A bit cooler than the previous days. Early in the morning we walked down to Tokyo Central Station where the Suntours pickup place was.
On our way to Tokyo station I got a few shots at Nihonbashi bridge, unfortunately the only ones this time. Would have liked some night pictures, but there is always a possibility for the future.
We got picket by a great new tour bus, nice seats, nice space. Driving towards Ginza and the Tour bus station, I got a shot of Tokyo Tower.
At the station we had to switch to another, much older bus, that was also somewhat more uncomfortable and filled up with tourists (might be hypocritical, but I tend to want to avoid tourist traps, but in this case that was not possible).
As a variation we this time got a group of Hungarians which talked all during the tour, loud and usually repeating what the (trying to out do) tour guide just said. Only time they shut up was for a while after lunch. Sigh.
After a short stop at the nicest highway toilet I have ever seen. In general the toilets in Japan are clean and neutral smelling compared to anywhere else.
We arrived at the first way station, and the place where we could get the best view of Mt. Fuji.
Mt Fuji in the clouds, unfortunately it was very cloudy and misty at the ground.
Coming to the halfway station, it became clear that it was bl**dy cold. Bought a lot of small souvenirs cause the moment we got out of the bus it was a rather quick walk to the one of the shops and quickly inside before one got frozen. Anyway Fuji was not visible in the clouds.
That is until we got out again, but it was still very cloudy and with a white sky, so it was a surreal 2-dimensional look of Mt. Fuji at the half-way station. Anyway it was freezing so a couple of quick shots and then a rush back to a warm bus.
The tour then continued downhill to a hotel where we were served a Bento box lunch. Quite good in fact and the first bento lunch we have had, so actually not much to compare it with.
So onward for an hour or two to the lake.
Ship at Hakone, looked surreal when it was 'sailing' without hjaving set sails. But it was not one of those we got onboard. Again some nice oppertunities to shop for goods, well it was still very cold and what to do when in the warm shop - shop.
The trip on the lake was in fact also very cold, but I as the only one braved the whole tour on the top deck of the boat, and got a couple of pictures. Happy the lens had image stabilizer as it was a bit difficult not to shake quite a bit.
A torii gate in the water, with some nice colours on the trees.
Got a picture while we were still on the lake of the cable car we were going to take.
All the way to the end station at the top.
Follow the tour guide with the flag, he was actually having a bit of fun with it, and rather enjoyed it. One will notice that often if a group, children, grown ups are guided around the leader will carry a flag, so everybody knows who to follow.
View from the cable car of one of the fake sailing ships. The cable car was not a problem in relation to my fear of falling from a great height. Although the swinging at the midway point was a bit uncomfortable and in my view the car was loaded to the brinck. I think with normal Japanese it would have been comfortable, but with an improper amount of fat Europeans and Americans it was probably on the border.
At the top a buddhist temple, that is actually a guess, as the Chinese tourists rushed up to it.
Most of the rest of us looked at the view from the top - it was getting dark. So lights were coming on, but it was still quite misty.
The end station, which looked like it may have had a different funtion at some time. Airplane spotting tower or something, maybe.
Quick shot on the beginning of our way down. It was a bit worrying that the cable car controller had a lucky charm at the controls.
From here on it took a couple of hours to get back to Shinjuku station, where we got a bit lost, found the station and took the train back to Kanda station and the hotel.
All in all a worthwhile tour, we were a bit unlucky with the view, but it could have been so much worse. But I must say that I can only handle one day in the company of tourists, so it is not something I will do more than once on every trip.
Unsorted photos are available here.