February 12, 2014

Cherry Blossom Episode 4: Kawaguchiko 河口湖 (Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center)

After checked in at the counter, the helpful staff passed me a guide map and introduced the best view spot of Mount Fuji. Our major objective for this trip is view Mount Fuji, so hiking and touring are actually not in our plan. Moreover, one day tour is not enough to cover all areas.

Fuji has 5 lakes: Lake Kawaguchiko, Lake Saiko, Yamanakako, Shojiko and Motosuko.

Picture derived from japan-guide.com

The only lake we visited is Lake Kawaguchiko because it is most accessible via bus. Earlier upon arrival at Kawaguchiko Station, a guy passed me a 2-day retro bus pass because he was about to leave and the pass is still valid for a day. So nice of him. Since I have one pass already, I would have to get another one for my mum.

2-day retro bus pass can be purchased from any bus driver. There are 2 bus lines:
(1) The Kawaguchiko Line operates along Lake Kawaguchi's eastern and northeastern shores
(2)The Saiko-Aokigahara Line operates along Lake Kawaguchiko's southern shore and around Lake Saiko.

2-day retro bus pass for Kawaguchiko Line is 1,000 yen per adult, if you want to include the Saiko-Aokigahara Line, you would have to top up 300 yen. Sorry, there's no separate fare for Saiko-Aokigahara Line. Fare for both lines is 1,300 yen.

After asked for bus stop direction at the counter, we headed out. I was thinking if we can get there on foot. Based on the map, it seems like the distance isn't too far. That's silly thinking ok. Don't take the risk. I got the bus stop location wrong at first, we arrived at Kawaguchiko Ohashi Bridge. Snapshot a few photos, Ohike Park, Herb Hall & Perfume House and Yamanashi Gem Museum are within neighborhood areas.

Spotted unique cloud too

After waited for quite sometime, we got on a bus which cover both bus lines and the driver couldn't understand nor speak English. I showed the 2-day pass I got and passed him money to buy another pass for my mum. He asked me for extra 300 yen because my existing pass is not sufficient. In the end, he asked us to get off the bus because it is not the destination he is heading to. I was confused and found him quite rude. This is the only unpleasant incident I encountered in Japan. Chased us down from bus yet he didn't return my 300 yen. Doh! Anyway, it's past. Lesson learned, must check the bus sign first before get on the bus.

The frequency of bus is quite low, 2 buses per hour. So better count your time right. We waited quite long time for bus actually. At last we got on the right bus, didn't get down at any tourist spot until the final destination at Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center. As recommended by the hostel staff, this is the best place for viewing Mount Fuji.

The retro bus

Mount Fuji

Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center

Cute purple flower

We didn't linger long at Natural Living Center. After taking photos, we got on the bus and randomly stopped at a bus stop following the crowd. We arrived at Kawaguchikko Konohana Art Museum.

More sakura! It is nice to see more cherry blossom at different locations in Japan. 

I am stepping on the ground of Lake Kawaguchiko

The peak of Mount Fuji

Cute Corgi with the owner. I wish to own one too.

Trying to capture cherry blossom with Mount Fuji. Well.. not artistic, I know. Hahaa..

Regretfully we didn't enter Kawaguchiko Konohana Art Museum. Mainly outdoor activities. We headed back to Kawaguchiko town for food hunt. This been introduced in my post before: http://www.igomakan.com/2013/08/hoto-noodles-from-kawaguchiko-mount.html

Hoto noodle is a must try food in Kawaguchiko. Highly recommended!

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