So it was Mook who invited me to have short trip to Kawaguchiko around last March, but then we decided to go when Sakura -or the Cherry blossom– is blooming there, which is around mid April. As always, we had the facebook message group, between few of PSS (Panasonic Scholarship Student), and Fid was the only person who could manage to join us. Then I also invited some of my Indonesian friend in Todai (The University of Tokyo) and successfully “dragged” mbak Nunung to come with us 😀
We bought the Fuji Hakone freepass from Odakyu line for this trip departing from Sinjuku on April 16th, very early in the morning 😀 Since we don’t want to miss the chance to spend the whole first day at Hakone.
Lesson learned: the free pass costs 7,200 yen (quite expensive in my opinion) and it’s valid for 3 days. If you can take more days off, I suggest you to make use of the whole 3 days. Maybe you can go to FujiQ highland on the last day.. ^^
Anyway, we arrived safely at Hakone Yumoto station around 9 am. And there’s this small accident of no-memory-card in my camera! Realized this when I tried to push the camera shutter but it didn’t work :O Lucky that 7eleven around there sells PANASONIC SD-card! Oh well, at least I’m using my scholarship to buy Panasonic products then 😀
Our first destination was Begonia garden -don’t remember how long it takes by bus- from the Hakone Yumoto station. The bus fee is also included in the free pass. We met two omoshiroi (funny) boys (around their 3rd of 4th year of elementary school I guess) at the bus stop. They were going to Begonia garden as well, and they kept talking to us in Japanese even though I’m sure they realized that we are foreigners.. 😀
The Begonia garden was as expected, full of flower. I’m not really into flowers though, but I spent quite a lot of time taking pictures of some flowers 😀 *will add some pics later* After everyone took “enough” photos in the garden, we went to the next spot -the “boat cruise”- to go to Togendai-ko. Unfortunately it was foggy that day -weather forecast mentioned that it’d be sunny though-. Yappari, we cannot really predict the weather when we’re traveling. Nothing we could do about that though.
From here we took a ride on the Ropeway (still included in the free pass) all the way to Owakudani for the black eggs. A bit lazy at beginning because the place is quite high and it felt like climbing a bit. Don’t know but we did managed to reach the top after all those struggle! It is said that you’ll live longer if you eat the black eggs there 「食べると長生きできる」datte 😀
*don’t have good picture of the close-up black eggs though.. >_<
Btw, here Mook bought a Wasabi ice cream and everyone ended up buying it too after had a bit taste of Mook’s. It tasted okay at beginning but Fid seemed to be suffering a lot finishing it, me too actually :p
Then we rode the Ropeway again to Sounzan, changed to cable car here, and arrived at some bus stop (forgot the station name) to get the bus to Gotemba station. The next destination was supposed to be the K House backpacker hostel near Kawaguchiko station. We need to take the bus from Gotemba station which takes about 1 hour or so. Buuuut, we were coincidently “caught” by an Ojiisan who owns a cafe with so many fancy camera displayed on the window.
I guess we were there for more than 1 hour (well, mostly it was for that Ojiisan‘s story actually :D), then we finally got on the bus to Kawaguchiko station around 5 pm, 間に合ってよかったなぁ。。You can checked the schedule of the bus here, it’s only in Japanese though. But you can use google translate to check the name of the place in Roman letters. Anyway, Gotemba is written as 御殿場 and Kawaguchiko is 河口湖. I hope this help 🙂 Oh, btw the bus fare is also included in the free pass.
We then arrived around 7 pm at Kawaguchiko-station, called the hostel -because they provide pick-up service for your check-in arrival, reached the hostel after about 10 minutes and we directly put our stuff inside the room. Went for dinner around the hostel after that and of course Fid and Mook went for the Onsen (hot spring bath) which is noooot possible for me and mbak Nunung unless it’s a private one *ngarep*
The following day we were going around the Kawaguchiko and took some (or I might say hundreds?) pictures of Fuji-san’s view together with some blooming Sakura. It was not full-bloom yet. But still, they were just breathtaking! Ah, the important thing is that we had the Houtou for lunch, kani (crabs) Houtou it was. And also bought a hand make cheese cake nearby the Houtou restaurant. Oh, forgot to mention that we used the bus free-pass around Kawaguchiko area which costs around 700 yen., Normal price is 800 yen but we got discounted price since we had the Fuji Hakone freepass. The bus was tooootally not convinient because the schedule was like every half an hour while the distance between few places is actually not that far, but still quite tiring if you walk.. 😀
Lesson learned: if you stay in the K House hostel (or other hotel/hostel that provide rental bicycle), I suggest you to borrow the bicycle to go around this area. The whole day with a bike will be much more effective.
First destination was Kachi Kachi Ropeway to Mount Tenjo where you can have nice view of the lake, and also Fuji-san. We were there for about half an hour, then went back down and bought Fuji-shape-senbei.. Oh, round trip ticket for the ropeway costs 700 yen, but we got discounted price again by showing our Fuji Hakone freepass and paid 630 yen.. 😀
You can go hiking to the top actually, but honestly, we were not in the mood of doing hiking I guess.. 😀
From here we went to the Houtou restaurant for lunch, and also the cheesecake that I mentioned earlier. Went to few other spots for Fuji-san’s view and agaaaain spent quite long time taking the pictures.. ^^
But really, this trip was toootally full of Fuji-san’s pictures! *udah berasa eneg juga jadinya kebanyakan moto Fuji-san, hehe.. Tapi teteeep heppi pastinya.. ^^
Oh, I forgot to mention that the K House hostel is somehow becoming my favorite lately :p The room is nice, the common room is cozy, and they have kitchen with all the cooking utensils, so you can just buy something from the nearest konbini (convenience store) then you can make sure that you’ll have decent breakfast before going around (or maybe some dinner by your own to minimize your expense since dining out or 外食 is quite expensive :D).
Fid and Mook made use of the last minute effectively enjoying another 温泉 (Onsen) before heading back to Tokyo, while me and mbak Nunung went to a Karaoke room to do the prayer, and also karaoke-an pastinya 😀
Went back to Shinjuku and was trapped by the traffic jam for about 2 hours -_-” Maybe because it was weekend.
Lesson learned: If you’re traveling back “home” on weekend, it’s important to consider the traffic jam. Train is a good choice if you were in a hurry. But remember that you might not get seat and have to stand all the way home by using train. If you’re just too tired for train, sleeping for hours in the bus might be better.. ^^ Oh, there’s also an option of reserved seat for train. You have to check if it’s possible to get one from the place you visit. Then you can avoid traffic jam, and make sure you’ll have your seat. You have to pay extra though.. :p
After the looong bus ride, we arrived at Shinjuku quite late, around 8 if I’m not mistaken. The good thing is that Shinjuku is just sooo close to Shin Okubo. We ended up having dinner at my favorite halal Thai restaurant there ^^
There are actually many other spots to visit around Hakone and Kawaguchiko, you can decide where to go by looking at the brochure they’d give you when you purchase the ticket. Hope to visit few other place around this area though. Maybe someday I should come back, especially for the Houtou.. ^^
Full photo album is available here.. ^^