The second day we headed out of Tokyo to spend some time by Mt. Fuji. Dad had reserved a room in a 旅館 (ryokan: a traditional Japanese inn) and we were all pretty excited to experience a new part of Japan. I had only been outside of the Tokyo metro area once, when I went to 日光 (see post here) so I was really excited to go again. It took us a few hours of trains to get there, but it was definitely worth it!
View of Fuji at Otsuki station
After we checked in and before they gave us dinner, we decided to walk down to the 忍野ハ海 (Oshino Hakkai). These are 8 ponds that contain water that melted from the snow on Mt. Fuji, was filtered for several decades through the lava in the ground, and has come up as pure spring water. The area was gorgeous, and we all took a ton of pictures!
The area is a perfect spot to get pictures with Mt. Fuji!
After we had seen all the ponds, done some souvenir shopping, and tried a delicious red bean paste filled rice ball, we went back to the inn. The inn provided us all with our own 浴衣 (yukata: a light, summer/pajama type kimono) and we all had a lot of fun wearing them!
Sleeping on futon's!
The food they provided was all very traditional, so we ate lots of tofu, fish, seaweed and rice.
At night we all spent some time soaking in the 温泉 (onsen: hot spring) and everyone loved it! The water is so hot though, so we all were exhausted and went to sleep super early. The next day we spent some time walking around by the station and then went to go see 浅間神社 (Sengen shrine) a local shrine. It was gorgeous, and everyone got really excited to go see 浅草寺 (Senso-ji) on New Year's Eve.
After the shrine we caught a train and headed back into Tokyo. We spent a little time wandering around 西荻窪 (nishi-ogikubo), the neighborhood we are staying in, but we were all pretty worn out from travelling and in was another early night for us. I am really glad that the family was able to spend some time outside of Tokyo while they were here! I wish I could bring my rosehip-hibiscus tea and go back to the inn!
Keep an eye out for the next post! I'll post soon about how we went to Senso-ji temple for New Year's Eve, and other exciting happenings!