...though his head was in the clouds :)
12.06.2010 - 13.06.2010 26 °C
We had a fantastic day yesterday: Rie and Kiyo took us to see Mt Fuji, which the Japanese call Fuji san ('Mr Fuji'). A long drive through heavily forested hillsides (and past an amusement park with some scary-looking rollercoasters) got us to Lake Kawabuchiko, at the foot of the mountain...which was shrouded in heavy cloud. Rie was disappointed but we weren't - it was still very impressive! Bought a book of fabulous photos that show it at its best anyway.
As the weather was quite humid and hot (mushi atsui) we soon retired to Fudo, a nearby restaurant that specialises in hoto (yes, their T shirts said 'hoto fudo' Loud and lively atmosphere with frenetic staff busily serving up big cast iron pots full of scaldingly hot soup, vegies and homemade noodles. Everyone shouts at everybody else and it was great fun!
After lunch we descended into Narusawa Ice Cave - brr! It was very cold and a VERY tight fit, but there were some beautiful natural ice formations plus huge piles of carved ice blocks.
Then it was on to a local winery, as the area is famous grape country. The samples were a little underwhelming to our spoilt Aussie palates; it was interesting but we wouldn't rush off to Dan Murphy's to fill up on Japanese wine. But hey, it was all free - and the imported Aussie sultana snacks were nice! The cold jasmine tea was very refreshing too - we are developing quite a taste for some of the cold local teas.
Today we took a series of trains into Tokyo to check out Akihabara, otherwise known as Electric City. This quarter bristles (hums?) with every electrical item you could possibly think of, plus myriad others you hadn't. (Nerdia has seen an electric eraser.) There was a surprisingly good souvenir floor in one of the shopping towers and we bought up big. Nerdia finally has a yukata (summer kimono)!
During lunch at an Italian restaurant (quite trendy here), we reckon we felt our first earthquake. (Can't blame the vino, we didn't have any!) It was very small - like a series of people had bumped into our chairs - and no-one else seemed to notice, but we saw the lights swaying. A bit. Rie was mortified when we mentioned it so we swiftly blamed the train tracks behind the building, but we are adamant we survived a Japanese earthquake! We should make commemorative T shirts. ;-) Note to parents: we are fine. Really.
That's it for now, though we are adding more photos as we go and have updated our travel map so you can follow us around. (At a discreet distance, L&T - we'll see you behind those newspapers!)
Ja mata (see you later) from Nerdia and Plane Boy.