Friday, July 5, 2013

July 12; naked beside Mt.Fuji

Day 5
Landmarks that come to mind when you think of Japan: Mt.Fuji.
Hiking around the base of Mt.Fuji would have been ideal but with time constraints, we figured it would be best to save it for another time and instead we went to an onsen to enjoy the view of Fujisan instead.
 According to the kind Japanese lady who saved us from the pouring rain, onsens, traditional Japanese hot springs, are a significant part in Japanese culture and Japanese people love them. 

We left for Yamanakako Lake (one of the five great lakes in the Mt.Fuji area) in the morning.
View from the bus ride. Unusually dreary weather
A 2 hour trip ended up being 3 and a half after confusion about bus stops. The driver was really nice and reserved seats for us on another bus with no charge. When we got off the bus, which kind of dropped us in the middle of nowhere - a nowhere that so unusually windy and cold, we began looking for the onsen.
The onsen was supposed to be a 15 minute walk from the bus stop. It was really windy and then it began to rain so that so called 15 minutes felt like much longer. As we were storming through the weather determined to jump into a spring of hotness, a concerned Japanese women stopped her car and asked where we were going and offered us a ride. After a second of hesitation we accepted this kind woman's offer. She dropped us off at the gate. She was way to sweet.
We have arrived!
The public baths and nakedness factor were oh so familiar as it was the Japanese equivalent to the Korean jimjilbang. We sat in the comfortably hot waters jumping from tub to tub for just under three hours. The outside stone bathes were my favourite. Since I couldn't take pictures (obviously) I’ll try to reinvent what it looked like: Imagine sitting in an outdoor Jacuzzi on a crazy windy and rainy day with a roof over your head with a view of plants and sky. On a clearer day, Mt.Fuji can be seen. After lazying around and feeling super clean, refreshed, and relaxed we braced ourselves for the uncalming weather outside.
all clean :)
Pictures with Mt.Fuji
As we did not to miss out only bus home we walked back to the area beside the bus stop and found shelter and food from the rainy cold weather. On our way to 7/11 a man stopped his car and asked if we needed a ride. After politely declining he left us with an umbrella. We did catch the bus and found our way back to Tokyo.
Convenient store dinners.
Oh Japan, you and your kind hearted people <3

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