Takumi made quite a few stops at various cities and looked up old jr. high and high school friends that he'd heard were in the area. I'm sure they were surprised to suddenly get a phone call from him asking if he could spend the night! I guess the three major forms of transportation for Takumi were his skateboard, the local train system and on foot.
On one part of his wanderings I guess Takumi got lost on a back road of a mountain (skateboard not handy for mountain roads) and he ended up hitch hiking. In all my years of living here I don't think I've ever seen a hitch hiker. The amazing thing is that someone actually picked Takumi up, took him to their home, fed him, washed his clothes, gave him a bed and provided him with rice balls the next day! Tetsu and I about dropped our teeth! Not so much that Takumi would hitch hike, but that someone would pick him up. (And they had a teenage girl in the family!) In my mother's eyes, Takumi is a nice looking guy, but objectively speaking, the straggly beard, the pulled down knit cap, the baggy pants; they don't do a lot for first impressions. The family that took Takumi home sure must have been trusting! (I thought it humorous that once at their house Takumi linked their computer to my blog just in case they were worried about what kind of background he came from. Yeah, show them pictures of your mom's quilts and your arm around your grandma... I suppose that would relieve them of some reservations...)
Takumi explored Tetsu's hometown and then went up to the northernmost part of the main island and took a ferry to Hokkaido the north island. He went as far as Sapporo (Tetsu and I had to go there to register our marriage 28 years ago at the consulate) and then spent two days traveling back down on the local trains to Nikko, where we live. Where he couldn't find friends to stay with, Takumi slept in the stations or behind steps near the supermarkets... a taste of the homeless. As for food, his budget wouldn't allow for more than rice balls and lunch boxes from the convenience stores. All that great sea food up there and he never had a chance to taste any!