Gunma to Tokyo

April 10, 2007
Distance: 63 km
Top Speed:
Average Speed:
Mood: Slightly disappointed

Gunma is known for it's skiing, and onsen. The part of Gunma I was in is flat, and is known as the number one Pachinko city and has a major sex industry draw card. The part of Tokyo (state) I went to is just at the edge of the mountains, and probably an hour and a half by train to the city of the same name.

I arrived in Japan with a plan to bike at least through Japan (if not all the way to Mongolia!) on only $20.07 total. I was doing ok at first by cheating the train gate, and claiming I had lost my ticket at the end of the line. I had hoped to start my bike ride in Shinjuku, the Times Square of Tokyo. But I had had to leave my bike with my friend outside Tokyo during my trip to the States, so I had to get there first.

I arrived at her house late at night and fell asleep quickly (under her Japanese heated table, actually). The next day her mom cooked me an awesome Japanese breakfast of various fish (bone-in, which you eat!), miso soups, rice, pickled plum, pickled ginger, fermented beans (two servings please!!), and of course green tea. It was great, and proved me with tons of the right kind of energy. Just before heading out we went for a walk through the cherry blossom trees that were in bloom for only a few days. I got a late start, so she drove me a few kilometers over a highway bridge that would have sucked to bike over, and we said our goodbyes.

That ride was pretty fast at first, but towards the end, I ran into some mountains that I hadn't expected. I was biking from a flat area to a flat area, so I didn't expect there to be a mountainous section in between. As a result of that, and my already late start, I had to bike through the dark for a couple hours, and arrived just before 9pm at my friend, Gaurav's house. He fed me some great eggs, beans, and toast to replenish my energy and protein. We talked about my ride, and our future plans to go back to school for our masters degrees, and then I went to bed.

My friend and host, Gaurav, and his roomate, Alex


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