Japan Days: White Christmas, Freezing Boxing Day, then Mt Fuji

Hi all. The first of my scheduled posts. I hope to schedule quite a number so I can have at least a couple every week during placement.

Here’s the next Japan Trip post. Only one more after this one. Starting on Day 8 of our trip, which happened to be Christmas Day.

For Christmas, we decided we’d go to Nagano via the shinkansen to see the Japanese macaques, or “snow monkeys” as they’re known. You’ll have seen them if you’ve seen this image.

The snow monkeys were adorable and I had so much fun. It was also my first proper “white Christmas” so that was exciting.

We then went back to Toyko and had dinner at a sushi bar.

Day 9: A Trip to Lake Freezing

Day 9 we decided to go off and see Nikko, that was supposed to have a waterfall and nice lake. It also was really, really cold.

First, we visited the waterfall, which was quite cold enough.

So we warmed up with some fish cooked over coals at a stall nearby.

A heap of white coals sit atop a grate on a trolley. In the centre of the coals there is an orange colour from the heat. To the right side of and behind the pile of coals are rows of small whole fish, skewered through by sticks. A the back of the stall there are fridges visible and a flimsy roof supported b wooden beams is also seen.

Then we headed off again, towards the lake. Not perhaps our wisest choice, but still fun in the end. You see, we didn’t know it at the time, but we found out later that the temperature at Lake Chuzenji was -5*C while we were there, not counting wind chill which probably made it a few degrees colder.

To get to the lake itself, we walked into an icy wind and watched as it literally blew snow sideways across the road. An experience I won’t forget and rather fun in a ridiculous way, once I’d got my scarf arranged so that my coat hood wouldn’t fall down. 😛

No real pics here, too busy experiencing it. That and my phone battery decided to quit because it was too cold. It did that at Nagano too.

I did take a handful later though, once my phone and I had thawed a bit. In order (or mouse over for captions): defrosting selfie after the lake, mizuyokan (sweet red bean) sweets and award-winning ramen from a ramen place in Tokyo.

The experience of having ramen in a ramen bar was interesting. You don’t talk in there aside from ordering your food. You’re there to enjoy the food, not to chat. The place we went to with the three-years-running award-winning dish pictured here is, I believe, Michi. Highly recommended, though it has a bit of a wait time as the place is quite small.

Day 10: Mt Fuji

We were off again from Tokyo the next morning to see Mount Fuji. We went to a town nearby with a beach that has pretty impressive views. The beach itself is made of stones and pebbles. Below are photos from the day.

 

At the end of the day, we finished with another well-deserved hot meal and new Japanese experience – Japanese curry. (Second-last row, first column – these pics are randomly arranged.)

A very enjoyable day, with more to come before our trip ended.

 

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