Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kawaguchi-ko

Last November we took a bus tour to the 5th station of Mt. Fuji, the trip included at stop at Shiraito Falls and Lake Kawaguchi. We had a great time, but as with all Japanese tours, we had a limited amount of time to spend at each location, the tour WILL stay on schedule, the bus WILL depart at the exact minute it's supposed to, whether you're ready to go or not.
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Kawaguchiko is one of the beautiful lakes surrouding Mt. Fuji, in what's known as the Fuji Five Lakes area. Most of the amazing pictures you've seen of Mt. Fuji reflecting in a lake were probably taken at Kawaguchiko. There's a cute little town, Kawaguchi, on the shores of the lake. The tour bus stopped there for lunch and we really loved it, but of course, we had no time to explore, just scarfed down a bowl of yummy ramen, grabbed a few souveneirs, and piled back on the bus.
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Pictures from last year's trip:

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> Getting close to Fuji-san
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Shiraito Falls (Meg wasn't here yet)
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G at the ramen shop


This year, the kids were out of school for Veteran's Day (Nov. 11) and for a change Otis wasn't on call. For the last year, since he's the newest person in the OR, he's had call nearly every holiday; when on call you have a 15 min response time, meaning O has to be at the hospital within 15 min if he's paged, so he can't leave the base when his on call. That means every time the kids have had the day off, we couldn't go anywhere. Anyhoo, Veteran's Day...........
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We headed to Kawaguchiko, driving ourselves this time, so we could spend the whole day there. We made good time on the drive up, only about 1.5 hrs. It was a little cold and overcast, but not too bad, just fine for exploring.
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There's a ropeway, or cable car, that you can take up Mt. Tenjo, to get beautiful views of the lake, Fuji-san and the surrounding area.

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video

Heading down
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We ate lunch at the same great, little mom n' pop ramen restaurant, it's just a little hole in the wall above a souveneir shop, but it has huge picture windows with an awesome view of the lake, and the food is delicious, even the kids like it!
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O sluprping down his ramen last year. (He had a bum paw, he'd sliced it open, down to the bone, with a surgical scalpel)
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We had a great day, taking our time exploring the shops and town.

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Unfortunately, this was the clearest view we got all day, but it was still so amazing!

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My beautiful girl

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The eskimos

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The drive home went just as well. We stopped at the Dangozaka Rest Area, the mother of all rest stops. This place is seriously huge, with a full food court, bakery and tons of other food, drinks, snacks and souveneirs. They set up stalls outside selling food and vegetables, and often there are bands performing out there as well. And there's a real, sit down restaurant, kind of an upscale place, sounds weird, I know, but there was a line, so it must be good.

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I don't know why I didn't take any other pictures:

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> This is the bathroom map! With a choice of Western or Japanese toilets, orange means occupied, green for open, and the request that you "Please stand in line in case of congestion".

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1 comment:

Robin Vistnes said...

The squatter map is cool and all, but what happened to just bending down to see if there are feet in the stall...
Great post- my green monster is difficult to quash