Blogs from Shizuoka, Japan, Asia

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Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji May 21st 2015

On Wednesday, I decided to go check out the Shiba-Sakura Festival near Mount Fuji. People have been talking about it and all the tours were sold out, so I figured it was something worth seeing. After a hearty breakfast (again, not the easiest thing to eat here for me, I’ll be honest) at Starbuck (yes I am very very ashamed, I felt so American! But in my defence I really needed soymilk and food I knew I was going to be able to eat) I jumped on the trains, so easy and convenient! Also my first experience on the Shinkansen, which was pretty nice. The trip was long though; by the time I made it at the festival it took me 3 hours. Mount Fuji: well I expected something slightly different, like still snow on it, ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji April 18th 2015

Es war uns vergönnt den Mount Fuji bei schönstem Wetter und klarer Sicht zu sehen. Überraschenderweise war dank der Höhe auch die Kirschblüte noch in voller Pracht.... read more

Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji November 21st 2014

Today we decided to explore Hakone below our cable-car stop. The distance between the cable-car stops is only about 250m but the slope is very steep and justifies the cable-car. Many of the streets are paved with concrete with deep grooves, both for traction on the slope and to shed water. Although there are few footpaths and roads are very narrow many people still walk on them. When a bus or truck comes you scramble to the side as best as you can. In what passes as the main street of Gora we noticed a multi story facade of cladding, with construction sounds coming from behind it. Intrigued we turned into the side street and discovered it was hiding a demolition site. In this area it seems to be important that everything looks pleasing. We spent ... read more
Despite steeps walks and lots of stairs the gardens were a popular place to take aged parents.
Bougainvillea was blooming in the hot house.
Not sure what this is but the colours are stunning.

Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji November 18th 2014

Our hotel in Hakone is a holiday stay for Japanese, complete with a volcanic spa and traditional Yukatas to wear in the hotel. A few staff speak English well, a few can get by and for the rest we resort to gestures and our very limited Japanese. Our room is quite generous and includes a tami mat area as the lounge and a selection of traditional Yukata robes and sandles for use in the hotel. The one size Yukatas work OK but the footwear is small. It took a long time to work out how to use the urn for hot water and of course our bathroom has a multi function toilet and sink. We are lucky that we can access hotel wifi from our room as most guests have to go to the reception area. ... read more
We think we're turning Japanese.
The funicular approaches Naka-Gora station.
Another crowded queue, this time for the ropeway.

Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji October 2nd 2014

Today was my last day in Japan and I'd booked a tour to visit the iconic mountain Fuji. I'd booked a pick up point when I organised the tour but I hadn't had time to go find it.when us spoken to the guy on reception he said it wasn't too far away and I could just grab a taxi in the morning, so that is what I did. I was up and organised extra early, I'd got the voucher printed out and I'd got the hotel address translated into Japanese for the taxi driver and I'd bought supplies for the trip as I wasn't going to have time for breakfast. So true enough I flagged down a taxi, he understood the address details and took me there. The pick up time was 7.55am and I had ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji September 1st 2014

Began the journey to Tokyo departing Naha, Okinawa at roughly 12:30.. By the way getting around in Japan is little difficult with the whole language barrier thing. Arrived in Tokyo Narita Airport in search of two things, My bags first and foremost then train tickets to a small town at the base of Mt. Fuji named Kawaguchiko. So my wife and I grabbed our bags and began our long journey! So keep in mind in a big city such as Tokyo public trans is a big deal! 13.8 MILLION people! let me tell you how high the nerves were trying to navigate through the mess of all this, train tickets that have zero English and very little English speaking employee's.. oh the headaches.. We're going station to station then after 3 or 4 long hours we ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji July 8th 2014

He who climbs Mount Fuji once is a wise man, he who climbs twice is a fool. Never have truer words been spoken. I summited Mount Fuji (Japan's iconic and highest mountain) last Tuesday morning ~5:30 completing the eastern peak Asian Trilogy of Fuji-san, Mount Kinabalu, and Yushan, the latter 2 being the highest mountains in Malaysia and Taiwan which I summited in May 2006 and June 2014, respectively. I'm not exactly sure why climbing Fuji twice would be considered foolish although I certainly have no intention of ever climbing again. In good weather, rare during the official July-August climbing season although fleetingly amazing when I went, the ascent is not difficult and can be completed by the physically fit in 4 hours without stopping. However, the descent is annoyingly tedious, quite painful, and unnecessarily long ... read more
Just Before Sunrise
Sunrise
Just After Sunrise

Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji April 28th 2014

Monday: Rekindling Mt Fuji Yes! Great sleep!! Woke up fresh and early. I must have eaten good yesterday. I was hungry but didn't feel deprived. We went to Lawson down the street at 7am to get a morning coffee. Just outside the house, there was nobody on the street at this wee hour except one lonely runner slowly coming toward us. Wait, that's Kaburaki san! Wow! He was running way slow. Hmm, learn from the master. From Lawson, we walked to Kawaguchiko. The event setup was being taken down. Awww. I felt strange nostalgia. Cherry blossom was in full bloom. So many fishermen were sitting ashore on high chairs. What a gorgeous day. Needless to say, my quads were shot but walking felt like a good active recovery :). We walked along the lake eastward toward ... read more
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Kawaguchiko
Fujiyama Taiyaki

Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji April 26th 2014

Jetlag woke me up by 4a, no! At 7:15, we checked out and reached Gotenba station right on time at 7:45. 3 buses were waiting along with a long line of participants. It was getting more real than ever!! Although the check in process seemed inefficient, our bus left at 8:15 and arrived at Kodomo no kuni ahead of the schedule. We must have walked a good mile of uphill to the event setup...so uncalled for...huff puff. Shige-san spotted us right away. He had arrived 20min earlier and already had pitched a picnic. We had to proceed to check-in. Check in to get the race packet was fast but the next step was a long wait, airport security style. We had to go through impromptu 6-item mandatory gear spot-check. Missing anything could lead to DQ. I ... read more
Getting excited
To the start line
Start area

Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji April 25th 2014

"The hardest part of a race is not getting to the finish, it is getting to the start. It is the motivation it takes to push the enter button, the guts it takes to dedicate yourself to training, the mental power to push through the pain and tough times. And it is all those qualities within that will drive you to the finish." - Anna Frost Preparation: I had this event under my radar from its inaugural in Sept 2012. It would be so epic to add Mt Fuji to Montserrat, Eiffel tower & GWC! I was ready to sign up for the 2013 event. It turns out, 2nd year underwent a lot of changes, including the event date and entry requirement. For wild life consideration, the event moved from Sept to April. Unfortunately, that announcement ... read more
In-flight potty
Her pack
His pack




Tot: 0.456s; Tpl: 0.01s; cc: 8; qc: 68; dbt: 0.3307s; 1; m:apollo w:www (50.28.60.10); sld: 3; ; mem: 6.5mb