Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 8 Mount Fuji and Surrounds

Today we went to see Mt Fuji. It was amazing.
We left Tokyo on the bus at our scheduled time, but it seemed as though everybody in Tokyo wanted to leave Tokyo so the highway was chokkers. What should have been a 1.5 hour bus trip turned into 3 hours. It was the first day since we had been in Japan that it had been cloudy which was a real shame. The one day we wanted it to not be cloudy and it was.
We were running late so we had to skip the first stop: Mt Fuji Visitor Centre - that was a shame. We stopped in Fujiyoshida at a beautiful hotel for lunch. The lunch was an obentoo box. A traditional Japanese lunch with sashimi, tenpura and a couple of other things, some of which were nice, some not so much. I have decided Japanese lunch food is sometimes hit or miss.

After lunch we started our journey up to 5th station where we would be stopping to witness this marvellous site. We arrived just before 1pm local time and we had 40min. Not very long really. We stopped and took many many many pictures. The top was so nice as to whisk away the clouds just as we were arriving, so we could see the top, take pictures with the top and then the clouds rolled in again. We were all thankful we had worn jumpers because it was a wee bit chilly.

After Mt Fuji we were going for a boat ride on Lake Ashinoko (Ashi for short) which I imagine when it is isn't covered in fog and cloud is an astonishing site. We also went up a rope way to the top of Mt Komagatake. Again it would have been amazing during the middle of a sunny day however all we saw was fog. The fog started to lift as we descended in the rope way, however when we were at the top it was all just fog.

After that it was time to leave and go back to Tokyo. It was a great day and a wonderful way to spend Cara and Kate's last day. We were dropped off at Shinjuku - one of the largest subway stations in Tokyo (or maybe the largest not sure). We hadn't been there yet so we thought we might wander around a little. It was a Saturday night so there were people everywhere. We found somewhere to eat and something for Kate to eat and then had some food. Then we went wandering around looking at all the neon lights and TVs that they have on building. It was incredible and I bet they use tons of power.

Kate and Cara were leaving at 5am to get to the airport by 6am for their early flight to London so now came the fun of packing and oh boy was it fun. I was going to Kyoto the next day also so was also packing but didn't have quite so many problems. We finished packing at probably around 1am and decided that it was definitely lights-out time. The American boys we were sharing a dorm with had gone out again for the night. Cara set her alarm so they would get up in time and I told her to wake me up so I could say good bye :( Little did she realise that her mobile was still on Australian time (one hour ahead), that or she knows her sister so well she did it intentionally. So they got up at the alarm and got ready and then realised that it was only 4ish and they had an hour to kill. I got up and we went outside the room and chatted for a bit, before they decided to go early anyway  because they both had heavy heavy bags.

That concludes week one in Japan. Stay tuned for week two.

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