Thursday, 24 February 2011

Ten Days Back to Hirakata I

Day 1: Flatter then a hedgehog on the road.

Out first destination was Kofu in Yamanashi. Yamanashi means no mountains, which I thought was quite ironic considering it’s in the middle of the mountains north of Mt.Fuji. Turns out I was wrong. Yamanashi is a large area on a plateau surrounded by mountains with the top of Mt. Fuji just peeking over the south east. The plateau its self had no

mountains and is flatter then a hedgehog on the road. No joke. It is stupidly flat for an area in the mountains. You would have thought a flat area like that would make it easier to drag stupid kilo’s of luggage along. Wrong. The hotel looked a lot closer on the map then in reality and it was along a busy road where people drive rather then walk so the pavement was poor. Needless to say it was tiring, long and we were knackered when we arrived but happy to have Sukiya which was nearby. Day one followed and Hannah and I decided to go for a random walk to find a shrine up in the mountains. We went and found a tourist information who told us how to get there. So caught the train to Kofu and started to walk up the road until we found a shrine which I assumed was at the bottom of the hill in comparison to the temple on the mountain (which we could see from town). But it just wasn’t our day. After heading off trying to find the temple on the mountains we ran into this random Japanese guy who wanted to talk to us. This has happened a few times, people want to practice English or are just curious, but not this guy. This guy was…weird…I think he might have been smoking something (he even said he liked drugs…or at least I think that’s what he said). Now I can normally understand people but this guy was just….completely random. I couldn’t understand a word! What I did get was smoking was bad, he was an artist, were we going to Yamanashi University, and could he take his picture with me…just me, not Hannah…shortly after that we quickly ran away…only a lot more subtle then running, ie, walking quickly. One good thing we got out of him was that there was a bus up to the temple, and Hannah wanted to get it so we walked aaaaall the way back to the station to find said bus. There was no sign of one so we asked the Tourist Info lady she said the bus wasn’t running anymore that day even though it was 2pm ><> was very miffed and we couldn’t go hiking up the mountain and that we didn’t do anything that day apart from run around in circles. At least the day was improved but a really, really nice Chinese meal at one of the restaurants along the busy road.

Day 2: To The Giant Frozen Lake in the Middle of the Mountains!

Suwa is a huuuuge lake surrounded by a town to the north of Yamanashi in the Nagano prefecture in the middle of the mountains. When we arrived we were pretty early coz we accidentally got on the wrong train (and had to pay 1100yen extra ¬¬). So after checking into our hotel and getting kappa zushi for lunch (OMG was soooo happy there was a kappa zushi opposite) we walked the 40min walk into town. We wandered around the lake and then to the station, found a map of the area and headed back to the hotel after passing the castle. We walked so much and didn’t really feel it that much…I think we were kinda used to it by then. The evening was then spent plotting the following day which (as how we found most of the things for this trip) was spent on Google Maps investigating landmarks in the area…including a park…on a mountain >8D

Day 3: Gradual Climb Up, Dangerous Neck-Breaking Slide Down

Morning we had complimentary breakfast (which we’d paid for…so not that complimentary). BUT it was a buffet and like true foreigners took our moneys worth pluss a couple of rolls for lunch. SO GOOD! Rice, miso soup, fish, boiled veg, bread and jam and 4 glasses of apple juice (every day in Suwa) ^___^ Best breakfast on the whole trip!

WOOT! I was really excited for the mountain hike, although I kinda forgot to mention to Hannah that that was what we were doing ^^;; It was a really fun walk up though! We first went through a Buddhist temple which had the nicest smelling incense burning in the cemetery. Then it was a gradual stroll along a windy road which slowly went around the mountain. It took about 3 hours to get up there. I think most people take their cars although we only saw about 3 cars (including one which just kept going up and down. I think he was a ranger).

When we were ¾ way up we found this ooooold shrine infront of this use bolder with an amazing view over the valley! After another 10mins we found some stairs. I decided to go up the stairs but Hannah took the road. So with that I had a little break and recorded a short video blog (which I won’t be putting up coz im mean) ^^ Theeeeeen it was just another 10mins up these stairs to the park! And it was surprising just how clean and tidy the random park ontop of the mountain was! It even had a view point in the center where you could see Mt Fuji, Lake Suwa and the surrounding mountains and valleys! Soooo pretty! It even had a random Japanese conveyor belt slide! How could I NOT slide down it ^O^ A bit more of a stroll was needed before we resided we needed a loo…on a mountain…oh dear. There was one next to the old rickety shrine buuuut…it was kinda…well…just a hole in the ground ><>_<

Anyway, loo conundrum aside is was time to climb back down. And when I say climb I mean slide. No joke. I decided we should take the steap dodging mountain path back down which started infront of the small old shrine. Because it was winter the ground was covered in dead leaves, which made walking down veeery tricky. So we slide down most the mountain. And where it took us 3 hours to get up, only took about 30-40 to get back down. Hannah was not impressed but she was laughing so I don’t think she mined too much (unless they were laughs of nerves…)

Day 4: Suwa Stroll

This day was pretty chilled in comparison to the mountain. We did our normal breakfast run and strolled out into town again. Headed over to the castle, but it was expensive for such a little thing and we knew it would be a museum so skipped going inside. Then just wandered over to the lake and around town for a few hours. OH! It started to snow! OMG SNOW! The first bit of perspiration we’d seen in over a month and it was snow! I was so happy!...Until I realised how freezing it was! >_<>t was better then doing nothing at least ^^;;;

No comments:

Post a Comment