Monday, 23 May 2016

Week 6 - Fujinomiya

We awoke to a beautiful sunny day in Hakone, which made it harder to leave the place we had fallen in love with. It took 1 bus and 4 trains to make our journey to Fujinomiya. One of these was a Japanese bullet train, which I swear is the fastest thing I have ever seen. After seeing one fly through the train station I was just telling Kyle how I didn’t really fancy having a go on one, and would you believe what our train was as it came storming into the station? Honestly, these trains are so quick they even have carriages for people that feel unwell, which thankfully I didn’t have to use.

Two and a half hours later we made it safely to our destination and new hostel, Guesthouse Tokiwa. The host, Daisuke, shares his house and annex with travellers and visitors from all over the world. His house is 50 years old, and is traditional, which means leaving your shoes at the door and treading lightly on the floorboards…difficult for Kyle with his excess travel weight from China.
 
Fujinomiya is a sleepy town, with a laid back vibe. Everything opens for a few hours a day, and the locals enjoy a drink in the evening. So on our first night we joined in with our Umeshu and watched some anime movies with our dorm mates.
 
As the night progressed we got chatting to a Japanese guy, who recommended that we stay in a love hotel for the revolving beds (there will be more on those in a later post), and go to a karaoke bar whilst we are here. He also told us that he knows of Beckham and Victoria from England, and that was it.

Oh, on our first night an Australian man told me my accent reminded him of a Yorkshire cricketer, I can’t remember which one…but he must sound awesome. 

We took a bus to Lake Tanuki on day two, to get a closer look at Mt.Fuji. The views were spectacular, we walked around the whole lake and even had a picnic facing Mt.Fuji. We have vowed to come back and camp at the lake, and attempt to hike up the mountain…in the distant future.
 
This was followed by a quick trip to Shiraito falls, here the water flows all around the tree lined cliff face with the clearest water at the bottom. Kyle and I still can't understand why nobody gets in the water here, especially when its so bloody hot!!
 
On our last day Daisuke took us to Fuji 5th station, which is 2400m from the top. We went on a trail around the mountain to a crater created when the volcano erupted. I unfortunately, didn’t make it…the warning, bears sign scared me off. Kyle however enjoyed his mini trip and even made some friends with the old ladies on the way. What was even scarier still was the little rumblings which you could hear every now and then!
 
Our last wander took us to Fujisan Hong Sengentaisha, a temple built after the volcano erupted to call the gods to protect the town. The quietest temple we have visited in Japan so far, with beautiful ponds and fresh mountain drinking water. 
 
Making our way back to the hostel we found a little stream which you were allowed to swim in…finally!! But we decided against a full dip, after putting our toes in and pulling them out blue, turns out mountain water is really cold.

Tonight, we will watch our last anime movie with Daisuke, and tomorrow we  will take 3 trains to Kyoto for a full week of adventure! 

Love Carrie xxx