Hakone, Lake Ashi and Mt. Fuji

Yesterday’s travels involved us heading from Tokyo to Hakone to see Lake Ashi and views of Mt. Fuji. After more struggles with the railway we eventually found our way to the right platform. 

Everyone eager for the train

From the station we travelled by train up the mountain to the ropeway to see the high life. The views from these were breathtakingly beautiful and offered an excellent view of Mt. Fuji. Unfortunately, the clouds wanted more attention than the mountain and blocked our vision.

Mt. Fuji hidden away

The ropeway ended at Lake Ashi were we hopped aboard a pirate ship for a scenic cruise. 

If you could see me now

With the help of one of the deck hands we tried to spot Mt. Fuji from the boat but we had no luck. 

On the lookout

We ended the day with some sake and karaoke in Shinjuku. After a few drinks everyone had the voice of an angel and was giving it their all. 

Tokyo here we come!

Today was the final day in Kyoto and we managed to spend an hour inside the Pokemon Center playing arcade games. With plans to visit another three Centers in Tokyo everyone is excited to go back. 

Pikaaaachuuuuuuuu

After navigating our way through the station we found ourselves lining up to catch the bullet train to Tokyo. These trains speed is matched by their beauty as they seem to gracefully shoot through the countryside. So far the sights from the window have been filled with a mixture of city streets, green fields and mountains. 

Zoom zoom.

If all goes to plan we will be in Tokyo tonight and be ready to take on the big city! 

Rainy Days

After overshooting our station and getting a little lost we finally made it to our accommodation in Kyoto. Instead of heading out we decided to have an early night and go sight seeing in the morning. 

After grabbing an umbrella while most the guys picked up raincoats arguments started over which option would keep us more dry. Luckily for me, that option was the umbrella. 

Should have got an umbrella

Due to delays at the train station we chose to spend the day walking around kyoto instead of waiting for the train. After a two hour stroll we finally made it to the temples of Kyoto. The walk was definately worth it as these temples were beautiful. 

Towering Shrine

The Golden Temple was the hightlight of the day. Surrounded by a still lake on a rainy day the temple stood out in all of its glory. 

Golden views

After deciding not to walk for another two hours we took train back and everyone purchase an umbrella for the rainy days ahead. 

On top of the world!

After another brief confusion of trains this morning we found ourselves at Universal Studios Japan. 

Thumbs up!

We started off by heading straight to Harry Potter world and checking out Ollivanders wand shop, the merchandise shop and then headed to the rides nearby. The 4K ride was easily my favourite of the day and also offered a small tour of Hogwarts Castle. After a quick butterbeer we headed off the to next section of the park. 

A quick pitstop

The Hollywood dream and the Jurassic Park Flying Dinosaur Ride were the largest roller coasters at the park and offered plenty of butterflies in our stomachs. 

Hollywood Dream

The regret of the day was not spending 400 yen on a raincoat for the Jurassic Park boat ride. Most of us walked around soaked for the rest of the afternoon and immediately regretted our decision. 

The Flying Dinosaur

Here is hoping the rest of our trip ends up just as amazing as today!

Fine Dining

Matt’s face after realising he ordered a raw egg

We’ve safely touched down in Osaka and decided to head straight out to try some of the local dishes. The highlights of dinner were sliding a door that said push, finding out English menus available actually doesn’t mean English menus available and getting told they didn’t have what we all ordered. 
Even though we didn’t know what we were ordering the meals turned out to be delicious and the locals next to us commented  how we used our chopsticks with the hand gesture 👌 so we ended up doing something right.
Lets hope the rest of the trip turns out like our chopsticks 👌

All abroad!

Travel tip #1 for those heading off overseas. Pack a towel! I was the only one to throw in a towel out of the seven travelling.

Always bring a towel.

Travel tip #2: Never pass up free alcohol. The duty free at Cairns airport had free taste testing on almost all of their stock. We all took full advantage of tasting a few drops outside our normal price range. 

Getting on it early