Saturday, April 28, 2012

Discover Japan Part 5 || Mount Fuji, Lake Ashi, Gotemba and Shinkansen Ride

having breakfast
Minnie mouse in the house!!

Since today will be a long journey, we head out early in the morning.. breakfast at 7 and we're already on the bus at 8.. The weather expected to be cold and raining.. Mr. David said it all depends on our luck whether we are abble to go up to Mount Fuji or just gonna see it from the mountain foot.. So we just head to Mount Fuji.. Can't remember how long is the journey.. but i noticed that the toll cost us couple of thousands yen..

won't sit still in the bus

Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan located on Honshu Island at 3,776.24 m (12,389 ft).An active stratovolcano that last erupted in 1707–08, Mount Fuji lies about 100 kilometres (62 mi) south-west of Tokyo, and can be seen from there on a clear day. Mount Fuji's exceptionally symmetrical cone, which is snow-capped several months a year, is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and photographs, as well as visited by sightseers and climbers. It is one of Japan's "Three Holy Mountains" along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku.
The temperature is very low at the high altitude, and the cone is covered by snow for several months of the year. The lowest recorded temperature is −38.0 °C, and the highest temperature was 17.8 °C recorded in June 2008.

the view from inside the bus
The snow became more and more deeper as we go higher.. I think after the 3rd level, the ground was totally covered by snow.. except for the road.. i think they plough the road early in the morning.. it is still raining.. but no more mist as we go higher.. approaching 5th level, there were no more trees.. i see white was as if the snow were shining.. shiny white I can say.. From the bus we can see that the wind was also very strong.. people were walking slowly and looked like they were going to be blown away.. There were already lots of people at the 5th level station.. 

they were excited seeing snow everywhere
my mum conquering Mount Fuji in the cold
white all around
We alighted the bus somewhere near the gifts shops.. So we put on all the warm clothes that we brought.. i barely can lifted my hands.. it was too tight at the sleeve.. eheheheh.. i pur on little Adam jacket and his gloves.. and also a winter hat.. I was quite confident with what I have on me.. but I was totally wrong.. i guess it was the timing i stepped out of the bus.. the wind was blowing to my face and i almost choked!! from there I was not quite confident at all.. I was shaking (freezing) and walking towards the wind holding an umbrella.. not a clever thing to do.. With my hands and legs shaking, we walked up the hill.. According to Mr. David, the view there would be lovely for picture taking.. Half way to Mr. David i stopped.. the road was already slippery.. It doesn't feel that I'm wearing shoes anymore.. As if I was walking barefooted.. I ran all the way to the nearest gift shop.. and I sit and calm myself..

she join me in the shop
my boys with the snow
still excited with the snow
me dad & mum
me parents with their grandboys (is there such a word??)
my parents with their elder grandkids
final shot before we're off

Couple of minutes later the whole family joined me.. ahahahaha.. such a weakling I am.. I used to like cold weather.. I think maybe I've lots most of my fat?? While waited for the whole family taking pictures with the snow (yes..I have no picture as a proof that I conquered Mount Fuji) and a toilet break.. I hung around at the shop heater.. ehehehehe.. cheater eyhh?? but I met with the shop owner that greet me "Selamat Datang.. Malaysia??" cute!!

at the foot of the mountain
they love the cold
us at the entrance

Then we head back to our bus.. and off we go for our lunch.. another Japanese meal.. at Gotemba.. At the foot of the mountain we stopped to take picture at the entrance.. Something interesting that we discovered during the ride down.. There were this stretch of road that the Japanese designed that when the vehicle's tyre touch the road surface, a sound was made.. I mean the road on that stratch they designed that their Japanese anthem music were playing.. the music was made by the sound of the tyre touching the road surface.. so the driver have to maintain at a certain speed so that the anthem was playing correctly.. the sound was quite loud especially when we open the window.. That was something new to me.. and interesting..

