Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day 4: Hakone > Tokyo

We awoke the next morning to a picturesque view of bamboos outside the window.

The futon we slept on.

View from inside the room.

Door leading to our room

A little foyer before the room

Off we went for the open area onsen.
We had soaked in the indoor onsen the night before.
This guesthouse has no private toilets/shower rooms.
We had no problem with using the shared toilets as they are kept very clean.
Shower be done before the soak at onsen area so no problem either.
We had pre-booked the night before for our slot.

A little tree next to the onsen pool.

See the water is more milky than the one at Miyanoshita.

Went back to the main building after 30min soak.

What you see when you step inside the building.

Recept area on the left but this is not a typical hotel so don't expect anyone to be seated there all the time.

The long hallway leading to the rooms.
There are some guestrooms on the right.
On the left is the dining room, ladies', indoor onsen and shower room.

Kitchenette at the end of the hallway.

You could have breakfast in dining room for either 300 or 500yen (can't remember).
But the room is free to use even if you don't order from them.
We had cup noodles for breakfast.
We love Japanese cup noodles.
Though also MSG laden but the noodles very springy and the flavours tasted more authentic.

Internet usage at 100yen/30min but the host Yumiko-san asked if we wanna do a short survey for them and we could use it for free.
I thought, ok, why not?

Taken at the PC workstation by a Singaporean family who was staying 2 nights at the guesthouse.
* My not yet makeup face *

Japanese keyboard is a little different from ours and I kept accidentally keying the wrong key and had to ask for help to get it back to English text.

Little gift from Yumiko-san.
Traditional Japanese cloth for tying gift/bundle or simply framed for wall decoration.
I love it!

The signage to Fuji-Hakone Guest House.

Only 1-2min walk away from the signage.

We took the bus to Gora.
The day's plan was to eat the 7-year-egg strongly recommended by Jeanne.

Yakult brand coffee from the vending machine.

Loads of 土产店 at Gora station. And also all around Hakone.

I'm always attracted to cutie PET bottles.

This is really random. Duh...
Ok think I remember I took the pic to disturb Mr S.

Long queue for the cable car ride.

The ticketing booth has no queue.
I'm guessing that's cuz most ppl are using the Hakone Free Pass.

Waiting for Tozan cablecar

Onboard and going uphill.
2 grouchy faces in 1 pic.

We took all the way to the last stop to transfer to the ropeway.

Taken by some tourist after countless attempts of 自拍..

That same grouchy 伯伯 must be thinking I'm mad.

We reached the final stop.

Queueing to take the ropeway which is like our cablecar.
The Tozan cablecar we had taken earlier is somewhat like HK's Peak Tram.

Breathtaking views from the top.

I love this one!

The cars look tiny from up there.

Think that's Sulphuric gases from the volcano area.
Not too sure.

Hubs wanted me to take this.
He was thinking of 秋明山车神.

A glimpse of Fuji-san.

Dunno why I kept doing the crooked mouth thingy the whole time?

Fruit stall and loads of 土产店upon arrival to Owakudani.

Very sunny up there. Me got no sunnies.

Big warning signboard.

Route to yet another hot spring but we didn't go as the luggage is too heavy to be lugged uphill.

妹妹posing here.

姐姐also pose but cameraman no take same view leh.

Me with Hello Kitty.
Loads of Hello Kitty keychains/handphone chains, hankies in all the 土产店.
Don't really like those. Not the cutie red/pink ones we normally see at Sanrio counters.

Hungry hungry, we queue up thinking that they sell the black egg here.

Tea heated by spring water for sale.

Wrong queue!
No black eggs. I bought a 菜包instead.
Tasted so-so. About 300yen I think.

Asked around and the shop is only next door.
The famous egg. Eat one and gain 7years.
5 eggs for 500yen.

Black from the outside.
Still warm when we got it.

Still white inside. I also took a sachet of salt after seeing the Japanese do so.
But it was really not neccessary.
From my little observation, the Japanese taste buds seem to be on the salty side.
So we gained a total of 50yrs for eating the eggs :)

Me eating ice cream made from famous Hokkaido milk.
Very expensive. 400yen.

Bathing little buddha statue with hot spring water.

