Japan Travel Log (Blog)
From Deej. Feb 1, 2015. (but sent from Ho Chi Minh city, 9:47 pm Sunday 16 Feb 2015)
We just spent two days in Japan, Yokohama and Hakone, and I really like it. Yokohama is a lovely port city, we went up in the Landmark Tower for a full view of the city, went to a cafe and had some tea and even managed to order and pay for it. The Japanese do not speak much English but are very accommodating and eager to please. Very nice polite people, enjoyed the very fresh sushi and other fishy foods, seaweeds algae etc. all of which has been very good.
Stayed at an onsen Ryokan called Tenseien, very interesting, nude Japanese bathing is okay after all, enjoyed it. They had a very lovely garden with a large waterfall and koi ponds. The whole Hakone area is a huge tourist region with many hot spring hotels as the Japanese have since ancient times been into steamy soaking in the mineral baths for the health.
Saw Mt Fuji, rode a cable car to ride a “pirate” ship, noodle curry and a fish soup lunch by the lake, then bussed through the mountains to Hakone and went to a fabulous outdoor art sculpture gallery, modern sculpture both Japanese and some Henry Moore, Calder, many others, look it up. It also included a Picasso museum.
Gorgeous scenery everywhere, nice temps in mid 50s, clear beautiful weather, very clean and the Japanese have a beautiful aesthetic, everything is just so and very pleasing to the eye. I have yet to see a cat anywhere out and about, but some of the ship people went to a cat cafe and enjoyed it.
I am sore all over from hiking up to see the sulfur springs and view of Mt. Fuji which was very impressive.
It was interesting to see all of the plants growing wild in the mountains that we all grow in our yards as purchased shrubs, grasses, etc. Bamboo, azaleas, pieris japonica, rhododendrons, etc and saw a gigantic Japanese dogwood tree. They do a lot of gorgeous things with rocks everywhere, city and countryside. There are camellias blooming now, daffodils, hellebores, we saw rice fields being planted.
Now on to Kobe port – Kyoto and Nara temples and sights, and a half-day trip up into the hills for a naked (gender separated) soak in another hot springs, this one at Arima. What a wonderful tradition.