Gotemba (sometimes Gotenba), is a city located on the southeastern flank of Mt. Fuji in Shizuoka, Japan. As of 2010, the city has an estimated population of 88,523 and the density of 455 persons per km². The total area is 194.63 km².

in front of the restaurant
can't wait to eat
the hot soba
fresh sashimi
tempura and ther side dishes
little Adam enjoying his lunch set
Mr. David showing the right way to eat
little Adam with mama
little Adam and papa

By the time we reached Gotemba it was already lunch time.. and Mr. David has already arranged for us a place at the restaurant.. it is tempura and sashimi.. this is my first time trying sashimi.. never dared to try before.. the food i tell you was delicious.. I mean I can eat.. little Adam can eat.. and Mr. AZ can eat.. infact the whole family ate.. except for the sashimi.. my father, sister and nephew ate the whole thing.. even our portion.. I manage to try a salmon and tuna.. the rest i leave it to my father.. the soba was nice.. little Adam enjoyed it very much.. It must be the hot soup.. it goes well with the cold weather..

another type of sakura
we're here
After lunch, we went to Gotemba Premium Outlet.. We didn't spend much time here.. somemore we didn't intend to shop.. so just look-look, see-see according to Mr. David.. Furthermore we were rushing to catch the boat ride at Lake Ashi..We spent around half an hour to 1 hour there.. the area was huge!! and there were lots of locals.. 

walking towards the ship in the rain
the old-fashion ship
in the ship
twin sister.. heee
the view
watching the scenery that passed by

Then we went to Lake Ashi somewhere in Hakone.. It was till cold and raining.. On the boat ride there were 2 men wearing a captain uniform.. I thought they were staff of the boat company.. So I ask little Adam whether he wanted to take pictures with pirate (according to him).. Luckily he refused because both men charges for every picture taken with them.. ahahahah..

Lake Ashi, or Hakone Lake, Ashinoko Lake, is a scenic lake in the Hakone area of Kanagawa Prefecture in Honshū, Japan. It is a crater lake that lies along the southwest wall of the caldera of Mount Hakone, a complex volcano. The lake is known for its views of Mt. Fuji and its numerous hot springs. A number of pleasure boats and ferries traverse the lake, providing scenic views for tourists and passengers. Several of the boats are full-scale replicas of man-of-war pirate ships.
Most visitors to Lake Ashi stay in the nearby resorts or visit some of the local attractions, including taking the aerial tram Hakone Ropeway to The Great Boiling Valley. From Togendai on Lake Ashi, the Hakone Ropeway aerial tram connects to Sounzan, the upper terminus of the Hakone Tozan Cable Car funicular railway. This in turn connects to the Hakone Tozan Line mountain railway for the descent to Odawara and a connection to Tokyo by the Tōkaidō Shinkansen.
The name means "lake of reeds" in Japanese: ashi is "reed", and ko is "lake".
Arriving at the other end of the lake
at Odawara Station
walking to the track
waiting for the train
the train arriving
After crossing the lake, our bus was already waiting for us on the other side.. funny arrangement right?? By that time it was almost dark.. so Mr. David suggested that we head to Odawara Station to catch Shinkansen to Tokyo.. so that we wouldn't arrived late.. We took the 6.15 p.m Shinkansen to Tokyo.. The ride was super smooth..
The Shinkansen, also known as the "Bullet Train", is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan operated by four Japan Railways Group companies. Starting with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen in 1964, the network has expanded to currently consist of 2,387.7 km (1,483.6 mi) of lines with maximum speeds of 240–300 km/h (149–186 mph), 283.5 km (176.2 mi) of Mini-shinkansen lines with a maximum speed of 130 km/h (81 mph), and 10.3 km (6.4 mi) of spur lines with Shinkansen services. The network presently links most major cities on the islands of Honshu and Kyushu, with construction of a link to the northern island of Hokkaido underway and plans to increase speeds on the Tōhoku Shinkansen up to 320 km/h (199 mph). Test runs have reached 443 km/h (275 mph) for conventional rail in 1996, and up to a world record 581 km/h (361 mph) for maglev trainsets in 2003.
The Tōkaidō Shinkansen is the world's busiest high-speed rail line. Carrying 151 million passengers a year (March 2008), it has transported more passengers (over 4 billion, network over 6 billion) than any other high speed line in the world. Between Tokyo and Osaka, the two largest metropolises in Japan, up to thirteen trains per hour with sixteen cars each (1,323 seats capacity) run in each direction with a minimum headway of three minutes between trains. Though largely a long-distance transport system, the Shinkansen also serves commuters who travel to work in metropolitan areas from outlying cities.

we took this coach
me with the train
the emergency plan
having his snack

with papa

the train head

From Tokyo Station we took the underground to Ikebukuro Station and walked back to our Hotel.. it was a very tiring day.. so early nite in without dinner for us.. heeeee..

at the tokyo underground station
waiting for our ticket
at the ticket machine
little Sara and little Adam
getting his ticket
tube ride back to Ikebukuro


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