many hanks..

We need help!

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October 28, 2008 Tuesday

Hello everyone.

Shusei is in Russia as you know. Yusuke and he are having a hard time around Chita on their way to Khabarovsk Krai. Their plan is to take a ship trip back from Vladivostok to Japan by 11/9, when their visa expires. But the methanol they bought in Russia was bad and they haven't been able to make fuel in the past week. They have no Russian speaking crew.

They need methanol in Khabarovsk Krai. They will be arriving there in a few days.

If you know anyone who may be able to help, please write to us.

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