Through the glass doors of the spartan arrivals hall in the airport on Miyako Island, I caught a glimpse of a slightly frail looking man who I figured was the guy I had exchanged a few basic emails with to arrange my trip.

From his blue cowboy shirt and the bandanna around his long sun-bleached hair, he could only be described as a Japanese Willie Nelson. And yes indeed, this was my host: Take-san.

I had arrived on one of Japan's most southerly, subtropical islands with little information, merely on a whim and promise that a man with a farm would shelter me for three weeks.