June 24, 2011

Mount Fuji-Hakone Tour

Got to travel to Mount Fuji! I was really excited with this tour since this was the first time I saw real snow. We got the Mount Fuji-Hakone Tour by Japan Gray Line, which costs around 13,000 Yen with lunch. The tour is for a whole day and we enjoyed it.
Sneak Peak of Mount Fuji when we Passed by a Near by Village
On the way to Mount Fuji-Hakone
The tour starts around 9am but we were the first to be picked up so we had to be ready by 6:30am. Our tour guide was an old Japanese guy. He was a bit serious but he was very informative and I like the way he explained things. The tour was by bus and took around 2 to 3 hours travel time. So I suggest pee while you can. There was a stopover somewhere. Unlike in our country we only have gas stations for stopovers, they have this huge parking lot with comfort rooms and convenient stores.
Stopover Station Restaurant and Convenient Store
Stopover Station Parking Lot
Going up Mount Fuji
On the way up, there was snow everywhere. I was really happy to see white everywhere. The roads where slippery that some cars couldn't go up the mountain. Some almost went off the road. Our tour guide calmed us down by saying that our bus has snow tires while they most likely didn't have.
Slippery Road to Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji
We got to 2nd station of Mount Fuji. Our tour guide said that it was too snowy that we could not go higher. Supposedly our tour should reach the 5th station of Mount Fuji, which is 8,000 feet in altitude. I was really disappointed. We were given only 30 minutes at the second station of Mount Fuji. We played around in the snow and took wonderful photos of Mount Fuji. We were still lucky that we had a clear sky that day. Usually tourists wouldn't see Mount Fuji as clear as we had. The temperature was negative 1 degrees. It was freezing cold.
Kids Playing in the Snow at Mount Fuji 2nd Station
Mount Fuji with Second Station Convenient Store
Beautiful Mount Fuji
Another view of Mount Fuji
Second Station Area
Tree Shadow
Lunch at Hakone Lake Hotel
Although most of us didn't want to leave Mount Fuji yet, we had no choice. On our way back I saw a beautiful field. It was so relaxing to see. When we got to the hotel I didn't though that they would have great food. But wow the food tasted great and very well presented.
Passed by a relaxing view of fields and mountains
Our Lunch at Hakone Lake Hotel
Shrimp and Chicken with Potato Wedges
Hakone Sky Gondola
Our next destination was Owakudani Valley and we rode the Hakone Sky Gondola to get there. It's a cable car with a great 360 degree view. You could also see Owakudani Valley and Mount Fuji while on top.
Going to ride the Hakone Sky Gondola Cable Car
Inside the Cable Car
Mount Fuji View from Hakone Sky Gondola
Owakudani Valley View from Hakone Sky Gondola
Owakudani Valley
There was lots of shops in Owakudani Valley. I was really tempted to buy so many cute souvenirs, but I said to myself there are more shops elsewhere. At the back of the shops I saw a wonderful view of Mount Fuji.
Owakudani Valley
Mount Fuji View at Owakudani Valley
Refrigerator Magnet Souvenirs
Pirate Boat Cruise on Lake Ashi
After Owakudani Valley, we went straight to Lake Ashi. Which the tour guide said where the 9 headed dragon lives. It's a beautiful lake with breath taking views. The bus went to the other side to wait for us. But when we got off the boat, some of the other tourists on our tour did not. So we had to fetch them at the other side again wasting time. Some people just don't listen.
Pirate Boats at Lake Ashi
Pirate Boat Captain
Lake Ashi Harbor
Lake Ashi Sunset View
Knots Techniques
Lake Ashi Views
Saw Japanese Cokes on board
Other Side of Lake Ashi. Cute Coffee Shop Building

Video Aboard the Pirate Ship at Lake Ashi

Back to Tokyo
We returned to Tokyo via the same bus. Some of the other tourist on our tour took the package with the bullet train. They were dropped at Odawara and went to Tokyo via Bullet Train on their own. I asked the tour guide if we could join the bullet train. He said we could, but we had to pay an additional 3000 yen per person.  It was expensive and tiring so we didn't bother. We just relaxed and slept at the bus. While waiting for our tour guide on Odawara station, we went to starbucks to check out some tumblers. They have very cute tumblers so we bought 3. It was very cheap compare to my country since it had free coffee.
Saw a Castle on our way back to Tokyo
We bought 3 Starbucks Tumblers
Very Cute Japanese Starbucks Tumblers

More details on our 2010 Japan Itinerary

2 comments:

Dylan said...

Nice photos... would love to go there soon. :)

Keith said...

Thanks Dylan.. Maybe next time I'll have more travels like you..:)