In a word, Tokyo is – overwhelming.
Trina, Demnlus, Shirley and I spent the day with our guide on subways and over 5 miles of walking.
Tokyo is spotless. The trains are clean and always have a place to sit. I did not see a single homeless person. Everyone is either selling something or buying something. People dress up, and they are all slender. The population is 20 million, half of the entire state of California.
Figure 1 - Tsukiji Outer Market
Figure 2 - Seafood at Tsukiji Outer Market
Figure 3 - Demnlus, Trina and Shirley
Figure 4 - The Sky Tree
Figure 5 The Sky Tree observation deck at 350 meters
Figure 6 - Tokyo from a quarter mile up
We walked through endless markets, went to the top of the Sky Tree Tower, stopped for lunch near the Asakusa Sensoji Temple and walked through expensive stores with stuff no one could afford to buy.
Figure 7 - Entrance to Asakusa Sensoji Temple across the street
Figure 8 - Sensoji Temple
Figure 9 - You pay 100 Yen for a fortune.
Figure 10 - If you get a bad fortune, you can make it go away by tying it to the rack
Figure 11 - Where we were
Figure 12 – Shopping
Figure 13 - More shopping
On Wednesday, we traveled by car to Mount Fuji where we stopped at the 5th Station at about 6,000 feet. Fuji has ten stations, and the 5th station is about at timber line where the remaining 6,000 feet of the mountain looms above you. Although it was cloudy and foggy, the clouds parted, and we got a full-on view of the summit.
Figure 14 - 5th Station at Mt. Fuji
Figure 15 - For a few minutes, the sun came out
Figure 16 - Demnlus rides a horse
From Fuji, we drove to a fumarole that was a tourist destination, had lunch and took a cable car to the bottom of the mountain at a lake. We boarded a ferry boat outfitted like a pirate ship and traveled to the end of the lake where our driver met us and took us to our hotel in a town called Hakone.
Figure 17 - The fumarole
Figure 18 - Mt. Fuji in the distance
Figure 19 - Riding the cable car (Hakone Ropeway) down to the lake
Figure 20 - Our ship awaits us
The hotel is a traditional Japanese style. No shoes, and everyone is provided traditional kimonos to wear around the hotel and to dinner. We used a bath fed by a nearby hot springs.
Figure 21 - Waterfall at the Tenseien Ryokan
Figure 22 - Tenseien Inn