DAY 2: A choice of tours had been arranged for day 2 of our trip. As I was a very last minute ring-in to replace a colleague, I had to do the tour he selected which was a day trip to Mt Fuji-Hakone. I don't mind organised tours but I tend to prefer half day ones as the full day ones can be pretty exhausting.
This one started at 8am and we didn't return until about 7.15pm so certainly a full day.
In the bus first off and a couple of hours on the road to the visitors centre for a quick stop and then on to Station 5 which I think is the highest you can drive to.
The best time to see Mt Fuji is in the winter as most of the rest of the year it's covered in cloud - or being shy as our guide said. Here's the view we had:
Mmmm...I promise the top of the mountain is there somewhere! We had a little bit of snow where we got off for a quick wander around the gift shops and some snacks to warm us up:
Back in the bus and down the mountain for lunch:
Back in the bus and off to the lake, through another gift shop and onto a boat for a very quick 15 min cruise up to another area. Past some more gift shops (yes, a theme appearing here) and up into a gondola thing up another mountain (not Mt Fuji). Unfortunately not the best day for this type of mountaintop viewing:
A quick turnaround and back down the mountain where we luckily had another 30 mins or so to wander the gift shops - hooray!
Back in the bus and onto a nearby town to catch the Shinkansen train (bullet train, but the local one, not the SUPER fast one - although that did zoom through the station while we were there and it was incredibly FAST!).
A super quick change of clothes and off to another hotel for site inspection and hosted dinner. We had planned on hitting karaoke after dinner but were all too tired from the day.
Phew - exhausted!