Day 12 - Wednesday 8 April - Hakone to Tokyo

| | Comments (0)
What a day!!

Got up at really really stoopid o'clock (5:45 am) with Natty and Sandra to go see Mount Fuji. It was very hazy but at least we could see it. So we thought that was exciting. We walked up to Detached Palace Garden and went down to the Observation Point (which said it didn't open til 9am, but it looked pretty open to us!). The view of the mountain from there wasn't really any better than from the lakeside because you couldn't see as much of the water. Came back down the 200 stone steps then went across to walk back down the cedar plantation down the old highway. It was all very peaceful at this hour of the morning and we didn't see any other crazy people so had all these places to ourselves :)

Mount Fuji at 6am
Mount Fuji at 6am. We thought this would be as good a view as we'd get. 

Hakone Detached Palace
Hakone Detached Palace 

Sandra on the Two Hundred Stone Steps
Sandra on the Two Hundred Stone Steps 

Remains of the Cedar Highway between Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi
Remains of the Cedar Highway between Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi

As we came out of the cedar walk, we saw Mount Fuji again, and it was even shinier because the sun was getting stronger on it. Smsed Stu to get him to come have a look.

Shiny!! Mount Fuji from the Cedar Highway
Shiny!! Mount Fuji from the Cedar Highway

Then we made our way back to the hotel for breakfast. Our table all got these ham/cheese rolls, which were nice enough, but the other two tables got full on cooked breakfasts. We thought it was all very odd, and that maybe they could have alternated meals so people could choose which meal they'd prefer. Shrug.

After breakfast all of us except Stu went back up to see how clear the view was, and the mountain was even shinier! The Nats immediately wanted to back up the cable cars but I was worried about making Stu have to wait around for us :(  Stu said it was ok though, so the others quickly checked out, and we raced up for the 10:10 pirate ship. The view on the lake was lovely for the first five minutes until it hid behind the caldera rim :) Arrived at the north end and hopped on the rope way.

Mount Fuji over Lake Ashi
Shiny!! After breakfast the mountain was shiny so we decided to go up the cable cars again 

Hakone Shrine Tori
Hakone Shrine Tori 

Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi from the pirate ship
Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi from the pirate ship

Shiny!!

Mount Fuji behind a cable car at Owakudani
Mount Fuji behind a cable car at Owakudani 

Mount Fuji from Owakudani
Mount Fuji from Owakudani

From this point on (actually it was really earlier heh), Fuji became known as Shiny :)

The view just got better and better as we went up the mountain to the highest point (1044m). It was sooo pretty (altho still hazy). Took a bunch of photos from a few locations before heading back down the cable car and onto another pirate ship (actually the same ship all three times heh).

One of the pirate ships on Lake Ashi
One of the pirate ships on Lake Ashi 

Mount Komagatake up from Hakone-en
Mount Komagatake up from Hakone-en. You can get a chairlift up there,
but it's not part of the Hakone Free Pass. 

One of the many bird photos Stu took while we went up the mountain
One of the many bird photos Stu took while we went up the mountain
Photo by Stu 

Mount Fuji from the Detached Palace gardens
Mount Fuji from the Detached Palace gardens
Photo by Stu


Came back to collect Stu and our luggage and talked to the hotel manager (Mac) who was also the waiter, and a funny dude. Got him to take a group shot of us.

Mac the hotel owner and his bonsai
Mac the hotel owner and his bonsai 

Second of our two group shots, taken by Mac
Second of our two group shots, taken by Mac

Walked up to the bus stop. We took an express to Hakone-Yamoto because the slower more touristy bus would have been too hard to get us and all our luggage onto. From there we got the little train to Odawara. And from Odawara a shinkansen to Shinagawa.

Natty and Sandra went on to Tokyo station to locker their bags, while we went to our hotel to dump ours (epic king sized bed! and most exclusive hotel yet). Hopped back on the Yamonote line to get to Harajuku. The idea was to meet the others at the Scottish Restaurant there before going to the 100 yen shop (the Nats were desperate to go heh). We did actually find them which was most useful as neither of them had phones and none of us had ever been there before :) So had a crepe to keep us going (it was about 4:30 and none of us had had lunch yet) and went to the 100 yen shop next door. Now this is supposed to be a big/famous 100 yen shop, but was really boring. Pretty much all of the junk there can be found in Australian $2 shops. The one we went to in Akihabara last week was better, even though it was about one tenth the size. (Apparently the one in Kokura that the Nats stayed back for was much more betterer)

Takeshita Street in Harajuku
Take-a-shit-a Street .. :) (Takeshita Street) in Harajuku 

100 Yen shop in Harajuku
100 Yen shop in Harajuku - it was pretty lame

Cosplay shop in Harajuku
Cosplay shop in Harajuku

Wandered up and down Takeshita Street a bit more and then went to the Scottish Restaurant for a light dinner before continuing on. We decided to go to Shibuya to see the crazy scramble pedestrian crossing. Way cool! :) We criss-crossed it several times just for fun :) Then we just wandered mostly at random for a while, looking at all the pretties and shops.

Shibuya - Times Square of Tokyo
Shibuya - the Times Square of Tokyo 

Dog mural in Shibuya
Dog mural in Shibuya 

Hachikō statue in Shibuya
Hachikō statue in Shibuya 

Shibuya crossing from above
Shibuya crossing from above

After our (well, mine) legs were about to drop off, we hopped on a train back to Shimbashi and "home". Popped out again to get some food for Stu and then collapsed in a heap.

Set an all-time records on the pedometer - 23058 steps!!  Feet are really really achy, will have to try and find some sitty-type activities tomorrow...

Steps walked today: 23058
Photos taken by me: 373
Photos taken by Stu: 123

Leave a comment