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Reisverslag Kyoto - Takayama - Tokyo - Mount Fuji
13 oktober 2014
Kyoto - Takayama - Tokyo - Mount Fuji
It took some time to reach Kyoto by bus because it had to go via Osaka. I arrived safe and sound and checked in at the Shiori-an hostel for the upcoming four nights. While I was sitting in the common room I met two Spanish guys (Sergio and Jose). Sergio was unfortunately leaving Japan the next day but Jose had big plans for the next day in Kyoto. After chatting the entire evening I asked Jose if it was ok if I could join him the next day, he replied with an enthusiastic "Yes, that would be great!".
While walking to the Kyoto Imperial Palace we got a small breakfast and arrived just in time for our guided tour. This was my first encounter with the many shrines in Kyoto. During the tour we met two Spanish girls that joined us also for the rest of the day. The next shrine was the Ginkaku-Ji, this one had a small but beautiful garden. We hiked over Philosopher's Walk to the Eikan-do shrine, this one we could actually go in and get a little bit of a taste of what was going on in the building. Next on the list: Kiyomizu Temple with a beautiful view over the city. From Gion we grabbed a bus and taxi to Fushimi Inari Shrine, the number one attraction in Kyoto. We walked under 10.000 Tori's all the way to the top of the hill and back down again. It was 20:00 when we finally, completely exhausted, set down for a nice meal. Another great day in Japan.
I had breakfast with Jose and said goodbye to each other, because he was going to Mount Fuji. We agreed on meeting up in Tokyo again on the 7th of October. I hired a bike for a day and cycled to the Kinkaku-ji shrine. A beautiful temple completely covered in gold with a lovely garden. Back on my bike again I cycled all the way to Arashiyama (bamboo forest). Still a little bit tired from the day before I went back to my hostel. In the evening I helped a Japanese girl from the hostel to speak a couple of German words because she was hoping to meet Marcel Kittel at a upcoming cycle event. After practicing for a while she got the hang of it and did a great job.
I started up slowly and went to the train station to visit a nearby city called Nara. Once I arrived In Nara I ran into a Dutch couple that I met in Hiroshima before. We hiked together through a big park with a lot of "wild" deers that you could feed and pet. Up next another big shrine and back to Kyoto again. While getting back at the hostel I was invited to join a group of three guys from all over the globe (Australia, India and Japan) to grab some food and beers. I picked out a sushi bar named Chojiro via Tripadvisor that was absolutely fantastic. After dinner two other Japanese people from the hostel decided to join us for the night out. We went to a nightclub (Ibiza) and had a awesome night out.
I opened up my eyes next morning due to my alarm. I turned it off, turned around again and knew this was gonna be a rough day... I went to the Kyoto bus station to catch my bus to Takayama. I slept and read a lot during the trip and before I knew it I reached my destination. I checked in at K's Takayama Hostel and met Matthew a guy from Australia. We went out for dinner and walked through what looked like a abandoned city. We chilled out in the hostel and I looked up what I was gonna do the next day.
I could hear it raining the entire night and it still had not stopped in the morning. I looked at the weather forecast and saw that there was another typhoon hitting Japan. I went out anyway and visited Hida No Sato a village build with traditional Japanese houses. I spend a lot of time in the village that also had some nice traditional artifacts. I had not seen a shrine for a entire day so I visited The World Shrine. It looked more like an church and It was very beautiful. When I walked out of the shrine the rain started to intensify because of the approaching typhoon. I walked back to the hostel and met with Matthew again. We had the same ritual as the day before: dinner and relaxing. I packed my bags once again and was ready for my departure to Tokyo.
It was raining the entire bus trip from Takayama to Tokyo. It was when I got of the bus the first beams of sunlight were coming through the clouds. I arrived at Shinjuku station and stared looking for a subway station. There are so many different lines, stations and railway company's that it is very confusing. Luckily I got some help from a Japanese girl that pointed me to the correct station. I checked in at the Sakura Hostel Asakusa and went for a walk through Asakusa towards the Skytree Tower, the highest building of Tokyo. I didn't go up yet but I was definitely going back there later on. Back at my hostel I met a couple of guys that wanted to visit a sumo match at a stadium. We couldn't find any information about matches going on but decided to go there the next day anyway.
