Fuji-san shows his face

21 11 2009

While Fuji-san was well and truly hidden while we were on his doorstep in Hakone, on mum and dad’s last morning in Kisarazu he popped up above the clouds and we were able to see his snow covered peak. We were able to see him as we walked to the school bus stop on Tuesday morning.

Across the port of Kisarazu, over Tokyo Bay and about 150km away sits Mt Fuji.

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Photos from mum and dad’s camera

21 11 2009

Photos from mum and dad’s camera of our time away in Hakone, Yokohama and Kamakura, along with some shots from mum and dad’s shinkansen trip up north to Akita and Sendai.





Panorama in Gora Park

17 11 2009

Tried out the panorama-making software for our new camera. The photos didn’t fit together quite so well considering the lack of tripod, but it was still fun…

Gora Park panorama around the fountain.





Expensive Kyoto Mushrooms

16 11 2009
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The picture speaks for itself.





Kamakura

16 11 2009

We woke up to a 22 degree sunny day for Kamakura, although no doubt up in the mountainous Hakone it was still foggy and raining.

We caught the train south to Kamakura (along with the Sunday crowds) and then a local bus to the Daibutsu. We wandered around and inside the Daibutsu, marvelling at it’s (hollow) construction. The seated Buddha is about 11 m tall and was built almost 800 years ago. The buildings that housed the Daibutsu were destroyed multiple times by tsunami and today it sits uncovered.

We walked down the hill to Hase Dera and ambled through the gardens, looking at the Kannon statues and buildings. The main Kannon statue was carved from a single piece of camphor wood and was covered in gold leaf. There was a nice view of the beach, and several hawks circling the skies about the temple. We walked through a dark cave with a low ceiling , the Benten-kutsu cave, that contained statues of mostly female gods.

We walked back in the direction of the station, having lunch at Cafe Life Force on the way. We had the soup set and the ume pilaf followed by a rhubarb cheesecake, brown rice waffle with maple syrup and rum and rasin icecream.

We caught the train back to Yokohama where mum and dad wandered around China town. Then we had curry-rice for dinner.





Yokohama

16 11 2009

From Hakone we took a local bus to Odawara station, took the Excellent Express 30000 romance car train to Shinjuku, then went out to Kichijoji to Deva Deva cafe. We ate pizzas and burgers with hot lemonade and ginger chai. Benno had a banana cheesecake to finish.

Then we headed south to Yokohama. We walked through MM21, past the Landmark Tower (the tallest building in Japan at 296m, apparently), the old sailing ship, the Cosmo World amusements, into World Porters and around the shops. It was still too misty to see across the bay to Kisarazu, or behind us to Mt Fuji.

We had dinner in Yokohama station’s Lumine department store at Chaya. We had another delicious meal – panini, bean curry, vegetable curry, millet burger followed by more desserts of berry pie, tofu cheesecake, nut caramel slice and a sweet potato slice. All very yum.

We walked off our dinner and rode on the tallest clock in the world, the Cosmo Clock ferris wheel. The view by night was very pretty, but we still couldn’t see Kisarazu across the bay.

Pizzas and yogi burgers at Deva Deva Cafe, Kichijoji.

Pizzas and yogi burgers from Deva Deva cafe, Kichijoji.


Dinner from Chaya, Yokohama. From top left, bean curry, millet burg, vegetable curry and roasted vegetable panini.

Dinner from Chaya, Yokohama. From top left, bean curry, millet burg, vegetable curry and roasted vegetable panini.


Desserts from Chaya. From top left, berry pie, nut caramel pie, backed tofu cheesecake and sweet potato pie.

Desserts from Chaya. From top left, berry pie, nut caramel pie, backed tofu cheesecake and sweet potato pie.


Benno and Lara by Nippon Maru, an old sailing ship in Yokohama.

Benno and Lara by Nippon Maru, an old sailing ship in Yokohama.


Cosmo Clock by night

Cosmo Clock by night.


All 70 floors of the 296m tall Landmark Tower by night, Yokohama.

All 70 floors of the 296m tall Landmark Tower by night, Yokohama.


Yokohama's night time cityscape.

Yokohama's night time cityscape.





Hakone…but no Fuji-san

16 11 2009

We visited Hakone, to the west of Tokyo from where Mt Fuji can be seen (if you’re lucky enough to visit on a clear, cloudless day).
The romance car took us from Shinjuku to Odawara, then we met up with mum and dad who were on the JR line and took the switch-back train to Hakone-Yumoto.
We took a local bus to Tenzan onsen, an upmarket onsen. It had lovely hot spring pools – a choice of about five including rock pools, an inside bath, a cold bath and a steamy grotto all with views of the forest and mountains.
From there we caught another local bus to our accommodation which was equipped with 3 hot spring baths of its own. We used the onsen 2 times a day while we stayed there. It was so relaxing and warm in the cold, rainy weather.
The next day was overcast and rained throughout the day so Mt Fuji was not to be seen. But we still managed to ride through the multiple forms of transport – the bus to Gora, the Hakone Tozan cablecar to Sounzan followed by the ropeway to Togendai, the Hakone sightseeing pirate ship cruise across Lake Ashi to Hakone Machi, a walk through the Ancient Cedar lined path alongside the old highway (some trees are up to 360 years old) and bus back to Gora.
In the afternoon the wet weather held off so we walked through Gora Park past the colourful autumn foliage and through the warm glasshouses of bougainvilleas.
We took the bus back to our accommodation, warmed ourselves with another onsen bath in the slightly sulfurous waters and had a huge stirfry for dinner.