I’ve just realised that before today, we’d spend two and a half days in Japan and were yet to use chopsticks!! Shame on us. And that’s not that when given a choice, we chose a fork, it’s that we haven’t really eaten any Japanese food. That changed today.
Today we went on a tour to Mt Fuji!! I was so excited as for all the times we’ve been to Japan, we still hadn’t gone there.
We were up early to make sure we made the departure time which was going to be from a hotel in Shinjuku.
We spied the Metropolitan Government building close by and made a plan to go there later, after we got back from the tour.
We got to talking to a few people that were going on tour with us. It’s nice talking to people from around the world and hearing about their experiences in Japan.
Our tour guide, Taka, was just so cute! I could have listened to her talking all day although it did take a bit of concentrating as her accent was strong at times but she was so lovely.
I took a few pics from the bus. We drove past some gorgeous towns along the way. So green and lush and picturesque along the water. Unfortunately the highway mostly had a barrier up so I wasn’t always able to take pictures when I wanted to.
And then sooner than I expected, we saw Mt Fuji in the distance!!!
It was soon covered over with cloud again though so I was worried about what we were going to see when we got to the fifth station.
I didn’t realise how high we had driven until I started to see we were above the clouds! How did that happen!! And how gorgeous are the clouds. I felt like we were in a plane and flying instead of driving.
There were loads of people up the top!! So many tour buses!! AND, more importantly, Mt Fuji was visible. I have to admit though, I found the other side, with all the clouds, much more interesting to look at.
Our guide Taka told us a story of a guy who kept climbing up Mt Fuji right up until his death at 105 years of age.
He was Masashi Toyoda, from Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture.
There’s a statue of him inside one of the stores at the Fifth Station and we posed in front of it because, well, that’s just what you do!
For lunch we were taken to a restaurant where a buffet style meal was prepared for us. There was a great array of food. Some of it Japanese and some was a little more Western but it was all really really tasty AND I got to use chop sticks for the first time on this trip! Took me thirty seconds or so to get used to it again. I just don’t understand why people persist with chopsticks when we have INVENTED AN EASIER WAY. I mean when we discover something that works better, we usually adopt it! But whatever. It’s fun to eat with chopsticks and it definitely helps the waist line because for me, it takes longer and I can’t pick up every single last morsel.
The grounds/gardens outside the restaurant were really pretty too. We had that view from our table.
After lunch we were back on the bus and our guide Taka taught us how to make an Origami Japanese warrior hat.
She was like a parent not wanting to disappoint a child who clearly is not doing well with me. She said I almost had it right then fixed it up expertly.
Our next stop was Lake Ashi where we were going to take a cruise. We had about thirty minutes in the store there before the cruise and I found a couple of interesting items.
What you see below, is a vending machine that sells HOT food!! Like chips/fries and burgers. Can you believe that!! Only in Japan I say!
Of course, if you don’t want your fries hot, you can also buy them like this.
Would you be game enough to drink anyone of these drinks?
No wasabi and no sweat for me thank you very much.
The views out of the lake were so breathtakingly beautiful. My photos do not do it justice at all!
And a couple more photos from the catamaran as well.
We were dropped at Hakkone and took the ropeway up to the top.
Now this seemed like a good idea when I was booking this tour. I didn’t realise how high it was going to go!!
First, a few pictures.
And then we were in the clouds and I was freaking out a bit!!!
I definitely made a mental note to NOT sit at the front on the way back down.
Our tour was just about over.
All that was left was to take the bullet train back to Tokyo.
Even though hubby and I have been here many times, we were yet to ride the bullet train so were really looking forward to it!
Turns out, it’s just a train that goes pretty fast. When you’re sitting in it though, it’s quiet so you don’t really notice how fast you’re going. I’m sure if you were standing outside and it whizzed past you, it would knock you around a bit and be impressive but apart from reaching our destination a little quicker, I’m not sure that I’d use it again.
Once we were back at Tokyo, we went back to the Metropolitan Governement building. We really wanted to see the view from the observatory and seeing as it was getting darker, thought it would be nice to see it at night.
When we got there, there was a line that went out through the door AND it was closing within thirty minutes so we missed out again.
There’s always tomorrow.
Instead we walked around Shinjuku
We even went to the “you must see this” Robot Cafe!
That is, we went outside it. The inside will need to be explored another day.
Finally, I found my wine bar again. I had first seen this place a few trips to Japan ago.
This is the wine bar that is dedicated to all Margot’s around the world but especially me because I say so.
It had just been such a long day and our time here is not over so we can always go back.
I feel like we saw a lot of things we have wanted to see in Japan today and we met some really nice people and made some nice memories. Thanks Japan!
Just to finish up, I’ll leave you with this signboard that we saw in a cafe. I just love Japanese English!