During the night a guy in my room had to catch a flight early morning. At 04:00 his alarm started going off and after five minutes he still didn't turn it off... It crossed my mind to go to his bed and just turn off his alarm and let him mis his flight... No! This would have been very rude of me so I decided to wake him up. He jumped out of bed, without thanking me, and ran of to the showers. I fell asleep again but after 10 minutes he came back in the room again. The first thing he did while entering the room: turn on the lights of the entire room! Second: he started to pack his back for about 15 minutes and making a lot of noise! Third: moisturize his arms, legs and face! At this point I couldn't take it anymore... I'm not going to mention what I told him but he got out of the room very fast all of a sudden. I should have turned off his alarm instead of waking him up...
After a big breakfast at the hostel we went to the Kokugikan Sumo Stadium to look for a sumo match. Unfortunately there were no sumo matches today but we ran into a sumo wrestler outside the stadium and took some pictures with him. Next we visited the Edo-Tokyo Museum and learned some things about the history of the city. We split up after the museum and Nick (from England) and I went walking around at Sinjuku district and went up the Government Building to enjoy the view. When it started to get dark the city also came alive all of a sudden. Lights flashing everywhere and streets were fully packed with people. After a while Nick and I went back to the hostel to meet the other guys.
We drank some beers at the hostel and decided to go out at the Shibuya district. A guy from England was the highlight of the evening: he was trying to put some money on his "subway card" but for some reason it didn't work. After trying a couple of times I offered him to help. Once I walked up I discovered the problem straight away, he was trying to put money on his room key (the card from the hostel)... Later that night he couldn't keep his eyes open and was falling asleep in a chair in the middle of a pub. Another great night out in Japan :).
The next morning I contacted my Spanish friend Jose and went to his hostel to pick him up. I studied logistics but the complexity of the subway system in Tokyo made me struggle for a bit. I Finally ended up arriving 45 minutes to late at the hostel... Jose and I went to the Tokyo Tower and walked around through Shinjuku and Shibuya district. In the Shibuya district there is a crossing were thousands of people cross during rush hour. We stayed around for a bit and enjoyed the fully packed streets of the Shibuya district. While sitting down I contacted Gareth, the English guy from the ferry from Shanghai to Osaka, and arranged to meet at an Irish pub. We drank a beer and decided to go to Mount Fuji at a Friday evening. Since we were near the government building we ended up going there and looked down at the city during night time. After this we all split up and went to our hostels.
In the morning I contacted Jose and we met up near the Rainbow Bridge. We took a subway over the bridge and walked around at the other side. Next we went to the Asakusa district and visited a temple and market. We walked to the Skytree Tower and waited at an Mc Donald's until it got dark. We got up to the highest point (451,2 meters) and looked outside, the view was phenomenal. There were lights as far as your eyes could see. Every round we walked we would see something different. We grabbed a coffee at the Skytree Café and let it all sink in. Eventually we ended up staying at the Skytree Tower almost two hours. At the bottom of the Skytree Tower we said goodbye again and I chilled out at the hostel and prepared for going to Mount Fuji.
After doing some laundry and writing I was ready to meet up with Gareth at Shinjuku station. Due to some miscommunication we finally found each other one hour later than planned. He also brought a third person to join the climb: Lindo. Because they could not find me they already bought a ticket for the bus of 19:10 to Kawaguchicko station. Unfortunately for me the 19:10 bus was declared to be fully booked but after some hassle at 19:05 I was allowed to enter another bus departing to Kawaguchicko station at 19:10. While the bus approached Kawaguchicko I asked my female neighbor if there were any busses going to my final destination Fujikawaguchiko (approximately one hour walk away from Kawaguchicko). The woman told me: "There are no more busses driving to Fujikawaguchicko after 18:00 hour, but I'm going there anyway so I will drop you off" :). Feeling very happy and thankful she and her mother drove me to my hostel (Den's Inn) were I waited an extra hour for Gareth to arrive. Gareth contacted Lindo via Facebook, because he was staying at another hostel, to let him know we would take the first bus up from Kawaguchicko station at 09:20 to the 5th station of Mount Fuji.
