Lake Ashino-ko and Mt Fuji non-views
Kyoto, Japan is a great city- one I hope to return to in the future. We took a bullet train to a normal train to Hakone, Japan. Thank goodness too because the only trains running in and out of Kyoto that day were bullet trains due to the typhoon. The storm was big and the eye was closest around 10am today. Luckily the typhoon was big and full of rain but not too windy.
Huge floods covered Japan but mostly stuck to the north of Tokyo.
Once we arrived to our hotel, we had to wait out the rain for a bit. All bus lines were suspended and the cable car due to take us up Mt. Owakudani was closed for the day due to the storm. Eventually the city bus was able to take us up the mountain to Lake Ashino-ko with normally spectacular views of Mt. Fuji.
This was our view.
It is supposed to look like this picture. Totally the same, right?
Fog and rain.
But then it stopped raining so the group walked along the Old Tokaido Highway. This point actually connected Tokyo with Kyoto (the former capital).
We couldn’t actually walk along the highway though because it was totally flooded so we walked along the main road and got splashed every time a car drove by- typhoon problems.
Since Mt. Fuji was a bust, dinner and the hotel were the highlights of the day. Our hotel was a traditional ryokan accommodation. I got this giant room/suite all to myself!
Just make sure you take your shoes off at the door.
The automatic toilet that raises its lid when you walk in, flushes automatically, and turns on the sink on top of the toilet when it flushes. And it comes with its own pair of sandals.
Traditional ryokan hotels sometimes have saunas or hot springs. This area has a lot of hot springs so they had one for the ladies and one for the males. You have to be totally buck naked. Being naked with 10 other women in a hot springs is just not my thing. But if it is yours, Japan’s baths are somewhere you should visit.
Dinner was a traditional kaiseki meal. Parts of it were delicious, some not so much. We were supposed to wear our kimonos from our rooms but I couldn’t find mine
The guy next to me looks so pissed because he just found out that 90% of the food for dinner is fish- he hates fish! It was awesome for me because he gave me all the delicious sushi and I gave him anything I didn’t want.
The crazy huge menu for tonight’s dinner:
This pork cooked in a bamboo steamer right on our trays during our first few rounds of fish appetizers. It wasn’t that good :/
I gave away my two soups- tofu on the left and beef and potato on the right.
This amazing marinated tuna with shirasu (baby fish) over rice was my favorite dish of the night! (I also had my neighbor’s portion as well). It was served with miso soup and some pickled vegetables.
Dessert was green tea pudding. I ended up abandoning this as well to help my poor starving neighbor out. I left feeling overly full of delicious fish- I love Japanese preparations of fish!
Next up we are off to Tokyo- the last city on my Japan journey. Some day I will be back to see Mt. Fuji for real and maybe even hike some of it!