After sailing and running around the planet for the past two years, Japanese comedian Kanpei Hazama, 61, set foot on his native soil again Tuesday, proclaiming that "the Earth really is round".
Thousands of well-wishers greeted the television personality as he sailed from China to dock at Japan's southwestern Fukuoka harbour in cold rain, completing the last maritime stage of his "Earth Marathon".
"Thank you!" Hazama told his fans, wiping tears away with his sleeve, before hugging his wife and grandchildren and saying: "I've made it!"
The final leg will see Hazama run another 620 kilometres (385 miles) to finish his epic journey at a concert at Osaka castle on January 21.
The comedian set off in December 2008, first sailing across the Pacific then running across North America, sailing across the Atlantic, and putting on his running shoes again to traverse the Eurasian continent.
A year ago in Turkey he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, forcing him to temporarily suspend the journey, but after receiving medical treatment in the United States he was back on the road in June.
"Time has passed quickly, but I have been through a lot," Hazama told a news conference on Tuesday, Jiji Press news agency reported. "The journey proved that the Earth really is round!"