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Japanese Exchange Student Bikes Across the U.S.

Three years ago Masaki Takisawa, from Japan, spent three-weeks in Keizer, OR with the Smedema family.  Masaki was part of CHI’s Group Homestay Program.  His trip to the U.S. came about when TOMODACHI and Coca-Cola partnered together and arranged a  homestay program for Japanese high school students from the areas affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

This summer Masaki returned to the U.S. to experience a six-week adventure.  With a few belongings he arrived in South Carolina on August 14th with a bicycle in a box. He put the bike together and set out on a bike ride across America.  With only paper maps and the help of those he met on his way, he made it all the way to Oregon and found the Smedema family.  Along the way he saw many amazing sights and met some wonderful people.  What a great journey!

Masaki’s story where he bikes across the U.S. is so incredible it even received attention from the news.  Both Fox 12 and The Keizertimes covered the story.  Take a moment to read the article and watch the video.

Bikes Across the U.S.


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