I woke up the next morning and felt totally exhausted, a guy in my room had been snoring so loud that the windows were literally shaking. Gareth and I just reached the 09:10 bus for Kawaguchiko station in time. We arrived at the station were we looked for Lindo but he was nowhere to be found... We bought a bus ticket for the 5th station and departed towards Mount Fuji, without Lindo... The mountain had claimed his first victim of the day. We would later find out that the previous message from Gareth didn't come through via Facebook due to an Internet failure. After not hearing anything from us he decided to go back to Tokyo.
We arrived at the 5th station (2300 meters) around 10:20 and started hiking up. We were under a lot of time pressure because the last bus goes down at 15:30... The average ascend of Mount Fuji is five to seven hours and descent three to four hours... After an intense and very fast climb we were very happy to reach summit (3776 meters) 3,5 hours later. The view from this point was amazing and the crater looked very impressive. We looked around for 30 minutes and turned around again because we were afraid we would run out of daylight. It took us two hours to get back to the 5th station, unfortunately one hour to late for the last bus down... We decided to hitchhike instead of walking an extra 30 kilometers. After just 30 seconds somebody stopped and took us to Kawaguchicko station, I love the kindness of the Japanese people :). We celebrated our successful climb with a couple of beers and some nice Thai food. Back at the hostel I met Brady a professional photographer from Hawaii traveling all over the world looking for the perfect picture. It was around midnight when I fell asleep like a baby.
We ended up cycling around Kawaguchicko and Fujikawaguchicko the next day because our legs felt a bit sore. It didn't take long before we found a nice terrace next to a lake were we chilled out for a while. After a slow bus ride because of traffic jams we arrived at Tokyo around six o'clock. We said goodbye to each other and I went to check in at Khaosan World Asakusa Ryokan Hostel. I ate some food at an restaurant and met a guy from Hong Kong. We chatted for a while and we might meet up again in Hong Kong. In the evening I relaxed for a bit at the hostel and went to bed early.
In the morning I had to pack my bags again because I was flying out early morning the next day. Before leaving Tokyo I drank a coffee with Jose and walked through the Ueno district. I was telling Jose about Brady and how cool it would be if you could travel around the world and take pictures for a living. At the same time we went around a bend and who was standing there: Brady. What are the odds of that happening :). Jose and I said goodbye and we were going our separate ways from now on. When I got back to the hostel Gareth and Lindo walked in all of a sudden. They both decided to quit there job at the hostel they were also living at and look for a other job. After a while we said goodbye again and I went to the airport at 16:00.
After an amazing stay in Japan I'm now at the airport and waiting for my flight. At the moment there is another typhoon approaching Tokyo... A lot of flights are already been delayed or cancelled. My flight is still set to depart at 06:20 to Hong Kong... To be continued.
Foto's bij verslag (28)
13 oktober 2014 16:36 | Door: anneke Beets
Ik heb genoten van je verhaal, wat maak je veel mee en wat zie je veel , prachtig
13 oktober 2014 19:57 | Door: Wim
Mooie verhalen Erik, erg leul allemaal.
13 oktober 2014 22:45 | Door: Uncle Bart
Hi Eric, love your stories, nicely written and easy to read, put the Gold Coast of Australia on your itinerary, a must and a amazing place!!!
14 oktober 2014 13:51 | Door: michiko
. Kon'nichiwa Erikku,
watashi wa Michikodesu. Basu wa anata no hosuteru ni iku teishi shita tokiniha,-sha no naka de watashitoisshoni ita. Zan'nen anata wa watashitoisshoni nete imasendeshita. Anata wa subarashīdesu
17 oktober 2014 13:04 | Door: Richard
Als ik dit verhaal zo lees lijkt Japan een geweldig land om door heen te reizen. En volgens mij heb je je draai wel gevonden want deze keer een verhaal zonder calamiteiten..... hahaha
Ik ben al weer benieuwd naar je volgende verslag vanuit Hong Kong.
Blijf genieten !
21 oktober 2014 13:44 | Door: els vilten (collega moeder )
zo leer je wel veel mensen kennen , onderweg , heb je thuis alles opgezocht wat je wil zien of doe je dat daar?
spannend dat is het zeker! ik geniet van je verhalen ga zo door.
op naar Hong Kong
24 oktober 2014 04:55 | Door: EriK van der Maarel
Een aantal plekken heb ik al van tevoren uitgekozen maar dit veranderd nog wel eens door verhalen van anderen. Dit maakt het ook een stuk leuker want soms ga ik dan met andere mensen mee!