Thursday, 16 May 2013

Hakone - Pirate Ship, Owakudani, Mount Fuji and Tokyo

This is a continuation from the day before where the weather was so bad, we couldn't go sightseeing. Boo that. But luckily it happened too so we could go for the public bath (onsen hot spring) in the hotel.

Anyway, we woke up early in the morning to go to Yunessun. After that, we decided to give the Hakone Loop another try. If you need more information, read here and here. Both websites are super helpful if you are planning to go to Hakone.

We bought our Hakone Free Pass from Odawara for about Y3,900, which lasts two days. Basically this means that we can catch most buses and trains within Hakone itself, which saves lots of time. Better than having to search for small change or try to read Japanese words or ask people how to buy tickets. Most tourists opt for this because it includes the prices for most of the places tourists go to.

We took a bus to Hakone Shrine again. We are determined to go inside. I have seen photos of the place before and thought that it looked soo beautiful. Surreal. Nothing like our temples for sure. It reminded me of Spirited Away in the Japanese Anime cartoon by Studio Ghibli. Loved it btw. Its my favorite.

At the shrine, walking along the streets, it felt so peaceful being there, surrounded by trees and nature. It was still quite cool then; the wind blowing as we stood by the lake. It was so beautiful and calming somehow.

Huge torii gate on the street. Just follow the path and you will reach the shrine.

From the bus stop, we had to walk a short distance (about 10 mins or less) to the lake and the shrine.

Hakone shrine is actually on the shores of Lake Ashi. To get to the shrine itself, you have to walk up some more steps.

 I look like that because I didn't know Cs was going to capture me in the photo. Hmph.

The view was breathtaking. So was the walk up. Hahaha no lah. It was just a short walk, and some steps.

We copied the locals and washed our hands with the water.

If you can't tell yet, I have a thing for torii gates. Heheh

We didn't stay long there..just long enough to take some photos. You can pray there and make a wish if you want. I did.

The torii gate is huge! Its actually standing in the lake.

Boats for rent. Got a funny story to share. Cs was asking me should we take a boat out to somewhere, and I was like huh? Why? No babyy. Its cold. And I kept making excuses.

Cos I thought he suggested we rent that little boat below. The swan shaped one. Hahaha stupid. I don't know why I though of that.

They have hot corn soup!

Our first view of Mount Fuji.

We were waiting to take the pirate ship across to Togendai. We are going to Togendai to transfer to Hakone Ropeway to to Owakudani. All these are included in Hakone Pass, so no need to pay extra money. Cool eh?

This is the pirate ship. Weird name eh. There is a woman dressed as a pirate inside. Can take photos with her if you want.

On the ship! It was a good experience. I know it seems like a really touristy thing to do. But there is a reason why tourists go this route. It really is so beautiful. The cool wind blowing in your face, and the view! Mount Fuji, and can see Hakone Shrine from the ship. Really awesome experience. 

I remember thinking that I wish my parents could come here too. My dad in particular hates travelling far. He hates sitting on the plane. Maybe he has ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). 

Haha joke please.

On the Hakone Ropeway to Owakudani. It looks like a cable car, I don't know why its called ropeway. It used to confuse me until I did the research.

We finally arrived! 

The place is crowded with tourists! We had to take a short hike up the mountain.

Mount Fuji in all its glory!

For more information on Owakudani, read here. Basically its an active volcanic zone with sulphurous fumes with good views of Mount Fuji. We got lucky that day. Perfect weather and thus good views of Mount Fuji. No clouds in the sky at all. 

Crowds and crowds of tourists. Most people buy the black eggs that are cooked in the naturally hot water, and the shells turn black due to the sulphurous fumes. The eggs supposedly prolong your life by 7 years. I had 2. They taste like normal chicken eggs but they smell a bit funny due to the sulphur. Its ok. Another experience.

Crates of freshly cooked black eggs!

