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Trip Report 72 hours in Japan

Discussion in 'Japan' started by smackies, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Thought I'd do a quick TR of a very quick trip to Japan.

    Briefly, a friend and I flew into Tokyo Thursday night. Went to Kamakura on Friday. Climbed Mt Fuji on Saturday (staying at one of the huts overnight). Got clean in an onsen on Sunday. Flew back home Sunday night.

    Suffice to say work was fairly ugly on Monday.

    Arrival... and more than likely the moment we realised the stupidity of our endeavour.
    [​IMG]

    Kamakura is an excellent day trip from Tokyo and one I've been meaning to do for quite some time. The major attractions are very spread out and on such a hot day we couldn't be bothered walking, though I'd hazard a guess that would be the case in any weather. Solution - bike hire adjacent to the train station.

    Biking around Kamakura...
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    Kamakura Daibutsu
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    Zeniarai Benten Shrine
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    Tsurugaoka Hachimangu
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    Finishing off the day in a florist moonlighting as a bar in Shimokita.
    [​IMG]
     
    mrtonya, Vermillion, JoeKing and 6 others like this.
  2. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    I always wanted to see a florist bar...
    Now I have.
     
  3. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    I think you mean a blorist.
     
  4. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    colorist ?
     
  5. DeskRider

    DeskRider One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Good choice staying out in Shimokitazawa Smackies.
    Did you happen to come across Izakaiyaism? My favourite Izakaiya in Tokes.
     
  6. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Can't say that I did. I managed to find many, many other establishments though.

    Will definitely be back. Along with Kichijoji, Shimokita is my favourite part of Tokyo.
     
  7. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Saturday. Fuji-san day.

    I was terrified about making it up to the mountain hut before sundown - my friend had said it usually takes 8 hours to get there. With that in mind, we woke up at 5.30am to do the shuffle from Shimokitazawa > Shinjuku > Gotemba train station. Arrived at Gotemba Station at 8.21am. From there, buses run approximately every hour or so to get you to Gotemba 5 station on Fuji-san. The "5" is a bit of a fallacy, as it's really old station 2.

    We arrived at Gotemba 5 station around 9.30am. Purchased the obligatory wooden hiking stick and some gloves - which had been on the list as a necessary item though completely forgotten. It would've been a very sad day on Fuji without gloves with a forecast low the following day of only a degree or two. With wind.

    Started the walk up at 10.00am.

    Map of the 4 trails on Fuji-san. Of course my friend worked on the Gotemba Trail (green) which added an extra 1,000 vertical meters to the effort compared to the more popular trail.
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    And people say women have a terrible sense of direction. That way to beer and curry. Wooden stick doubles as pointing stick.
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    Mount Fuji looks exactly as I imagine the surface of the moon does.
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    Desolate and rocky from start to finish.
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    With weather that seems to change every 90 seconds or so.
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    And then it starts to resembles Mars.
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    After 5 hours, many "photo" breaks and approx. 2,000 vertical metres we arrived at the highest hut on the route, Akaiwahacigoukan.
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    More clouds.
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    I wonder if they have slippers on Mars.
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    Unfortunately my friend was feeling the effects of a combination of altitude, dehydration and just too much uphill so crashed about 3.00pm. I took it upon myself to eat, drink and socialise for the two of us. After kare riisu, yakitori, many beers and even more shochu + warm water, I fell into my sardine sized space on the floor and enjoyed one of the worst sleeps of my life, dreading a 3am wakeup.
     
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  8. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Sunday.

    I like to say it was the cold and wind, though perhaps it was due the previous night's festivities, but when I awoke at 2.30am there was no chance in hell I was getting out of bed. The hut was shaking, the wind was howling at the top of Fuji-san and the thought of walking in the cold and wind for an hour, to more than likely not see sunrise, was enough to can that idea.

    Leisurely got out of bed at 5.00am to watch the sunrise from the hut.
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    Had a quick breakfast then headed to the top. The end of the Gotemba trail, whilst worth celebrating, wasn't the top.
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    Crater at 3776m.
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    The side of the crater with buildings in the background for scale.
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    Great cripple success, with obligatory knee brace, hiking stick, and Japanese caricature of my father.
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    A screwed knee means downhill is generally quite a chore, but descending via the Osunabashiri (great sand run) is absolute bliss. The "sand" is loose, basalt lava pebbles and allows you to run down Fuji with very little impact. Total time to get back down: 2 hours.
    [​IMG]

    Quick trip to an onsen in Gotemba, followed by lunch, then it was back to Narita to barely make the plane and fly home for work on Monday.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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  10. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great report Smackies! :)
     
  11. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    I saw Crocs
     
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  12. rikedwards

    rikedwards Hard Yards

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    Nice trip report! Looks cool!
     
  13. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Complimentary slippers.
     
  14. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Its going to be hard
     
  15. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I thought I made bad fashion choices...
     
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  16. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    :D Good stuff!!!

    I've been to Kamakura I don't know how many times, and you can find something new there every time. And there are hiking tracks in the hills....
    When I have friends visit, I usually do a set route which starts at Kita-Kamakura station, and ends at at Enoshima (island), and back on the monorail. Summer's not the best time, as you found out, because it's so hot and humid.
    However, you were lucky it was cooler than usual... at this time of year instead of 29 degrees last weekend, 32 is more the order of the day.
     
  17. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    I reckon 100% humidity is awful at any temp. ;)
     
  18. Presto

    Presto Addicted

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    Awesome trip and great write up ;)
     
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  19. Kieran

    Kieran A Local

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    I always wanted to visit a florist in a monastery...

    So I could see a florist friar.
     
  20. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Oh my
    dad joke
     
  21. Kieran

    Kieran A Local

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    But an excellent trip report. Long weekend away in Japan = awesome.
     
  22. Kieran

    Kieran A Local

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    Boom.
     
  23. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Yeah but she has been a PITA ever since she has been back