April 16th. Tokyo. Morning. It’s great to start the day like this. I wake up, I watch the clock, it’s about time to wake up my partner, too, drink our coffee and hurry up: Mount Fuji is waiting for us and the weather can’t be so insensitive that we can’t see the volcano today. In addition, I hope to get in time and enjoy the spa at the foot of the mountain, which is on the to do list set in the country. I pull the curtain and glance out the window. We were literarily heads in the clouds. What are we going to do? Forget about that, until we get there, the clouds will dissipate. On the road! On the subway people are still sleeping, although apparently everybody does something else…
…but she is really awake, or so she seems.:-)
We follow our way and go to meet the highest mountain in Japan, Fuji, of 3776 m, an active volcano that last time erupted in 1707. It is 100 km away from Tokyo and is surrounded by 5 lakes. If it is a cloudy day, you can’t see it at all though you are very close to it, if it is clear, you can see it from Tokyo.
We are heading to Hakone, a very beautiful place at the base of the mountain and try to see the great Fuji. No sign of it. It was cloudy, of course, but I refused to believe I was close to it and didn’t see it. I only imagined it, as I knew it from the pictures. In an ultimate attempt to buy tickets for the cable car to take us to Mount Fuji, we are even more disappointed to find that access to the mountain is forbidden because of intense volcanic activity and as a result the cable car doesn’t work. Phew! So not only I can’t see it, though he is huge and it’s next to me, but I can’t even reach it even among the clouds. A Happy Birthday from time to time wakes me up to reality. We fill our lungs with picturesque Hakone air and search for Plan B.
We are rushing to take a stroll on Lake Ashi, formed in the crater of Lake Hakone, in which the sacred Fuji Mountain is usually mirrored. Not today. We take the boat and cross the lake, pleased with everything we see.
We find, however, a functional cable car, which we reach with at a point where the lake that we had just sailed and, of course, the famous mountain, on a sunny day, could be seen very well.
The wind was blowing strongly, so we took the cable care to descent and suddenly: Mount Fuji is visible!!!!! I almost screamed for joy, it’s true, it was barely visible like this:
With my eyes on my watch, my husband’s eyes on the map, we now had another destination: the famous spa with thermal water where we knew unique things were waiting for us. And we get there. We are experiencing a real recording ritual, instructions that are more complex, we go through long hallways, we are looking for our changing rooms with many other locker rooms … with maps of the complex in hand, otherwise it was very difficult to get from one point to another …. we enter into water labyrinth … and not only … The first stop, the purpose for which we are here, is the famous wine bath. It is real wine and indeed I wanted to have a wine bath for my birthday.
Then real green tea and real coffee baths followed. I wasn’t tempted to taste it.:-)
Not believing our eyes, we stopped in front of a large bowl, which was actually a jacuzzi filled with a liquid that looked like a soup … and it even smelled like a ramen soup that we ate on the first day in Japan.
Incredible!!! People are bathing in such a thing… Anyway… why not ??? Once in my life I can do that. In a few seconds I was in the giant bowl, sniffing the smell of soup. I know, it seems crazy, but it was my birthday !!!! I had an excuse, but I don’t know what it was in my husband’s mind.
Me and … the soup …
We went out then, where there was a hot water beautiful waterfall, we indulged a little more, then we left the place; it started to get dark and we had to go back to Tokyo.
The exterior of the building that housed this superb SPA.
We arrived at the hotel quite tired and we fell asleep thinking about the plan for our last day in Japan.
I’ll be back soon with the latest memories of Tokyo.
All the best!