Marking my return to Tokyo, the seventh day was filled with a relaxed 180km trip back from Sado to Maebashi, which is located right in the centre of Honshu between Tokyo and Jouetsu. After arriving back on the main island by 1:00pm, I started dashing towards the Niigata mountains, which turned out to be much taller than I expected. Remembering my childhood vacations in the European alps, the landscape of hotels in valleys surrounded by tall snowy mountains really triggered some nostalgic memories.
Unfortunately, I ran out of cell phone battery due to enthusiastically using the free WiFi on the ferry a little too much (I had been on painful withdrawal for the past five days!), and was down to around 10% with around half of the way to go. So I decided to rely solely on street signs towards Tokyo and trust my instincts.
Just like Sado, the Honshu part of Niigata prefecture is famous of their rice fields, which are present in literally every street corner. There are rice fields everywhere, even next to mountain roads when there is a small plain strip between the street and the ascending rocks. Up in Niigata was still a lot of snow, and some of the rice fields were even completely frozen. That was despite the sunshine and warm temperatures of up to 20 degrees at the time I took the pictures below.
Arriving in Gunma prefecture did not only mean that I’m not in Initial D territory, but also that everything was suddenly very green and bushy. The mountains were covered in fresh green leaves, and the roads all looked very smooth. Even though I’ve not watched much of the anime or even played any of the Initial D video games, I felt like I was roaming around in an old Toyota AE86.
The rest of the day concluded rather uneventful, and Maebashi is not truly a city that is worth mentioning in a travel blog. Therefore, I will end this blog entry prematurely and let you enjoy some more pictures instead of rambling on.