Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Tokyo Itinery - Day 3 + Mt Fuji, A Review

This was probably one of the most important day of our Tokyo trip. We were going to the famous Mt Fuji today! We were up by 5.30 am to start our journey to West Tokyo where the bus terminal is. It is located in Shinjuku which also happens to be where our second hotel for the trip is. We brought along all our luggage for the trip to the 5th station of Mt Fuji because it was too early to check in yet. Sadly, the second hotel we checked into did not have wifi and only cabled internet was available.

Anyway, back to the bus terminal. Although we had to buy our tickets really early, we were not scheduled to move until 7.04am (they were really precise and punctual with the timing). So, we spotted a McDonalds right across and decided to have our breakfast there instead. It is actually one of the things I try to do each time I go to a different country. Trying their non-halal burgers. LOL

One of the last tickets! Lucky lucky~
Breakfast sets with bacon. NYUM!

And then we are finally off!

Just before we boarded the bus, I ran to the nearby convenience store and simply picked up random snacks so we could snack when we reached Mt Fuji. I'll share them later in the post. We were lucky to reach early as we got some of the last tickets on the bus to go up the mountain's 5th station. It is the last and highest drive-to point and to get any further i.e. to the summit, the only way is by foot. Located about 2300m above sea level, the sights from the 5th station were very beautiful and breathtaking. We took tons of pictures especially of the snow-capped mountain and cloud covered valleys. On an even brighter note, there were lots of lockers available at the 5th station for a minimal fee so we did not have to lug our luggages everywhere.

Some of the first view of the mountainside from the bus
Finally we are at the fifth station
Fuji-sama on a clear morning

Once we got down and settled our stuff into the locker, it's photo-time yet again! Ignore our backpacks please. The lockers couldn't fit all our bags so we decided to bring our backpacks along rather than getting two lockers. :P

We were literally above the clouds here! Since we took the earliest bus, we got to see Mt Fuji at its best.

And then we found this idyllic little spot perfect for our picnic!

After munching on our snacks (I insisted they wouldn't last if we continue leaving them in my bag) LOL. So we had them even though we were not hungry yet. Blerk!

And then I spotted this small shrine a little way off, up a hill from our picnic spot. Since we were not going to climb the mountain on its hiking trail, we had plenty of time to spare. It's exploring time!

Then we started exploring all the other shops in the station before making our way down from there to our next stop, the famous hot spring sauna!

Yes, it is quite cool up here :)
First, we went down to Fujisan Station using the bus. When you purchase tickets you automatically get a return ticket. Fujisan Station literally means Mt Fuji station. At the station, Fuji-sama was still visible. Can you imagine how big it actually is to be visible from so far? :D We later came back to this same station to take the train to town after our spa or dip in the hot springs.

From the Fujisan Station, we took a free bus to a hot spring bath house. It was such an experience. We got to put on robes and do it the Japanese way, gender separated, of course. First you pour some water over yourself, then bath on a stool and the proceed to dip in the various hot spring tubs/pools NAKED. Hahahaha awkward at first but after a while you're just like whatever. There was even an old lady who made signs with you to take away ALL scraps of clothing. -.-""""" Yeah, I was trying to at least cover up a little. I know, what was I thinking??? ><

The free bus
The reception area looks very pretty right? It's like a hotel reception. Lockers are readily available as well.

The reception area
 As we were too excited when we reached to make agreements on what time to meet, I ended up waiting outside much earlier. Blerk. And I was a little lost when it came to hot springs. I did not know then that we were supposed to dip ourselves in cold water (there was a pool available with just cold water) every 30 minutes to avoid being dehydrated. I was actually soaking only in hot water the whole time (They have different pools for different properties i.e. for smooth skin, nourishing purposes, etc). Maybe that was why I felt really warm and uncomfy after the first 40 minutes. Heh! *Jakun*

We were dropped back to the station using the complimentary bus and had something to bite at the nearby mall (Mos Burgers!). The food was alright I guess, nothing to shout about.


Like I mentioned earlier, after the Onsen session we decided to take a scenic trip back to Shinjuku by using the train. It proved to be a bit tiring as the hot springs bath made our body more 'relaxed' and we were so sleepy. We napped most of the journey back. LOL. So much for the scenic route right?

After nearly 3 hours we finally made it back to Shinjuku and proceeded quickly to the hotel to check in, drop our stuff and head out for dinner. We had ramen near the hotel and suffice to say it was delicious. It is actually a small coffee shop called Shouhei Ramen, which looked pretty unassuming but the food is excellent!

Address: Shou-Hei (昌平) Ramen, 7 Chome-12-4 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan
+81 3-3371-3429

We spent a while walking around the heart of Shinjuku before finally deciding to call it a day and head back to sleep. Shinjuku was bustling with activity but we mostly just strolled around and take in the cool night air. While walking I found a very special packaging of my favourite drink, Yakult! in a metal bottle so I got that to try! And what is a trip in Japan without trying their famous sake right? Haha. All in all, it was a very fun-filled day~

Sake and my special Yakult!

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