• Maria Nightingale

The search for Mt.Fuji and a Giant comes to town.


Last weekend was a Japanese holiday for looking after the spirits of the deceased in your family. So we decided to take the opportunity of the time off and go exploring once more. This time my mums friend Marianne came to join us as she was over as well. We knew we wanted to go back to the Izu Peninsula as we had heard such good things about it and it was not too far. However because of the national holiday booking hotel was rather difficult. In the end we found a hotel in Hakone which is near the peninsula next to a beautiful lake. The booking was kind of rushed so no time for planning or anything, we thought we could do that once we were there.

So on Friday we set off for Hakone in the Car. I noticed immediately that it was taking us straight through Tokyo which I thought was odd and I assumed it would be more congested and my mum didn\’t particularly fancy driving through the streets of Tokyo. But in fact there is no other option, they do not have a M25 equivalent in Japan, their motorways go over the top off or underneath the great city. Good planning but that does mean if you don\’t know where you are going and you find yourself in a never ending tunnel and your sat-nav looses connection you are in a bit of a predicament.

So when we got to the hotel we had lunch again. The hotel was really nice, the views were amazing and the ground were filled is plants. That night we had dinner in the Japanese restaurant and subsequently went to sleep as we were all very tired.

We were rudely awoken by some loud shuddering noise. First we thought it was thunder but it was too consistent, then we thought it might be an earthquake but things weren\’t shaking. I played around with the idea that it could be a giant coming to greet us but that wasn\’t the case obviously. My mum did some research and as she thought the lake was once a crater before and that is was no longer active but just behind our hotel is another volcano which turned out to be very active this year. When we asked the hotel we were told it was a military base nearby, I\’m not sure I believe that though..

Nevertheless we ventured out on to the crater lake. It was beautiful, hot and sunny. During the research we found out that we should be able to see Mount Fuji from Hakone so whilst on the boat we searched. It\’s huge so we were astounded when we couldn\’t find it. Like what the hell. Unfortunately even though it was a beautiful day there were still clouds lingering just where the view of the volcano would have been. Then, that afternoon we went up a gondola up another mountain and the view was spectacular again you couldn\’t see Mount Fuji but you could see the Lakes and the peninsula and Atami.

The next day it was time to go home and we had given up seeing Mount Fuji, however when we went down for breakfast on the balcony it suddenly decided to show its face/peak. I almost thought I was imagining it but it was there. And although you could only just see it it was still memorable and exciting.

On the way home we passed Tokyo Sky Tree at sunset and although I want to see it up close seeing the whole thing in that lighting was amazing. I can\’t wait to try and draw it.

Maria x

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