We didn't stay long up there. Take photos and come back down again. Shop for souvenirs. We saw lots of people walking around with ice cream cones. There were many flavors and colors to choose from. 

Tastes like vanilla. Truth.

Took Hakone Ropeway to Gora.

Changed to cable car.

This is their so called cable car. Zzz.. Its a train please. Complicate me nia.

Saw cherry blossoms and asked Cs to quick quick snap a photo! Hahah I do that the entire trip. If I spot a cherry blossom tree, I would rush over and go: quick quick quick!!! As if the flowers would drop within the next few seconds. Hahah its no wonder Cs doesn't hate me. :) Love u baby. Heheh.

Waiting for the bus back to Hakone Yumoto. We checked out in the morning already and left our luggage at the hotel. 

On the shinkansen back to Tokyo. We are in the hallway because there are no seats! I don't know if we bought reserved seats or not cos the tickets were in Japanese. But we were carrying huge luggage cases and I was tired from the whole day out so I suggested we just camp in the hall way. Hahah.

Bloody expensive shinkansen (bullet train). Oh well. I wanted to try it at least once. I did. Twice. No regrets then. :)

We found seats later on. Hahah saw some people leaving so we rushed over. Smart. Quite a lot of business men drinking Asahi with their laptops. Makes me wanna buy an Asahi on as well. Next trip eh?

This photo always makes me smile. Got back story.

We arrived at Shinjuku or Tokyo station (I can't remember). It was crowded. No wait. It was SO CROWDED!! Typical. We had our luggages. We were tired. But I wanted to take a photo of the shinkansen. I wanted to go to the front of the train. 

Cs (pulling the luggage) ran/sprinted to the front of the train panting just to take this photo for me. I was following behind, and noticed people looking at him. Is he catching a train? No? He's just running to the front of the train? For a photo?! Hahha.. Cos we didn't know if the train was going to depart any time. And if he's not fast enough, he might not get the photo.

After he took the photo, he turned to me smiling: satisfied?! Hahah I burst out laughing. Sorry. And thank you. :D

Checked into our hotel at Tawaramachi. The station is about 2 mins or less from the hotel. Convenient to travel. And cheap. Did I mention cheap? We booked from Agoda. About RM 180 or was it RM 150? (I forgot lah. Memory of a duck) Including tax. in Tokyo! Rockstar!! :) Hahah no lah there are cheaper rooms like hostels but I didn't want to share bathrooms.

This hotel is small but good. Google it. 

Went to Freshness Burger for supper. I love love Freshness Burger!!

The bun is slightly toasted, and the beef patty just right, and the taste omg. Burger King lose in my opinion. It doesn't feel greasy or too heavy. Just nice! Cs loved it too!

Digress a bit. I think my skin was damn smooth in Japan. I don't know why. In the beginning, I thought it was the new cream I bought. But now that I'm using it in Kuching, no difference leh! So it must be the Japanese air, or the food, or the hot spring.. Something happened anyway. Is it the onsen? Is that why Japanese women's skin are all so smooth and fair? I wish I knew. 

Took this photo so if you're in Japan, try this. Try everything! I love their food. So many choices. We walk around Takashimaya's food court (at the basement I think) and drool over the food. Yeah just drooling cos we can't eat anymore! Not enough space to put all that food.

Oh yeah this is our hotel. Its essentially a budget hotel. But they have basic stuff like towels, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer, and internet. Good enough for us.

Well we brought our own router la. Cos we kiasu. Hahah. Guaranteed wifi in the room. Fast connection and Cs was saying heyy let's go ask the other guests close to our room. Who wants our wifi password? Pay yen for it. Hahah 

Looking at all these food now is torture. This is from the Family Mart close to our hotel. There is a 7-11 close by too. Awesome for supper and breakfast! I miss.

Most hotels have washing machine and dryer. Awesome. We did our laundry there twice. So convenient!

OK bye.

Abrupt end. Typical.

Continue next time.

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