DAY 10 (CON’T)
More walking to be done from the end of the maple corridor …… and UPSLOPE to get to Tensui. The walk is definitely NOT 5-10 min as stated in the brochures/online guides. According to my caculation, it was probably closer to 15 min.
More maple leaves along the uphill walk, this time round taken using my iPad as my phone battery is almost close to flat (of all days!) ……
Reached Tensui Kawaguchiko after a long 15 to 20 min walk.
No photos beyond the building itself as I was busy figuring out where to go …… and had to run back and forth the reception counter as I realised that I needed to top up another 200 to 300 JPY for rental towels (since I didn’t bring along any). So the 100 JPY discount from the coupon that I obtained from the tourist office went towards the towel rental 😛 (Note: Original entry fee is 1000 JPY, after discount from coupon is 900 JPY). Intention was to have an onsen (since I did not go to any onsen town so far in the trip) …… but found the water to be not hot enough for the therapeutic soak that my aching body badly needed (after the many days of travelling). Furthermore, hardly any view to speak of despite having an ‘outdoor’ pool. My experience in Hakone was way superior ……
Showered and changed and left around 1.35pm after roughly 20 min in the bath (no point staying any longer since there was no beautiful view to admire to). And it was another 15 to 20 min back out to the main road (where I came from) …… and passing by the mapple corridor on the way. One distinct characteristic of the koyo/autumn leaves versus the earlier part of the trip in Kyoto was that while the koyo was coming nicely into colourful bloom, in contrast over here at Kawaguchiko, it was still nice but you start to see lots of maple leaves shedding and fallen to the ground.
Reached the main road and according to the bus schedule, the next bus back towards the ropeway will arrive at 1412 Hrs. Thus I have 10 min or so to quickly explore the fair that was going on right opposite the road. Lots of goodies/snacks at the fair, would loved to have bought something to try/fill my stomach but did not do so due to time constraint (which will turn out to be a not-so-good decision later on).
Walked closer to the shore of the lake. Could only take quick shots at the lake due to the time constraint and as a result, the pictures turned out somewhat dark (think the sun was shining at the other direction), so had to do some editing on Snapsneed.
And so, went back to wait for the bus. 1412 Hrs came and gone, and we only managed to board the bus at 1430 Hrs (believe the bus got caught in a traffic jam somewhere due to the massive number of cars/vehicles on the road). 6 bus stops to the ropeway station stop – which took the bus 1/2 hour just to get there …… once again thanks to the traffic. This delay also meant that the subsequent scheduled buses behind it also went off-schedule.
And so, reached the ropeway bus stop at 3pm – which makes 1 hour of travel ‘short-distance’. Given the horrendous traffic conditions on Lake Kawaguchiko’s roads (realised that it was not such a good idea to come on a public holiday after all), and the bus being way off schedule (versus the originally stated arrival times of 1506 Hrs and 1521 Hrs) …… decided that I have to give up going on the ropeway and just be content at doing omiyage shopping at the Fujiyama Cookie outlet right beside the bus stop!
Spotted an udon restaurant a few metres and wanted so much to check out the Yoshida Udon. Unlike any other udon, Yoshida Udon is unique to Mount Fuji as it is made from the pure spring water of Mount Fuji. This gives the udon a firm and thick texture (while still being chewy). Source: http://www.yamanashi-kankou.jp/foreign/english/eat/001.html …… However the erratic bus schedule meant that it would be best for me to stay put, and probably a better idea to get lunch back at Kawaguchiko Station. Really, in this case, if I had known the bus would be so ridiculously off schedule, I should have just bought snacks to munch (as versus to having to bear with a growling stomach and my temper which is gradually starting to flare due to the horrendous traffic situation)……
In the end, got onto the bus that came at 330pm and it was another slow crawl back to Kawguchiko Station. A group of Taiwanese tourists on the bus also remarked that its a safer option to wait out at Kawaguchiko rather than side-track to other destinations along the way, so as not to risk missing their highway bus (another alternative to train) that will bring them back to Shinjuku from Kawaguchiko, given the terrible traffic conditions.
Finally back at Kawaguchiko Station.
Note: Edited the image via Snapseed as the original on my iPad looked overly orange-y
Walked around the station and even crossed the road (from the bus terminals), only NOT to find any udon shop, arghh. So decided to simply get my uber late lunch (plus a coffee) at the cafe inside the train station itself. Not very sure if this was the Yoshida Udon that I wanted to eat (although the server at the counter nodded her headit was when I asked in English). Anyway it was good as I was really really hungry ….. and strangely despite it being in kimchi broth, the broth matched well with the udon which is springy and chewy, while not losing the firm-ness and thickness. It also had a light and refreshing taste as compared to normal udon, which I am inclined to think it was due to the spring water used, heh!
Note: Photo edited using Snapseed as well as the original had a funny orange tone as well.