The Fascinating Japan (14 Days 13 Nights Itinerary) (Part IV: Hakone, Mount Fuji)
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I must say that we were very lucky to experience beautiful weather on most days throughout our trip in Japan.  We were told that it was raining heavily in most parts of Japan for a whole week before our arrival.  Looking at weather forecast, it seemed that there was not much chance for us to 'meet' the mysterious Fuji-San in 'person', as it would be raining and cloudy when we finally arrived Hakone after touring other cities and towns as per our itinerary.  I had been praying that the weather would change and be kinder to us, which I had been checking the weather forecast regularly.  The night before we left for Hakone, weather forecast showed that there would be sun for about an hour from 9am to 10am in Hakone.  So we left Nagoya at 7am, hoping to arrive Hakone in time to meet Fuji-San. We weren't disappointed. :)   

Let's read more of our part IV adventure now.  Oh before that, here are the links to read part I, II and III:

Part I: Osaka, Nara, Kobe: http://vivianfoo.com/blog_post.php?blog_id=67

Part II: Kyoto: http://vivianfoo.com/blog_post.php?blog_id=74

Part III: Takayama, Shiraka-go: http://vivianfoo.com/blog_post.php?blog_id=75

 

Here's the official start of our part IV journey: 

Day 9: Left Nagoya for Hakone.  Hakone sight-seeing cruise, enjoying Lake Ashi, checking-into Airbnb and rest. 

Accommodation: Lakeside Villa with Mount Fuji View, Hakone 

The beautiful villa is booked via Airbnb as per the link here.  If you have not signed up for Airbnb yet, you may do so here, so we will both get RM90 travel credit each from Airbnb, which can be used in any of our bookings through them. :) 

 

It was an easy drive from Nagoya to Hakone (same direction as per heading to Tokyo). :)

Woohoo... See what's in front of us?  FUJI-SAN.  This was taken from the express way. 

Upon arriving Hakone, we first went for the Hakone sightseeing cruise.  If you were lucky, you could see Fuji-San during the tour, which we did.  But tourists who arrived from Tokyo on day trip tour were not so lucky.  They arrived in the noon and it was very cloudy.   So my advice is try to stay at least a night in Hakone if you really want to see Fuji-San, that increases your chances a lot.  Also, check the weather forecast if you can only afford a day trip due to time constraint, try your best to pick a sunny day or check the exact hours with sunshine like what we did.  :) 

Our cruise ship departed from Hakonemachi-ko and we took the 30 minutes cruise to Togendai-ko, which is the connection point for the Hakone ropeway to visit Owakudani.  The ropeway was closed at time of our visit due to the volcanic activity.  So the Togendai port was quieter than usual.  We walked along the lake, enjoying the scenic view and peacefulness.  We then caught sight of this small cosy restaurant which was just across the road from the lake, and was patronised by mainly the locals.  

Oh boy!  It was the best decision ever to have our lunch here.  The restaurant served the best Japanese fried rice, curry and seafood.  The owner loved kids too, she gave them lots of Japanese snacks and chocolates!  

We headed back to get our car via the same cruise after lunch.  Kids were a little tired to do another attraction.  So we decided to sit along the lakeside, admiring the beautiful Lake Ashi.  Kids were not bored though, as they were busy feeding the duckies.  It was an enjoyable afternoon.  

We decided to try our luck to see if we could check-in early into our villa, check-in time was 3pm.  Voila, we bumped into our host's beautiful mom on our way to our villa.  She had kindly led us to our villa and showed us around.  A very beautiful villa. We were grateful, as it had been a long journey and we needed some good rest badly. :)

A spacious kitchen and dining area.  The unit came with a washer cum dryer and a big bathroom with bathtub and view too. You may log into the link provided above for more pictures of the villa.  

We loved the balcony the most.  It's covered with glass that you could still enjoy a cup of hot tea while reading a good book during winter.  On a sunny day, it promises the view of Mount Fuji.  

 

Day 10: Hanoke Open Air Museum

Accommodation: Lakeside Villa with Mount Fuji View, Hakone 

 

It rained heavily the whole morning until noon time.  So we did not manage to do any sightseeing.  Thankfully we were grounded in a nice villa that all of us enjoyed nestling in, by reading our books, listening to music or playing silly stuffs on each other.  Once the rain stopped, we quickly drove out to visit Hakone Open Air Museum.  

It was a nice stroll in this beautiful mostly outdoor art museum.  We were glad to finally see nice blue sky too!

The exhibit of Picasso's was one of the highlights of the visit to this Open Air Museum.  

 

One of the art pieces that I loved the most.  

 

There was a small indoor play area which kept our kids occupied for more than an hour.  LOL  It's again proven that kids do not need high-tech gadgets or fancy toys to have fun.  Let their creativity run wild and they could think of lots of fun stuffs.

 

This picture worth a blog post as all of us almost cried when we finally found a Chinese restaurant after 10 days in Japan.  Stir fried kailan and sweet sour meat, oh how we missed you! LOL

 

Day 11: Grinpa Amusement Park, which promises one of the best views of Mount Fuji.  Finally too, the last leg of our trip - Tokyo!  

Accommodation: lori's Apartment, which is near Sensoji Temple in Tokyo. 

The link is here.  If you have not signed up for Airbnb yet, you may do so here, so we will both get RM90 travel credit each from Airbnb, which can be used in any of our bookings through them. :) 

 

A family photo I love so much, taken outside of our Villa in Hakone. 

It was a fun and a little challenging drive through some narrow lanes to the higher point of this moutaineous town, where Grinpa Amusement Park is located.  This look-out point is one of the best places to have a great view of Mount Fuji.  But Fuji-San decided to sleep in that morning.  LOL 

 Wakey-wakey, Fuji-San was here to greet us soon after we entered the Grinpa Amusement Park. We were still on the mini ferris wheel when he said hello to us!  LOL  

So my review of Grinpa Amusement Park?  Is it worth going?  Definitely yes!  It's a small park that you can do in one day.  It's   an old-school amusement park which brings back all your childhood memories, you get to be a kid again and our kids will enjoy looking and playing at some classic games and rides.  Besides, the park is very well managed, it's a 100% Japanese standard.  It's a combination of fun, sensory integrated, and educational park for the whole family.  You can do snow sledding on certain times of the year too, check out their website for further info.  :) 

 

 Ultraman theme and they do have some other themes too, but Ultraman stays close to my heart. :) 

 

Find your way out.  This is one of the many sensory integrated games that I mentioned.  There are a few mazes of different difficulties, a huge nature playground,  a fun treasure hunt castle, and etc... for the whole family to enjoy.  

The main reason to visit Grinpa is that it offers one of the best and closest views of Mount Fuji. :)

We drove and returned our rental car in Tokyo.  This is the view from our Airbnb apartment's balcony - Tokyo Skytree. 

 

I hope you enjoy reading our adventure in beautiful Hakone and Mount Fuji.  Besides the attractions mentioned above, you may also consider Yunessun Onsen & Water Park and Fuji Safari Park, if you are traveling with young children and have that extra day to spend.  

Here are the links to part I, II and III of our Japan trip.  Enjoy! 

Part I: Osaka, Nara, Kobe: http://vivianfoo.com/blog_post.php?blog_id=67

Part II: Kyoto: http://vivianfoo.com/blog_post.php?blog_id=74

Part III: Takayama, Shiraka-go: http://vivianfoo.com/blog_post.php?blog_id=75

 

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Welcome to my blog! It was a travelogue to document all our travels with our 3 beautiful kids (Brother Bear, Sister Bear and Baby Bear).  Papa Bear and I love travelling.

Having kids does not stop us from doing so, as when we travel as a family, we gain more and together we make sweet memories to be cherished forever.

Oh yes, the blog has now evolved to a more MOM's site, as I realise there are so much more things about parenthood which I wish to share with other parents. So here you go, my humble blog - VivianFoo.com :) 

Why being just a mom is just AMAZING?

Because mom is a title just above QUEEN. :)

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