Thursday, April 9, 2009

japan trip: hakone

from japan, we trooped onto the shinkansen headed in the direction of kyoto, our next stop. a couple months prior to this trip when we were picking hotels, i threw in the towel. it was just a case of food-induced grumpiness plus i got frustrated at the language and also why all the hotels have common bathrooms! we wanted a authentic ryokan but with private western bath. is it THAT hard?? (on hindsight, its like looking for tatami mat beds in america. haha.. ) also, i was upset that kyoto was not known for their onsen. so, we could go to a onsen-ryokan but the spring bath water would just be warm water.. what fakes!! i was outraged, demanding and sleepy. so i told daniel, he can go sort it out and i'll be happy living in any place he picked. for dramatic effect, i told him even if he picked a boring quality hotel, i'd be fine. im thankful he did not believe a word i said.

but that was the last i heard about any japan trip planning. it was always a surprise and frankly when i saw the stacks of confirmation in japanese, i thanked my lucky stars i didn't have to work through it..

so, we hopped on the train like kids on an excursion. and i asked a million touristy questions, what train are we on, how fast, how come we didn't pay to sit on the fastest train, why this, why that, why did we not go to disneyland, how are we getting to kyoto, which is our stop, how many minutes, will someone wake me up, where is my snacks and my pillow, can i lie down,...  then it struck me as we're pulling away from tokyo "HOLY COW! we're on the WRONG TRAIN!!! GRAB YOUR BAGS!!!" i saw the train headed direct to kyoto on the board and its on a different platform!! CRAP! we're lost in japan!! but daniel was unusually calm which smelt fishy.. (not literally though i must say the fish market stank really bad..) so, he confessed that we're making a detour to hakone - a onsen town known for their spas and also one of the closer towns to mount fuji so maybe we'll catch a glimpse of beautiful mount fuji, which i will climb one day! :)

i was so thrilled and smiley i couldn't sleep for 10 mins!! *bounce*

more random flowers by the road! 

je arrive a hakone! :) we climbed down to walk along the pebbley riverbanks.. it was freezing cold though..

more budding blossoms..

and we arrive at our beautiful resort. it was insanely big and everyone there had sporty cars in fancy names or huge blocky merc and maserati! so i guess when we 'pulled up' in our huge bagpacks sweaty from our long walk, looking a little more drab, a little less glam, they were so shocked. *sigh* but i love our room. it was way too big for us! probably can fit a family of 7!!

our dining and tea room, behind the blinds is our sun room and a little rock garden, insane! we didn't even hang out much in our sun room cos it was freezing cold but our private onsen.. DELICIOUS!! i adore our little tea table (the weird looking thing with blankie under the table top!) it was a internal warmer and the green cover keeps the heat in and our toes warm and toasty!! i didn't want to move at all when sitting there!! also, im inspired to have a tea corner with delicious selection to tea and beautiful victorian tea sets in our home! come for tea, okay?

and our decadent japanese dinner!! it was overwhelmingly elaborate. even our wasabi was shaped in a leaf! and so much food!! the japanese lady, our butler, was so kind to describe EVERY single dish in such detail, what sauce it goes with, the sequence and kept coming back with more food. boy, were we well-fed. it was enough for again.. a family of 7!! breakfast was also another dramatic affair..god bless our bulging tummies!

haha! thats what you get for not sitting properly in your yukata!

i had to google the word yukata cos for the life of me, i keep calling it unagi (japanese marinated eel). its funny however you say it.

my orange ellie!! my beloved bathtoy which i always had wedged in my mouth as a child! such a graceful young lady!! found out that he is actually a pharmaceutical mascot and has a girlfriend (pink ellie) that was dressed in an alluring shiseido kimono. hands off! he's mine! that huu-er!

the next day, we packed our backpacks, all happy and well scrubbed and headed to kyoto! this time, i made sure i check before we boarded our train. :)

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