Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Trip: Day Three, Nagoya->Hagone

We start the day with the breakfast in hotel. It wasn't as good as the dinner but I guess it's typical breakfast for hotel everywhere...

Then we were off on the road again to Hagone. We made a pit stop at a rest area which is has eel products in the store as it is what the area is famous for. These eels are sea eel which, according to the tour guide, taste better as they live in clean water. I have not tried any of them though... The stop was not very long anyhow, however, it is the first place that I found the 'Gajapong' or the gumball like machine. Only that it didn't dispense gumball but plastic balls containing small toys insides. Most will cost you 200 yens per times and usually you will have a chance of getting getting one out of five to six varieties of the items inside. I tried a couple of dispensers and got some cute stuffs :)

Next we visit Heiwa Park, the peace park, to symbolize the peace making efforts of Japan toward the countries that it had been wronged by. The park, seems to built on a small hill has various breed of Sakura all over the place. We only visit a few high points though as time was limited but the park was very beautiful with all the sakura blooming all over the hills. On the top section there is either a church or a stupa with about 6 pairs of stone lions from India, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Malaysia, and China positioned on the path to the center building.

Then we left for lunch, which is bento (japanese style lunch box) it wasn't very good since some of the food were cold :p

Afterward we were on the bus again to Mt. Owakudani to have a taste of black boiled eggs that was boiled in the natural mineral water hot spot. The result are the black shell boiled egg due to the sulfur in the water. It is believed that one black egg will extend your life by seven years :)

However, it was foggy that day up in the moutain which slowed the bus. When we reach the top it was so foggy and windy that my pants felt moist from just a brief exposure going from the bus into the building. Inside the tourist stop we have a bit of time to shop and I bought a small black boiled egg Doraemon strap, of which I can be sure that it can't be found anywhere else in Japan (although it was made in China :P) Then we were rounded up by our tourguide to go down to the pier by cable cars.

We got the first class ticket to do sightseeing on the ferry on Achi lake. The ferry outer appearance were deck out in pirate ship style. Also we were on the red one (I notice there were the blue, violet and green ones too) which seems to be the main symbol for this attraction since the Hello Kitty keychain is of this red ferry.

Afterward we were on the bus again to Gotemba outlet mall, which is the outlet mall of all the brandnames products from Nike to Bvlgarri. All are genuine sales items, by that I meant the items were the top quality products that were out of fashion and the company did not wants to stock them.

The mall itself is quite amazing. It seems to be up in the hill somewhere and the space was quite large. Each shops has its own showroom in open area which clutter together down the path. Heck the place even have it's own ferris wheel.

By the time we left Gotemba mall it was like 19:00 already. We should head straight to the hotel to be on time but we still have one place left to shop which is Seifu Supermarket. Our tourguide has to tell tall tales to the hotel people (which had setup the dinning room for us) in order to make time for us to do one more shopping for the day at this supermarket. The tales is that there was an accident on the moutain road. However, we were busted when we stop at Seifu since it's the big supermarket of the area, the hotel staffs also shop there too :P So another tales has to be made which one of the woman in the group need emergency... maxipad :P

After the shopping ended we finally head to the hotel. The dinner is traditional shabu Japan style, it did not taste much but it was ok by that time.

The next agenda on the list is the onsen (mineral water bath). The practise is to shower first to clean yourself before go down into the bath section. We can't use towel to cover.... our midsection either since the guide said if the hotel caught us doing so we will be fine 300,000 yens since the hotel will replace the whole batch of mineral water to perserve it's cleanliness.

In the end, I did take the hot bath 4 times altogether. Two in the night and two more in the morning ^^.

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