July 2016
  • Day11

    Golden Pavillion

    July 20, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    I decided to be lazy and take a taxi from Arashiyama to Kinkaku-ji. It was actually my first time in a Japanese taxi on my own so I was a little bit worried. My fare came to just over ¥2000 for a 20 minutes ride. I paid the taxi driver with a ¥2000 note and some change and he had a very excited reaction. I had no idea why at the time but it seems like ¥2000 notes are not that common in public.
    Anyway, I had reached one of the iconic places of Kyoto, the Golden Pavillion. Because the weather was so bright, everything just looked amazing. The lush greens and the gold of the temple itself. It was a nice walk through the temple grounds too but me being as pale as I am, I was feeling the heat and the burn. I decided to take some shade with a green tea flavoured soft ice cream.
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  • Day11

    Arashiyama Bamboo Path

    July 20, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    I got off the Shinkansen at Kyoto station then changed train to the San-In line to Arashiyama. I took a quick walk through the bamboo grove and then onto the monkey park. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see any wild monkeys but the views of the beautiful green mountains made up for it.

  • Day11

    Boarding the Shinkansen

    July 20, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    So, after my Mount Fuji climb, my thighs were so sore and my body ached that I just wanted to stay in bed. I managed to motivate myself and get up at 5 to get ready for a trip to Kyoto. Once I was at the station and saw the Shinkansen I was glad that I didn't stay in bed. It would have been a waste of a day. The train was travelling fast through the city and I thought that was a good speed until out of the city it went even faster! Kind of like when your plane is ready to take off and it has that burst of speed. I wish we had these trains back home.
    3 hours to Kyoto and such lovely views in between.
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  • Day10

    Late lunch with a new friend

    July 19, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    When we arrived at Shinjuku, Adrian told us that he had a 9 hour wait until his bus and was going to explore the city so he suggested we had a bite to eat together before we all went our separate ways. The place we went to was serving a new ramen on their menu, Thai ramen. It sounded good so we went for it. It was so spicy but good. Sayaka said Japanese foods don't really have much in the way of hot spice so it was something good for her to try. Adrian was finding it hard not to choke on the hotness. I was fine though, maybe because we do have lots of spicy foods in the UK. I'm just used to it I guess.. or I have crap taste buds. We found dead out that Adrian teaches English in Osaka but really wants to travel to France to teach home school. It all sounds great choosing where you would like to work next. Best of luck to him. We all said our goodbyes and I went back to the hotel for a much needed shower.Read more

  • Day10

    A New Face

    July 19, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    We decided the easiest way to get back to Tokyo from the Subashiri Trail was to get a bus to Gotemba then another bus straight to Shinjuku. We got chatting to a nice Canadian lad called Adrian who had come from Osaka and climbed Fuji in a day. He was on his way to Tokyo to catch his night bus back to Osaka. The way he was originally going to choose would have meant him changing a few times so we just suggested he tag along with us.Read more

  • Day10

    Subashiri Trail

    July 19, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

    For out descent we chose the Subashiri Trail because as Sayaka said "it's faster so that means it's easier." Well... it wasn't too bad to begin with. It was like walking down steep sand dunes. The ground shifting with each step. I was alright with that. Neither of us wanted to go down a route that had huge steps down. Sayaka made a remark about not many people were using that trail. Now we know why. It was shifting volcanic ash pretty much the whole way down. Our legs were getting heavier, we were covered in Ash and we kept having to empty our boots of volcanic rocks every so often. We kept making jokes about who picked this trail, blaming each other.
    We were alone on the trail for the most of the time, the occasional person passing us by. It felt a bit eerie on this trail with clouds passing through us set against the brown grey ash surroundings.
    We were so happy when we saw a sign for the 5th station signalling the end until Sayaka read the sign "You're don't want to hear this....we have 40 minutes more 😣😥"
    Well this 40 minutes took a lot longer than that. Although we were tired, we really enjoyed this part as it was travelling through a forest in what appeared to be a dried up stream. On our way, 2 old ladies passed us starting their ascent "Not long now" they said. Sayaka was cursing them later on because we still had ages to go. Sayaka made me laugh so much. It seemed like the more tired we got, the funnier everything was.
    We did it! After 4 hours of sliding down ash and rocks we finally reached the 5th station. The lady at the shop there was kind enough to let us use a room to change. Both proud of ourselves, we enjoyed a nice cuppa before setting off back to Tokyo.
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  • Day10

    Summit of Mount Fuji

    July 19, 2016 in Japan ⋅ 🌙 9 °C

    We set off for the summit at 2AM with our headlamps. Thankfully Sayaka's headache had gone. Seems like a good meal and sleep is what she needed. Myself, on the other hand, didn't feel too great for the first half of the summit trail. I was getting a bit breathless but that passed after an hour. We reached the 9th station and saw the shadow of Fuji cast upon the clouds. It started to get crowded on the climb up to the summit. We were worried we were going to miss the sunrise. We were informed that it would take 20 minutes to reach the summit from where we were because of the queues climbing so we took the decision to sit where we were for a perfect view of the sunrise. It didn't disappoint. Pictures don't do it justice at all. Once the hype for the sunrise had died down we then headed up the summit.Read more

  • Day9

    8th station hut

    July 18, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We finally got up to our accommodation for the night. Sayaka had a headache and I was worried she was getting altitude sickness. We sat down for dinner, Katsu curry which was delicious after hiking all day, then we bedded down for the night. We were bunking with a lot of noisy people but we managed sleep on and off.Read more

  • Day9

    7th station

    July 18, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We decided upon the Yoshida trail, which is the more popular route. I think we chose this route because we thought there would be lots of people if something should go wrong, but not many people were around.