After an amazing three days in Tokyo, we ended our journey exactly where it had begun for me; in Takasaki.
There really is no other place I would have rather ended such an amazing experience than in Takasaki where I was, 4 months ago, slightly afraid, definitely excited but incredibly nervous. Alone in a country so different and beginning a journey that I never imagined I would take. I was lucky to have one of my best friends there to help guide me through the first few days. And what seemed like an entirety ended much too quickly. Four months of such constant learning and adapting through intense and amazing experience.
So while I had already fallen in love with Takasaki and the Gunma country side, I was able to introduce Liz to where it all began for me. Ben was kind enough to show us around (again!). I also specifically picked Dec. 31 to arrive here so that Liz, Ben and I could spend New Years Together. With maybe one too many drinks, we had a great time and although we were here a couple of nights, it was a relaxing couple of nights after such a momentous journey.
In the end, Liz and I went back to Tokyo to spend the last night together before setting off in different directions. The last meal consisted of one of my favourite dishes in Japan: Tonkatsu. And the next day, Liz set off to the mountains of Hokkaido and I went south to the beaches and sunshine of Thailand.
All in all, the Farewell Japan Tour was a major success. While we could have wished for more days and gone to more destinations, I think the plan that we choose was just perfect. We got to see everything we wanted and traveled across a country that we had both grown to love. Plenty of planning definitely made it what it was, but in the end it was the adventure that made it memorable.