2nd stop of Backpacking Japan with Travel Factor.
I thought long and hard whether to bring along a neck pillow on a backpacking trip, it's not an inflatable one but one like a bean bag which takes up a lot of baggage space hoping it will make me sleep better on overnight buses. I have sleeping problems, I don't get to sleep anywhere, anytime. So I did bring one with me.
We took the Kintetsu Highway Bus from Kyoto to Kawaguchiko Station; twas a nine hour overnight bus. We were delighted to see that there was three rows (all aisle) of individual seats. Unfortunately, the road was a lil bumpy and the bus was running no more than it's speed limit of 50kmph. The aircon bus was warm, i guess the wool blanket, pashmina, and jacket were definitely useless. We complained to the bus driver that it was warm and if he could switch off the light but to no avail. At 2am, the lights were finally off and there goes an orchestra of snores on the bus and one blurted out, do you have something to kill a fly? We had to burst into laughter, our tour leader snored a magnified version of a buzzing fly beating its wings. At somepoint another snores in a different tune and an earphone falls off with disco music loud enough for us to hear. Well, well, well... i barely had sleep on that overnight bus ride.(more info on trips from Kyoto to Kawaguchiko here.)
We arrived Kawaguchiko Station a few minutes earlier than expected. While waiting for our complimentary hostel transfers, we spotted Mt. Fuji from behind the station. I took a snapshot by the window, and gladly I did because finding Fuji san the rest of day was difficult on a seemingly sunny but cloudy day.
|Mt. Fuji on the background|
After a while, my fellow travellers spotted a Filipino, from abs-cbn... ecstatic about seeing fellow Filipino (which is rare in Japan), he said he'll be back with his camera. He came back with his camera and Ya-chang! Remember Ya-chang? He was discovered for being candid as a contestant in Wowowee; they were there filming for Bayaning Pilipino, to be shown sometime in December. They caught a video of us with him at the station, hopefully we get our tv debut soon. They invited us to join them on their tour to Oishi Park, unfortunately, we still have our luggage in tow... we ought to check-in at our hostel first. Ya-chang insisted, that we can leave our luggage in the station, anyway it won't get lost... nothing gets lost in Japan. Really?! (tourists like us do! haha)
|abs-cbn camera man with Ya-chang!|
Kawaguchi Lake is the jump-off point to see Mt. Fuji (from afar). The place is serene with lovely little towns best for rest and relaxation. Travel Factor provided us with a ticket around Kawaguchiko on Retro Bus for 1000 yen. Later did we realize that with limited time, it is wiser to avail of a day tour like Mt. Fuji Bus Tour for about 4,900 yen (or a 70 minute open bus Kaba Sightseeing Bus for 1,200 yen also looked interesting). It gets you to see more places faster since the retro bus schedule is not too frequent.
|town's specialty Hoton Noodles for lunch.|
|Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway; no Mt. Fuji in sight, it was covered up with smog.|
|Oishi Park: very few flowers bloom in the summer; but the corn on the cob & blueberry ice cream were sweet!|
|more info about Fuji Five Lakes / Kawaguchiko http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6906.html.|
|Thomas the Train Bus to Fuji Q Highlands and so my nephew asked, "did you buy it?"|
|ecstatic knowing that there is Thomas Land in Fuji Q Highland; my nephews will love this!|
We capped the day with a dip on a forty degree jacuzzi at the onsen to pamper those tired muscles. There is proper etiquette to be observed at the onsen; but oops i came across this the morning after.
DIY post trip accounting: (1 yen = .53 pesos)
Y8000 bus fare from Kyoto to Kawaguchiko on Kintetsu Highway Bus
Y2700 1 night @ K's House 2,700 yen/person, 6pax sharing
Y1000 retro bus
Y1300 hoton noodles
Y800 dinner from the grocery
Y1700 bus fare from Kawaguchiko to Tokyo Station/Shinjuku Station