Friday 21st August – Fuji san

Okay well now I’m typing away in a Western room, but to be honest there’s not that much to write about today. We said goodbye to Colin, then the Ryokan ladies, and made our way across to Fujiyoshida un-aided by a fluent speaker! There was a little confusion, but no backtracking or injuries yay!

I found that after Petros’s promises of knowing exactly what he was doing, I ended up being needed quite a bit, but we made it, and I even found a vending machine with frozen foods which it cooks for you if you order it. Great huh? So Tom and I shared some chips. Not great, but a nice little taste of home. One train for some reason though was his. Thomas the Tank Engine and friends! Not sure why but meh. And Fuji san looked great. Unfortunately Petros hadn’t quite researched this enough so we couldn’t climb it, but to be honest I myself aren’t too bothered as you can get plenty of nature and culture from everywhere else here.

For example we tried a really nice sushi place. Another one where they went around on a conveyor belt, but because this isn’t really in either of the main cities, we were the only gaijin there and got a few more looks than usual. The food was great, I’ve found that I’ve really taken to eel, and the banana pancake cream chocolate sauce thing which I found at the end was divine! It was funny however with the chef who stands in the middle so that you can watch him making the small plates and place them on the conveyor belt. He’s really observant and if you take a pudding or watermelon chunk, he notices and hands you a spoon straight away, and when I first went for the eel he warned me that it was unagi most likely worried that I’d try it and spit it back out again. Of course I told him that I love unagi and he seemed rather pleased. So not only was I impressed with him, but also our waitress who, when we asked for a single beer, she first checked if the person drinking it was driving or walking. No assumption, full responsibility, and perseverance when I have no idea why she was saying kuruma (car) at first. I thought that she was trying to make conversation at first!

So we’ve walked back and I’ve finally caught up with my notes from the past two days. It’s been really tiring mostly due to the heat I think, so I’ve found it a little difficult to keep up with my journal. But I’ve now got to practise my Japanese, sense of direction, and typing speed! Also I’ve managed to resist panicking because I know that I’m in a country where I don’t need to be anywhere particularly life or deathly important, and mainly because the population are generally trustworthy. Yes there are exceptions, but for example in our amazing 4 star ryokan, there were no locks apart from in the bathroom and onsen. You could easily walk in and although you’d get caught on the camera, it’s the fact that no one there ever wants to. Almost everyone is polite, even when you are being rather rude or insulting or in the way by accident which has happened to some people at various points, and the children even are very well behave (as well as cute) Yesterday we did laundry in the morning which I didn’t really see fit to mention, but I did talk to a guy who’d fallen, cracked his head open on the pavement, gone to the hospital, and just come back. He sat in there to have a smoke and a rest from the sun, but in the meantime he said that Stef and I were cute, then that I was beautiful and eventually that I had big breasts. The strange thing was that it didn’t seem to be in a pervy way more a simple fact. You don’t generally get my size bust in Japan. Girls have in my opinion a nicer figure most likely due to the morning exercises, heat, and much healthier diet. That’s a point. There’s hardly any sugar here. Help! Rice is good but… suuuuuuugaaaaaaar!

And one last thing which I forgot to mention, we had another Western style breakfast this morning, a LOT more convincing! So nice that we ended up talking more about everyday things and politics over the table! Toast, butter, jam, salad, cornflakes in milk, and we cooked our own egg and bacon while eating the rest. Plus of course this cam with orange juice which is great for me as I’m a little fed up of being given green tea. Everyone loves the stuff despite it’s bitter manky taste, so no other drink is even asked for. So every time in a restaurant or ryokan I need to ask for water or something else. Gr! But that’s only really a pet peeve.

And one other thing checked off of my list today, I found two McDonald’s with brown signs! To my knowledge (from Tail of the Moon) only Kyoto has this and I found them just on the way back! Huzzah!

So tomorrow we are pretty much heading back the way we came today, and on to Yokohama complete with Yokohama Sea Paradise (which Petros keeps calling Sea World) and the beach where I can try out my new Totoro towel. Hopefully I won’t get burnt, and get to have some relaxing time! Unfortunately in a Western room again, but I guess that I’ll just have to wait for another Ryokan until when I come to Japan again and I WILL come to Japan again. I’m already pining for it!

So oyasuminasai, off to bed for the first time.

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