Proven again. My photography skills is indeed better.

A little 神台next to little buddha.

I decided to walk uphill myself with Hubs waiting down below.
Same luggage issue again.

Another warning signboard.
Was really stinky even before halfway up there.

Lalang-like wild plants on the way up.

Very hot spring water here. That's where they cook the eggs.

They also sell the eggs up there.

Still a little more to go but I stopped here.
The smell was really overwhelming and walking upslope was quite tiring.

We left the place and back to the 土产area.

So happy can drink Hakone spring water.

Next stop is to go onboard the pirate ship for a cruise around Lake Ashi.

Ready to board.

I saw the cute swan paddle boats onboard the ship and regretted not renting one earlier on.

Goodbye Togendai-ko.

I saw more of the swans and the scenic moutain view.

Was really chilly up here.

We stood all the way to the other end.

I spot a little house by itself at the top of the hill.
Wonder if anyone staying inside.

The ending point was Hakonemachi-ko.

I was very tempted to buy a stick of corn on the cob from the street hawker but the pricetag deterred me.
Paying SGD6 for that seemed a crazy move.

Consolated myself with a bunch of grapes.
I realised that all (if not, most) of the items are sold at the price even if sold by different vendors.
Will elaborate that later on if I have the chance.

The trip to Hakone had ended for us at this point.
We board an express coach towards Hakone-Yumoto station and from there, switched train to Odawara and switched again to Shinjuku.
All these are covered by Hakone Free Pass.
There's also an option to take the Romance Car (literally an express train service) direct to Shinjuku but have to top up 870yen/pax.

We decided to have dinner at Shinjuku before heading to Andon Ryokan for the night.

We were about to have our worst meal in Japan.
That's me too tired and hungry to search any further.
The guy on the left is a damn Taiwanese guy who talked a lot of nonsense and know nothing about Japan despite staying there.
And we ate at his Zi Char stall. Biggest mistake of all.

While waiting for food, I roamed around that "back alley" area and snapped away.
The whole street seemed to be selling yakitori of all kinds.
All kinds of meat besides chicken.
All the shops were small and looked to have a seating capacity of max 10pax.

Had wanted to eat this initially but there was already a queue there.

My soup noodles with 野菜at the Zi Char stall arrived.
Full of my most hated beansprouts and I had so much difficulty eating properly.

A side dish recommended by the Taiwanese.
Cold chicken dish which Hubs said should be a good accompaniment for ice cold beer.
And damn that guy who kept insisting we should order beer just to join in Japanese culture.
The Japanese don't drink soft drinks with their meals.
Heck we both don't like beer. Is that his problem?

Hub's fried noodles. No comments about that.
I think we paid about 1400 or 1500yen for that lousy meal which Yoshinoya won't have offered a better experience and any Zi Char stall in sg would have served better food.

This is where we sat for our dinner.
(Red case at the corner belongs to us)

Took a slow stroll around Shinjuku after dinner.
That Fram brand of ciggies really cute.
Too bad I have no use for it.
Their advertising made the product look so harmless I nearly wanted to buy a pack for Ah Teo to try.
Luckily I did not.

Towards Andon Ryokan finally.
We had to take JR to Ueno to switch to the Hibiya line and stop at Minowa station.

Funny campaign initiated by the subway company.

It was cold but Mr S had to have his coke.
And a 500ml one too.

Oh yes, you can't smoke freely on the roads in Japan.
They have designated spots for smoking.
You can hardly see smokers smoking on the streets.
The Japs are really rules abiding eventhough no fine is imposed for not following the rule.

And we finally found Andon Ryokan but it's very late.
10pm+ and the reception lady nearly wanted to retire for the day.

The entrance to our room.
We were to leave our shoes outside the room.
Room was like raised on a platform.

Pic shows the whole of the room.
Seems really small right?
But it's really comfy and cosy inside and this happened to be my favourite accomodation in Japan.
Shower room and toilets are shared.

View from inside the room out.
We had a little space for the luggage.
I'm pretty sure those travellers who were staying for their whole trip would not have enough floor space to place the luggages.
It was really good enough for us though.
We like this place very much but only staying for 1 night.

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