Island Hopping: Mt. Fuji & Hakone, Japan

As a Christmas present, my uncle (umm cousin? I guess he’s technically my mom’s first cousin) booked me a day trip through japanican.com for a Mt. Fuji and Hakone day trip.

The bus left Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal exactly at 9am and took about two hours to get to Mount Fuji.  Bus tours and even trains are interesting in Japan because every ticket corresponds to an exact reserved seat on the bus or train so I took my reserved seat at the front of the bus.

Over the course of two hours, we learned some Japanese words like how to say good morning and watched a video on the importance of Mount Fuji.  Unfonuately before we got there, the tour guide (a Japanese woman with perfect British English) said that we couldn’t make it to the Fifth Station because of snow and ice. So we only made it to the First Station which was nice but you couldn’t really see the peak of Mount Fuji.

Also, stations are really just “levels” – the fifth is higher than the first.

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You can sorta see the peak of Mt. Fuji

Since we couldn’t see much, we went down to a park 15 minutes from the first station. We had much better views!

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Since it was lunch time, we drove right over to a restaurant on the other side of the lake for a traditional Japanese meal.  Per the tour guide, there’s no wrong way to eat a Japanese meal but she was once told to start with soup since it gives a “warning” to the stomach.

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What’s missing from this photo is the massive amount of rice I got in addition to the fried fish I also ate. The black container is the soup that is lit with a candle underneath it.

After lunch, we headed to Hakone for a Lake Ashi cruise. Sadly, we couldn’t go on the ropeway as planned because of the wind so we ended up at an art museum instead.

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View from the boat!

Narukawa Art Museum itself was incredibly small but had some great art…

and amazing views of town and Mt. Fuji…

After the museum, we headed back to Tokyo and traffic was not bad at all. We got back in two hours right in the middle of rush hour.

Overall, it was a good tour even though I spent a lot of it on the bus – traveling there and back but Mount Fuji is beautiful and a lot of the areas we visited weren’t packed with people which was nice.  Also, the tour guide was amazing.  Definitely my favorite tour guide ever!


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