woensdag 26 april 2017

Japan 2017 day 5: Mt. Fuji / Kawaguchiko lake and karaoke

After days of being in a crowded metropolis, we were really excited to see something else for a change. and of course when you think of a tourist place to go in Japan it is easy to think of Mount Fuji, yet we did not visit it last time, so we planned to go this time, depending on the weather.
We didn't know in detail how many times the trains would go. At the Shinjuku station ticket office we discovered the train only went once every 1,5 hours or so and that you still had to wait about 40 minutes for a transfer too.
We just bought the tickets but googled stuff while waiting and then discovered that once a month there is a rapid line between Narita, Tokyo and Kawaguchiko station and while we had to wait a little longer, the journey would cost less effort. Luckily, JR will give you a refund for your ticket on the day if you haven't used it yet and so we changed the plan!

At least the station looked cute!
The view from the train was stunning ofcourse, there are lots of hills and smaller towns. I have to say, the landscape did look a bit 'dead': it was mostly very sand/amber/brownish-colored, which of course has to do with that it was still kind of cold outside and Spring only started, but even then it just did not look as fresh as nature in The Netherlands does I guess. It's always nice to see new things though, and it was very beautiful! One stop before the final station we could finally see Fuji-san (how Mt. Fuji also is known as) and it was amazing!

We chose to go see Mt. Fuji from Kawaguchiko Lake, since it is one of the most popular sighting-spots in the Fuji-5-lake-area and would be beautiful if the cherry trees were in blossom. But they weren't. At the small station it was really chaotic, since there are lots of tourists and lots of ways to travel and there isn't an easy explanation anywhere so we did go to the small tourist center and they told us that walking around would take way too long and we better take the bus.
But it didn't take that long at all in the end. Then we searched for a way to buy a ticket for the bus but then discovered that you just pay in the bus itself and had to wait even longer, also it was really unclear which bus was which because they just switched the locations, not the bus itself. I was so glad that we could finally sit down in the bus, pfff.

Walking back from the panorama spot was really nice, it was pretty quiet if you walked near the water and the view was just really stunning. One thing is that it can be quite foggy in the air and as such it might be hard to see the mountain, so I'm sorry that the photos look a bit vague, but that was really how it looked:

The trainride back was also interesting: a station assist bought a ticket for us so we had no idea if that was actually valid for the transfer-train as well, but we just tried and apparently it was. Finally back at Shinjuku, we hoped to find a yakiniku restaurant but failed and just went to one of the many small restaurants near the station. There we had some fried food, for example fully fried garlic (and yes it was utterly soft and delicious!).

With regained energy I thought it would be a nice night to try karaoke. It was so much fun to do, but it took a long while for us to figure out how everything worked with reading romaji (Japanese written down in the western-way) and what songs to choose, but we managed in the end and prolonged our stay for some times even. It was kind of awkward to order drinks by the phone though, haha, but it was a really great experience and I hope I can do it again!

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