Dear readers,

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Linda L.

Sat Dec 30 2006 (Day 9) - Fuji-san

Our first venture out of Tokyo. We planned to view Mt Fuji from Kawaguchiko. Took the train to Otsuki station and then from Otsuki to Kawaguchi station. We were confused and made a costly mistake with our train tickets. This was what happened - We had purchased the return tickets and seat reservations via the machine a few days earlier and was issued a total of 6 tickets each (3 tickets each for 1 way - 1 seat reservation ticket, 1 fare ticket and 1 receipt ticket). However, at that time, we didn't know what each of the tickets was for. When we arrived at the station today, we inserted the seat reservation ticket at the ticket gate machine and couldn't get thru. I looked up at the gate attendant and he was waving his hand lightly, indicating 'wrong'. Confused and forgetting that there were other tickets in the set, we just thought of our Suica and used those instead. Big mistake. I only realised this when we got to Kawaguchi. We should have swiped the fare ticket at the ticket machine, not the seat reservation ticket. The result of this confusion is we ended up paying twice for the train from Shinjuku to Otsuki because we weren't familiar with the train and reservation tickets.
At Kawaguchi station, we didn't know how to get to Mt Fuji viewing area and saw a signtseeing bus which takes passengers around the Kawaguchi lake area with stops along the way. We boarded the bus not knowing where we should get off and when the last passengers alighted, the driver asked us where we intend to get off. We had no idea so we said back to the train station. Paid our fare and then decided we would board the next bus and stop at one of the stops we had passed by on the earlier bus which had a great view of Fuji-san.
The second time we boarded the bus, we saw some passengers using a day-pass and there was a poster on the front of the bus with some info on the day-pass. Only then we realised we could have bought the day-pass during the earlier trip. Another overpaid trip. Big lesson learnt, especially when travelling - always observe and look around to see what is available.
We stopped at 2 different locations which offered great views - 1 near the monkey park, which was quiet and we spent quite a while here and the other near a museum. It was another cold day.I was never really impressed with Mt Fuji in the pictures but being here in person and looking at this dormant volcano, it is quite beautiful.

Almost arriving..view from the train

At the Kawaguchi train station

Stepping outside the train staion to wait for the bus
Figuring out which bus to take

The bus ride

Our first stop, near the monkey park



and this is the view we saw




We had to wait for the next bus, which was about 1 hour intervals. It was very cold and when it's cold, the need to go to the toilet always increases. So went across the road to search for a toilet, but couldn't find any

On the bus

Next stop is near a museum, there were some public toilets here...







We spent about an hour here...had to wait for the next bus to take us back to the train staion.

Still some time before the train leaves because I had allowed extra time, just in case, so I reserved seats on a later train. We had coffee, soba and some rest at the station cafe. there were 2 computers for internet use but all in Japanese.


Leaving..Mt.Fuji behind the train staion




Waiting at Otsuki station for the train back to Shinjuku.




Back in Shinjuku. Takashimaya before heading back to the hotel


Next day...

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