Sayonara, Japan.

I left Kyoto determined to get more than a glimpse at Mt. Fuji. I didnt need to climb it- especially after Mt. Ontake had erupted earlier in the week. I just wanted to see Fuji. So, I hopped on the Shinkensen for a few hours, transfered to a tram to head up into the mountains near Hakone.

I arrive in Gora after dark and found my hostel (Hakone Tent) and had some dinner.

This was a traditional Ryoken, so my dorm room had a woven tatami floor and futon mattresses for beds.

It also had an Onsen, which is like a natural hot tub. I had a lovely soak before bed and slept so soundly.

My hostel also had a turntable… in the kitchen.

In the morning, I got the 8am bus from Gora to Hakone to catch an early glimpse of Mt. Fuji.

I had a nice walk along Lake Ashi…

…and stopped off at a forest temple.

Then, I got down to business- where is that big ol Mountain hiding? Is it by this pirate sihp?

Hmm, couldn’t find it. Must walk further… yay! I found the viewpoint park!

Well, shoot. Mt. Fuji is just behind those clouds somewhere. It should look like this.

The viewing house did have a cool 1930’s light fixture…

and a manicured shrub that looked like a pile of stones.

I had a 6pm flight out of Tokyo and so I give up the hunt for Mt. Fuji and head back to the bus station. The tram up had cost me $7US, so I figured the bus must be cheaper… plus, the map showed the bus traveling a more direct route back to the Shinkensen. So I made the obvious choice and jumped on the bus.

I spent a long time in the front of this bus and figured out what all this is for. The orange/white machine dispenses tickets with a # on them- you take a ticket when you get on the bus & then you follow a chart to tell you how much to pay at your destination.

The next machine scans people’s bus cards. When you get off the bus, you use the next block of machines.

The one with the red arrow is where you pay your fare. But first, you put your tiny ticket into the front of the machine.

Anyway, I finally got to the Shinkensen station via bus and made it out to Narita airport with time to spare! I had a United club pass and enjoyed my last few hours in Japan eating free snacks and drinks in the airport lounge.

The next time the wheels touch the ground, I’ll be in Bangkok, Thailand! Sayonara, Japan!

 

 

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