Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Mt Fuji, Lake Kawaguchiko and Fuji-Q Highland Theme Park

Our day started early as we had to get the train for the bus at 8.45am. It was a bit of a mad rush but we made it. Our destination was Mt Fuji, Lake Kawaguchiko, one of the 5-Lakes around Mt Fuji, a very famous Volcano!

We arrived at 10.30 and made our way to our first experience of a Japanese hostel - which when travelling is all a part of the experience. It was absolutely lush, I can definitely recommend K's House Fuji View. We ended up getting a double bed in a deluxe dorm for cheaper than two single beds in a standard dorm. It was basically like having our own cabin, it was a bit like a pod hostel, with curtains so you had some privacy. The facilities were good enough to be 4*, there were hammocks, traditional Japanese couches, an outside terrace, a rooftop terrace, a kitchen which had cookers and fridges and gadgets that looked like they were made for outer space, super techy! Free tea coffee and jam, free Wi-Fi and best of all free views of Mt Fuji from the windows, it was great!

As we couldn't check in til after 3pm we had the whole day to do things so we decided to check out the area!

We took a short walk around some of Lake Kawaguchiko to take in the lakeside views of Mt Fuji and the beautiful red colours of the autumn foliage.

Then we took the train to Chureito Pagoda, which after 400-odd steps, has a stunning view from the Pagoda out over Mt Fuji. We stayed here for a while before catching the train back but of course! The train we wanted wasn't for another hour so we had to pay for the 'Tourist train' which was an extra 200¥ however when we boarded it was pretty lush with couch-like seats with viewing windows and free sweets!

We then went and checked out the local Japanese supermarket, which was basically a guessing game, for our dinner, breakfast and lunch the next day. We got some dumplings and noodles - simple yet good. And spent the evening chilling at our amazing hostel.

The next day we had planned to do the best amusement park in Japan - Fuji-Q! It holds 3 world records for 3 of its rollercoasters for speed, drops, length, number of inversions while on a ride etc. We tried the Fujiyama first and it was definitely the best one, it didn't throw you upside down but it did have the biggest height on a drop (79m) and it was intense, and also a very long ride, it was so much fun!

 The next one held the record for the most number of inversions while on a ride - 14 times it turns you upside down 360°! It was the one that terrified us the most and it didn't disappoint, I was terrified! Every time I opened my eyes I was at a different angle, my head was bashed around so much I had a headache and the first drop takes you first down backwards (as the seats turn around) and then flips you around twice on the way down - it was intense physically and mentally, when you get off you feel like you have vertigo, I didn't know which way was up! Lol. And the best part, the picture, I have never seen a more funny picture in my life, we should have bought it, we looked petrified and it still makes us laugh, I didn't know Pierrick had such a large mouth, it was open so wide and we both had our eyes shut!

The 3rd world record breaking coaster was one for the steepest drop - 120° in fact. But that wasn't the part that was the scariest, it was that they didn't tell you that the drop was near the end of the ride, so you had to insure intense turns, a drop in the dark, all before your steep 90° climb up to the drop and it suspends you there for ages before dropping you, THAT was the scariest part. The best was hearing the Japanese guy who was yapping the whole way, fall silent and shout the only words he knew in English at the top - Hurry up!! Lol. After that the other rides in the park seemed soooo lame! I think going to a theme park elsewhere now will just be boring lol. It was an adrenaline filled day and because of that, plus the fact we had a whole day of travel ahead of us tomorrow, starting at 7.10am, we ended up going to bed around 9pm lol. The next day we were getting the main part of our travel out of the way by going all the way down to Fukuoka, before slowly making our way back to Tokyo. We decided to activate our JR Pass and first take the bus back to Tokyo (2hrs) and then the Shinkansen (bullet train) 5hrs. Just so that the rest of our trip is all short journeys of less than 3hrs. See you all on the next bullet train when I have time to write up the next blog post! (Yes, it really did take me 4hrs to write up all these posts, you better appreciate them! Lol

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