|The backyard of my hotel room|
|My hotel room|
I'm glad I could wake up in time today & spare myself the agony of rushing through packing my luggage & not having enough time to dress up properly. I surprised myself actually, since during my previous trips, my Lioness had to literally drag me out of bed. I had to wake myself up on time & I succeeded. Guess I'm a big boy now.
So after breakfast, we loaded our luggage up the tour van and posed for a group photo outside our hotel which we will not be coming back to. We will be going places and head towards another hotel in Ikebukuro, Tokyo City. On this day, we would freeze our butts right off. And what better way to start freezing our butts than to head for a ski resort.
After a short ride, we arrived at Fujiten ski resort. The Japs call it 'Snow Resort'. Upon entering the place, I was utterly put off by the weekend crowd. I wrote on FaceBook once that I'm allergic to a throng of people (barring Rock concerts & clubs). And this place is Freezing. The only way to escape the cold is to head inside the building but you'll run right smack into the irritating as hell mass of people.
And there is no way I'm gonna ski with such a crowd since even going into the changing room to don on skiing gear is like wading through molasses. I've never waded through molasses before but who gives a flying shit, I'm completely pissed here. So while everybody goes skiing, I've settled for just wandering around the place aimlessly, retracing my steps here & there like a stuck wandering ghost.
|That's Mount Fuji in the distance|
Lily sitting among the crowd outside the cafeteria in the cold sipping beer. I guess they have no choice but to sit outside since it amazes me that the masses in the cafeteria have not caused the building to collapse yet.
|Lily & Angela|
Angela: "Nah, we didn't and have decided to hole up here and drink beer instead. Where were you all along?"
So I wasn't the only one who refrained from skiing. I went into the cafeteria to buy myself a beer & had to give up because of communication problems with the staffs in there. Even finger-pointing failed to make a point. Well, that did add to the misery of the situation.
|At the 4th station on Mt Fuji. You can see the peak|
Anyone can go right up to the 5th station (which is closed today, bummer) but only climbers doing serious scaling and climbing of the mountain can proceed past the 5th station.
The strange thing about this journey to Mount Fuji is that our van actually was traveling on the lower heights of the mountain itself before I even knew I was already on Fuji itself. And the eyes can really deceive here at the 4th station because we can see the peak of Fuji from where we are and it seems such a near distance away vertically which it actually isn't. There is a total of 10 stations.
Since we are freezing and hungry, lunch is a very much welcomed thought as we make our way to Lake Kawaguchi for chow. Reaching the lake, memories come flooding back to me as I stand before the majestic lake remembering the last time me & my Lioness were here. I begin to scan the surrounding to find the hotel we last stayed at but no dice. Then it hit me just how big the lake actually is..
Right after lunch, I came out from the building and tried again to look for the hotel and its surrounding landscape but no dice again. If I could freeze time, I would walk around the lake until I find that hotel.
Memories are worth revisiting. I can really be attached to places I've been to since they are stages where I've played out portions of my life story. Put them all together & they form your complete life story thus far. I leave pieces of me all over the place.
Night has fallen by the time we reached our hotel (Metropolitan Tokyo) at Ikebukuro, Tokyo. So here we are at the hotel lobby and Jason is voicing out his concern about how much we should tip the bell hops should they help us with our luggage. So based on my experience with Hokkaido & Tokyo, I reassure everyone that the Japanese do not accept tips. Our tour guide reaffirms this.
Luke then says: "Ok guys, see you all back here at this lobby in 20 minutes and then we'll go sight-seeing around the vicinity."
Making my way up to my room via the lift, I tell myself: "20 minutes? No freaking way. This is Tokyo city, one has to wash up & dress up before hitting the streets. 20 minutes is not enough."
Hustling into my hotel room, I dropped everything & dashed into the shower, then blow & style my hair & put on the clothes I've planned for tonight. I know I will take more than 20 minutes but I'm doing my best to rush.
|Helping myself to snap myself|
in the mall
Reaching the lobby a little late, I'm not surprised to see that some of the girls have not arrived yet, ha. When everyone has gathered, we hit the streets and the cold weather makes me smile. I can't help myself. If the cold becomes too much, all I'll need to do is to remind myself of the blasted tropical humidity back home.
I'll rather face the cold any day even though the cold did sometimes become a bit too much throughout this trip.
|Jace being a nuisance to the pedestrians. My idea.|
After visiting a shopping mall, we begin to check out the street shops. While the rest are checking out the wares, me & Jace entertain ourselves by taking snapshots of each other in the middle of the busy street. Whenever the traffic light turns green, one of us will dash out to the middle of the street to pose there while the other one snaps the pic from the pavement. Then we'll change over and repeat the same process. She & me are always finding useful things to do for kicks.
I can't wait for tomorrow.. We'll be going to Akihabara; Japan's Otaku town where there are maid cafes, games, costumes, electronic gadgets, anime, manga, sex toys & porn galore. I've always wanted to visit that place. I've caught glimpses of that place in one of my favourite J drama series 'Densha Otoko' (Train Man).
Something tells me I'll feel right at home there since I consider myself an Otaku. We shall see on the morrow.
|The streets of Ikebukuro at night|
- De Lion Speaks