Texans in Japan – Day 5

April 9th, 2010

It rained all night long! Tony & I woke up at 6:30am and headed over to a private hut for a bath. The air was very cold, but the hot springs felt wonderful.

After our bath, we packed up and headed down for a traditional Japanese breakfast.

Traditional Japanese breakfast

Traditional Japanese breakfast

All I can say is…different. Breakfast consisted of 2 broiled butter fish (including skin, bones, and head), a salad with sushi on it, miso soup, rice porridge, a small piece of boiled potato, a raw egg, green tea, steamed rice, and two tiny pieces of pineapple/grapefruit. There was also a plate with many mystery foods on it that smelled HORRIBLE. We think it was some sort of fermented vegetables and fish. None of us had the nerve to try it. I ate the fish, fruit, and steamed rice. I couldn’t bring myself to eat the rest.

After checking out, we headed over to the cable car, and then ropeway to

On the railcar

On the railcar

Owakudani (a look-out approx. 20 miles away from Mt. Fuji). The rain from the night before had turned into snow, and it was really cold up there. The sun was out, but the wind went right through you.

Yummy! Black eggs from Owakudani

Yummy! Black eggs from Owakudani

The place was busy for 10am. There were volcanic stream vents and springs everywhere you looked. Tony realized that this tourist spot was not only famous for viewing Mt. Fuji, but for EGGS. They take regular eggs and boil them in the hot springs. The sulfur turns the egg shells black. People come from all over Japan to eat these eggs. It is said that for every egg you eat, you are extending your life by 7 years. My guys ate 2.5 each. I had about a year’s worth. The guys loved them.

We hiked to the top viewing area to take pictures of the mountain. Wow! The area smelled HORRIBLE! The sulfur made me think of when I ran a daycare. Wow! It smelled exactly like dirty diapers. Whew! We took lots of pictures, although Mt. Fuji was mostly covered by clouds.

We spent a few hours playing tourists, and then headed for the ropeway, cable car, img_0656and train back to Shinjuku. We checked back in with the Tokyo Hilton, and rested a bit in our new room. Our room was made up for two, not three, so the maid came in to fix that. She didn’t speak english, but she motioned that our son was very tall. He was happy with that. He is about the same size as most Japanese men.

After our rest, we walked several blocks to the Tokyo Metropolitan building. This is a famous building in the financial district that encourages tourists to go to their 45th floor. You can see all of Tokyo from this floor. It is absolutely breathtaking.

One view from Tokyo Metropolitan

One view from Tokyo Metropolitan

From the Metropolitian building, we wondered over to Odakyu, a 14-story department store. Our son forgot a heavy jacket, so I thought maybe we could find him one at the local department store. I was wrong. The 11th floor clearance area did have jackets, but they were around $200-$300+. That is for CLEARANCE. No jacket there, buddy.

We were all getting really tired from two days of walking, so we found a noodle shop around the corner for dinner. On our way back to our hotel, we walked through the tiny streets full of clothing and camera shops. I found two clearance track jackets for myself & our son. They obviously were translated from japanese to english, but the literal translation didn’t work. They will be treasured additions to our wardrobes.

Tomorrow holds a special field trip that we had been looking forward to. Time to get to bed because 4:45am comes really early.

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