Japan Trip Day 2

We woke early this morning to take the subway a few stops away from Jimbocho to Shinjuku. At Shinjuku we walked around and found the long distance bus station for our ride to Fuji! Actually we boarded a bus to a town called Kawaguchi-ko. The bus dropped us directly in front of our hotel at the station! Today was gorgeous!!!!!!!! I could see mount Fuji from the bus only 20 minutes into our ride. It is amazingly large and I`m so glad we came to see it. Zoe and I napped on the bus after the initial excitement wore off. The bus ride was nothing great; urban sprawl for a while until you got to the mountain area. As soon as we got here we dropped our bag at the hotel who would store it until check-in. We then walked down to lake Kawaguchi where we took a fun sightseeing boat ride. Got great views and pictures of the mountain. Zoe loved the giant swan shaped paddle boats everywhere. After that we got some lunch from a grocery store; a quick cheap bento box with rice, tofu, and some pickled sides. We also HAD to buy a precious one dollar banana that Zoe NEEDED. Our adventure continued back at the main Kawaguchi station where we waited for our city bus to the Wind Cave. I almost missed pushing the button for the stop, but luckily the bus driver still let me get off a bit down the road. The cave was really neat and cold. It`s an old lava tube where there are icicles year round and huge chuncks of icew; I guess ancient peoples used it for refrigeration. From there we walked to another cave called the ice cave, but Zoe fell asleep on me enroute. I just hung out in the snack bar lounge area until she woke. When I went to get a ticket, though, they told me it was to difficult of cave for me to take her so I couldn`t go. I was fine with that except that the local bus didn`t come for another hour and a half and it was getting chilly out. We wasted more time in the mini gift shop and then walked to the bus stop…it was about 500 meters and Zoe walked the whole way! It was good she did because it was getting downright cold as the sun faded and wind kicked up. We got to the stop and still had 45 minutes to wait in the little booth. About 15 minutes later the nice man from the ice cave came by with his family in there mini mini van and offered a ride…thank GOD. It was so nice of him. They had two little dogs in the car, too, which was funny as they were the same ones wandering around the gift shop. Anyway, it saved us getting super frozen. We checked into our hotel, and we got an amazing room with a view of Mt. Fuji. It`s a traditional Japanese style tatatmi room with futons to sleep on and a little table with tea waiting for us. The hotel is the Kawaguchiko Station Inn, and is one of the economy hotels…but my splurge for the trip at $42 a night. We booked it up to the bathhouse on the roof to watch the sunset glow on Fuji from the hot tub. We had it to ourselves for a long time. Now we have just finished dinner here at the hotel cafe – spaghetti and cheese toast. I`m not really branching out tonight since I didn`t want to leave the hotel again. We are now going to head downstairs and checkout the lounge where I get a free drink, then back to the room to chill out and watch some Japanese TV in privacy. What a fun day!

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