In a mad scramble I finished up a meeting last Monday, dashed to Okachimachi , bought some karintou for Hiro's mother, some coriander for Lily, some tapioca, coconut milk and palm sugar, and a seishun 18 ticket.
As I've written before seishun 18 tickets facilitate travel through remote and under-visited parts of Japan. With Lily in Niigata and Hiro's parents in Odate, there is plenty of excuse to make the most of it. With a seishun 18 ticket in hand and a mega pot of curry in the fridge and a weeks worth of rice in the freezer I was off. Had I taken my own advice I would have had an itinerary printed out. If I had it would have looked like this:
Fortunately I came equipped with a mobile phone that could check. More fortunately Lily kindly did the onward checking for me and the trip map looked like this: