Remember that movie “Romancing the Stone” that starred Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner? It was probably out some time in the 80′s. Anyway, Kathleen Turner’s character goes to Columbia to try to save her sister. She is trying to get to Cartegena, and has been steered to the wrong bus, it crashes and people are leaving the bus to go on with their lives. She is left standing in the middle of nowhere with a gigantic suitcase. She asks Michael Douglas how to get to Cartgena. He replies, “Angel, you are hell and gone from Cartgena”.
I kept having flashes of that scene while Ashley and I tried to get from Kobe to the Five Lakes Region around Mt. Fuji. Change the country and that’s us, complete with Ginormo, the giant suitcase. Our directions from the travel agent were to take a bullet train to a specific station and transfer to another train line to get to Mt. Fuji. We got through the first leg and found that the train line to Mt. Fuji didn’t come within 30 miles of the station we were currently standing in. Thank God that kid of mine speaks Japanese. After numerous exchanges with train personnel, she located a bus we could take to get to our hotel.
We didn’t have enough cash for the bus, so wandered around for a while trying to find an ATM that took foreigh credit cards. We finally found a 7-11 with a machine that we figured out after about 10 tries. At this time, we decided it must be cocktail hour and added booze to our supply list.
This is Ginormo. I have been hauling this 50 pound suitcase up and down stairs all day. Don’t ever let people talk you into “bringing a few things over for them”
Ginormo, the Giant Suitcase
Anyway, 2 hours on a bus later we get to our hotel. we have dinner and are too tired to even drink the booze we bought. We do try on the Yukata that are provided in all Japanese hotel rooms. Aren’t we cute?
The tired Yukata twins (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart
They have had a freak snowstorm and when I look out my window in the morning, I see this:
Snowy Day 2 (C) Tracy McCabe Stewart
More Snowy Day (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart
More snow (C) Tracy McCabe Stewart
We are totally unprepared for snow. Ashley has a pair of girly, city shoes and I have only packed a jean jacket.
Ashley's Girly Shoes
Thankfully, it all pretty much melted that morning and it turned out just fine. I got to see these beautiful gardens in snow and see the cherry blossoms when it had thawed. I missed most of the cherry blossoms at the lower altitude, but this area is up about 2000 feet and they were still here in all of there glory.
Cherry blossoms in the hotel garden (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart
a close up:
Cheery Blossom close up (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart
The hotel is on Lake Komoguchi, in the middle of a National Park and they had an observatory at the top of the hotel with wonderful views:
Out the other side of the hotel is a spectacular view of My. Fuji. At the end of the day, When the clouds cleared a bit, I managed to get a picture of the top:
Top of Mt. Fuji (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart
and a bit broader a view:
Mt. Fuji (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart
We went to see the exquisite kimono of Itciku Kubota later that day. They didn’t allow photos in the museum, but I got lots of shots of the gardens. I’ll try to post them as soon as I can.