Day Five – Hakone>Kyoto

Woke up and Swang graciously booked us two days accommodation in Kyoto while we were on the bus. Back down at the waterfront we decided to go to a shrine across the water which we were taking photos of the day before, and stumbled upon be beginnings of a boat race. 

We did a bit of a nature walk, took a bunch of photos and walked a track precariously close to the road (we walked on the road) until we reached the gondolas, which took us up a mountain with a view of Fuji AND where we had just come from.

View of where we began, down by lake Ashi

Another thing that has struck me is how very clean everything is – especially when you consider the fact that there are almost NO rubbish bins here, in comparison to New Zealand. There is just no litter here despite the fact that you have to hold onto your rubbish for a long time. 

We took photos of everything and I bought my first omamori from a shrine at the top of the Hakone Komogatake mountain, and we went back down (but not before getting that stereotypical shot in front of Fuji! 

Omamori #1

We walked back into town and finally found a restaurant that was open/accepting gaijin and had eggs benedict and had to relearn how to use western utensils. The waitress gave me a Japanese menu and then Swang and English menu.. was she trying to be as least racist as possible? It then took forever to get food, and Swang was hangry – then dessert took a long time too. 

“Is she MAKING it herself?” he jests, annoyed (for the record it was fantastic, and it came with a scoop of green tea ice cream). 

We popped over to the pier and took a pirate ship across Lake Ashi to the other side, where we then bussed back to the station. We popped into the 7eleven to get some food and walked up to the hostel to collect our bags. 

Like actually a pirate ship

Quick urination followed by a bus back to the station, where we took the train to Odawara in preparation for the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto where we will spend the next few days. I don’t think it’s all trains, but if the heater is on a lot of trains have heated seats. I’m getting tired of literally sweating my ass off due to warm seats on trains, but today was also pretty cold (single digits, especially on the boat!) so I guess I shouldn’t complain. It would probably be better if I didn’t have an allergic reaction to heat. 

We reserved tickets on the shinkansen and sat to eat some food, then stood outside at the station waiting for our train. 

A train came speeding by and Swang and I looked at each other with awe and fear – I said, “oh my God that was so fast,” and Swang replied, “it was scary!”

  
 Fast.

Turns out we were in different rows so we tuned out and waited for our train to arrive at the station. Which didn’t take a long time cause it was going like 220km/h according to my snapchat speedometer, but that’s unreliable so it was probably quicker than that. 

It was a brisk jaunt from the station to K’s House hostel where we got the full induction (again) and dropped out things off – then went to the bar connected to the hostel and heard some amazing music from a live band called Swim Me who had their CD at the bar. I immediately bought it after walking in and hearing the end of one song, as well as my first takoyaki of the trip and an iced tea. 

IMG_4545
Finally, I walked to the 24 down the road to pick up some shaving gear (I picked the cheap razor and cut my face to bits – no pictures sorry) and that was that. 

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