Saturday, February 09, 2013

Japan Day 3: Mt Fuji and Owakudani

After spending two awesome days at the metropolis, it was time to head outside of Tokyo as we embarked on our journey towards Mount Fuji area, situated in Kanagawa prefecture.

We booked a one-day tour to Mount Fuji and Hakone via They picked us up from Shinjuku Washington Hotel which then took us to the bus station at Daimon where a bus was ready to take us to Mount Fuji. There were a lot of foreigners inside the bus, that was the first thing I noticed lol.We also had a tour guide, Take-san, who started telling us an introduction about Tokyo and its culture as well as attractions.
Tokyo Tower during the day
After having such good weather for 2 days, on our 3rd day we encountered a rainy morning. A rainy day at Tokyo meant that it was snowing at Mount Fuji and despite our excitement that we may see snow, our guide informed us that the roads may be in icy conditions and therefore the bus may not be able to take us up the road to Mt Fuji.

So excited to see the huge amounts of snow
The bus dropped us at Mount Fuji 1st station. It was supposed to take us up to the 5th station but as expected the road leading up Mt Fuji was closed so this was as far as the bus could take us. In total, there are 10 stations leading towards the peak of Mount Fuji. Take-san informed us that he has climbed Mt Fuji 8 times! Like wow!

I was like a kid in a candy store looking at all the snow. So excited :) It was actually my first time seeing snow *shy*. Looking at the snow, it actually looks like the ice shavings from "ice kacang" lol wtf.

The road leading up to the peak of Mt Fuji

After that, they took us to Mount Fuji Visitor Information Centre to shop for souvenirs :)

That day was the coldest day I have ever experienced in Japan. My fingers froze every time I took them out of the comforts of my pocket to snap pics. Lucky for the invention of hot packs.

Lunch time!
For additional of 2000 yen (RM70), a Japanese-style lunch is provided. They had nine different items for you to eat plus rice and udon. Everything tasted so yummy. Best Japanese food I ever had! I really cleaned the whole bento.

Our tour guide explained to us that there were 3 famous roller-coasters in the area. Looking at the tracks, I cannot understand why people will pay money to go on those evil things that will most probably give you heart attack or palpitations or tachycardia.

Mount Fuji in the background
The skies begun to clear a little after lunch. Outside the hotel where we had lunch, we saw the snow-capped Mount Fuji in the background. Needless to say, everyone furiously took pics of the famed mountain.

Unfortunately, due to bad weather conditions (again!), our cruise at Lake Ashi at Hakone was also cancelled. Instead we went on a cruise at Lake Kawaguchi.

Titanic wtf
We can still see bits of ice on the surface of the lake. It was really cold and windy on the boat.

After the cruise, the last tour activity was to go on Mount Komatagake Ropeway to Owakudani Valley, Hakone. Again, weather was not on our side that day as during the whole ropeway journey, it was so foggy outside we could not see anything from the cable cars.

Upon arrival at Owakudani Valley, we had to hiked up (so tiring!) to reach the hot sulphur springs where the specialty there is to eat these black-shelled eggs. They are black due to chemical reactions with the sulphur, something to do with oxidation of iron (Fe). Apparently, eating one egg is equivalent to 7 years of longevity.

5 eggs for 500 yen
Foggy landscape
After hiking down, we went shopping at nearby souvenir shops. I cannot resist buying this dorayaki-like bread with vanilla ice-cream. Froze my teeth every time I bit it.

Yum yum

After coming out from one of the shops, Take-san informed us that the fog has cleared and he pointed in the direction of the look-out point where one can have a good view of Mt Fuji.

We quickly rushed there and started taking pics. But so sad my camera could not capture it well because the peak was quite faint, surrounded by all the clouds.

The sun is finally out!
Group pic with our guide
Tokyo Tower
Inside our bus ride, Take-san showed us many things - singing and even playing cat's cradle, demonstrating Tokyo Tower and also Mt Fuji.

The tour bus then dropped us off at our respective points. We were the only ones inside the bus who requested to be dropped at Hakone. Take-san suggested for us to take the bus from Hakone-Yumoto train station.  We were supposed to go to to Sengokyoru-mae, near our accomodation for the night - Fuji Hakone Guest House.

It was a real long bus ride (and winding too!). Costs 780 yen (RM27.30) per person to finally reach our stop.

Our room
We decided to stay in a traditional ryokan upon recommendation from my friend, Stephy, who also stayed here when she went to Japan last October. There are many traditional ryokans at Hakone and I highly recommend it to have a taste of traditional Japanese lifestyle. We slept on tatami and the floor was real warm hehe.

One of the best things to experience at Hakone is onsen or hot springs! They have 2 types in our guest house - both outdoors and indoors. Our lovely host informed us that we can reserve the hot springs for an hour based on the schedule. 

I only went for the outdoors hot spring. After so many days of walking tirelessly, it was so good to finally submerged my tired body in the warm water. By right, you are supposed to be completely naked when inside the hot spring lol but we all wore bathing suits. 

Before entering the hot spring, you were supposed to shower first. So I did but when I opened the bathroom door after showering, the cold wind rushed in and I closed the door, refusing to open it lol. Finally I braved myself to run through the cold wind in my bathing suit towards the onsen wtf. It was really cold okay, since it was night time already.

The main dining area
Our host also showed us nearby places to eat. Upon hearing that this restaurant provided free shuttle service, we immediately chose it. They even have menus for you to browse at the guest house so nice!

Japanese restaurant
My curry stew
My curry stew was just meh. One thing I missed about Malaysian food is the spiciness. I had like a big plate of nasi lemak once I reached home lol. Even in my curry in the pic above, I kept putting in red chilli powder so much that my friends say I was changing the recipe.

We were having fun taking pics in the yukata provided. I had a real pleasant stay in this guest house. My first time too staying in one.

To end this post with OOTD on Day 3:

Black turtleneck (worn inside): MNG; Stripes sweater jacket: UNIQLO; Red jeans: unbranded; Checkers scarf: Mom's
Detachable collar: Azorias
I have always been a fan of Azorias, this blogshop by Revel In Me. So when I won this kitty detachable collar in their giveaway I was really pleased. The collar is really pretty and I tried hard to style my clothes just to match my collar lol wtf.

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