What a week this has been. Mel and I have just boarded our night bus, heading South bound to Hiroshima. I was reluctant to even get on this bus tonight after we got the tail end of Typhoon Tramis gale force winds in Tokyo last night.
It was a pretty frightening experience, the noise the wind was making throughout the night was something else.
Screaming through the streets of Tokyo like a banshee and the constant sounds of metal blowing down the streets was pretty nerve wracking.
I was in a bit of a panic most of the night as I could feel our hostel shaking with the force of the wind outside and the sound of sirens rang through the streets throughout the night.
Followed by somebody on a megaphone speaking Japanese. I assume it was telling people to stay inside. So I was up all night, worried sick… thinking the worst! Everyone else however was sound asleep! Not at all phased.
So I think I’m just a scaredy cat but I had never seen anything like it. We hope we are heading away from the storms now, however there is warnings of another one on its way, making it the 7th one this typhoon season! But fingers crossed.
So it’s time to leave Tokyo, we are sad to leave as it has been a truly incredible trip. We have really fallen in love with the place, the people, the food and everything else! It’s a wonderful part of the world.
However the highlight for us this week was our little trip out of Tokyo. We visited Hakone this week and it was just magical.
It was unbelievable. What a stunning place. We were back amongst the natural wonders of the world. That’s where we feel most at home. Besides lakes and mountains.
For our trip to Hakone we got a train from Tokyo that took us about an hour and half and the tickets we got were good for getting us there and all our travel whilst there and then back which was brilliant.
On arrival it was still a bit rainy but that gave the mountains a misty look, like something straight out The Hobbit. The place was just beautiful. We arrived at our hostel, Azito Guest House and we fell in love with that too!
Honestly, I would love to see what a 5* hotel is like here because the hostel are luxury enough. Mel and I had a pod to share this time and it was lovely. Really specious but so cosy and the mattress was So comfortable.
We got settled and then had a walk around the town. It has a beautiful stream running through it and lots of little shops an eateries for you to enjoy.
Our first night there we had decided we were going to go to an Onsen. One of the natural hot springs from the volcano. It was quite the experience.
Firstly we had to find a tattoo friendly one for me, luckily they had one but there is usually a no tattoo rule. I guess it’s just tying in to everything being so natural in these places (that and the connection of tattoos to the Yakuza)
So we went off to try it out. We had read all the posters in our hostel about Onsen etiquette and we were ready to go.
Males and females have separate ones of course so me and Mel said our goodbyes for the evening at the door.
Inside was beautiful. Traditional, peaceful music playing and decorated just wonderfully. A very calming vibe indeed. Lanterns, tatami mats and incense burning. So Zen!
I was a little nervous going in to the changing room, all the Onsens have a no bathing suit policy so it’s everything off. You quickly get used to it though when everybody is naked. I did feel a little bit out of place with my huge tattoo on my back though but once I submerged myself in the gorgeous hot spring all my troubles drifted away.
The setting outside is stunning with all the natural hot springs letting of a smoke that filters in to the air, that music playing and everyone just relaxing beneath the beautiful night sky in these gorgeous stoned baths. It was very therapeutic and a lovely experience.
I would highly recommend going to one of you ever get the chance. When we got out our skin was so smooth and you just feel lovely. It’s a wonderful thing to do. Makes you feel amazing inside and out.
We went back to bed and had the best night sleep after our bath and with our comfy mattress. We needed it, we had a big day ahead!
So the next morning we got up nice and early, got our ritual carton of ice coffee and egg butties from 7eleven then headed towards Lake Ashi.
The minute we arrived there we were speechless! It was unreal, this beautiful crystal blue lake amongst the mountains, I keep saying mountains. They were actually active volcanos! It was beautiful and then we see our next ride heading towards us. The prettiest pirate ship in the world.
Before boarding the ship we went for a walk around the lake to see one of the shrines. It was a lovely walk and the scenery was unbelievable ,just a beautiful little paradise.
There was a huge queue to take a picture directly underneath the shrine so I just climbed down on to a rock and took a few side shots of it.
Then we went to get on the ship. The journey across the lake was beautiful.
The water was so clear and reminiscent of Lake Bled. It took us about 30 minutes to get across but we would of happily sailed around those lakes all day long.
We took a well know circuit around the place and after the ship it was time for a cable car up to the top of the volcano.
From the car we got our first glimpse of Mount Fuji but as sunny as it was, sods law would have it there was a line of cloud just in front of the mountain but we began to see its outline.
We got to the top and could see the smoke rising from the volcano. What a sight to behold. This place was so impressive. It looked so cool. We walked around the edge of the volcano and took some pictures before heading to the shop up there to buy some black eggs.
They sell eggs up there that have been cooked in the volcano! So they come out black with most beautiful patterns on them. Really it was a shame to eat them because they would of made a stunning decoration, just a very smelly one.
So we took our black eggs that are rumoured to add 7 years on to your life once you eat one and had them besides the volcano they were cooked in. They also tasted really good! And come with a sachet of salt.
After walking around the volcano for a while we went to the edge to see how the Fuji visibility was coming along and the clouds had shifted somewhat so we had a clear shot of its peak, no snow at this time of year which was a shame but we can 100% say we have seen it now.
I had mel posing for photos all over he place trying to get a good shot.
There it is, the peak of Mount Fuji. Mel even smiled for the picture!
So after we waited around to see if the clouds would move further and decided we had seen all we were going to see it was a funicular back down into the town.
We had completed the whole circuit and it was just a fantastic day. One of the best so far. We loved every second. What a cool thing to do!
That evening we went out for dinner in a gorgeous restaurant. Treated ourselves a bit. It was so delicious. We can’t get enough of Japanese food. Even the pot noodles we’ve been having for our tea usually are amazing! This meal was incredible though, still trying to perfect our use of chopsticks. It’s not easy when you order anything other than noodles!
We both opted for something from the grill. Such a delicious meal.
We adored our time in Hakone. It’s such a amazing place. One you must make a point of checking out if you are in Japan.
We headed back to Tokyo the next day and checked into our final hostel and we have just been taking it easy the last few days. Saving money and relaxing. We headed out to the museum yesterday for the afternoon which was really interesting and I stalked some sumos for a while as they were all over the place with there being an event on. I was too shy to ask them for a picture so just took some very creepy ones of them. Hope that’s not illegal 🧐
After waiting out the storm we went out for a final walk about Shinjuku this afternoon, it’s one of our favourite parts of Tokyo and to my surprise it was roasting hot and blue skies everywhere. A big change from hours earlier when I was genuinely fearing for my life.
We had a lovely day. Played in the arcades, had a lovely lunch at a little Italian spot played our 100th game of Uno. Then got on our bus, were we sit now for the next 12 hours.
It is comfy though, I do enjoy the hoods on the chairs. We also found a book store today which sold English books so we have plenty to read.
So one last time Tokyo… you have been incredible! We really really love the place.
We are excited for the next part of our journey, seeing some more of Japan before we set off on potentially the last part in South East Asia.
Leaving Tokyo we have improved our chop stick skills by I’d say 30%, made it through the worlds busiest train station and have the perfect amount of musical tone to our Japanese speech, the little we have learned.
So to Tokyo,
Arigato Gozaimasssssssssuuu ❤️🙌🏻