Monday, December 15, 2014

I LOVE JAPAN : Lake Kawaguchiko--In search of Mount Fuji

I miss summer. I miss being able to go outdoors and do stuff without having to bundle up. I miss the vegetation, and the green. I also miss Japan, a lot! I need to go back soon.

While in Tokyo, we went to Lake Kawaguchiko, which was supposed to be a great place to view the majestic mount Fuji. But the day we went we ran out of luck because since it was the typhoon season, it got really cloudy and the mountain was completely covered by storm clouds. We thought we saw a glimpse of the top of mount fuji when we were on the train though...but we can't confirm if it was it for sure. 

After lunch at the train station, we took a taxi and told the driver we wanted to go to the lake. Due to mis-communication and luck, we ended up not at the lake harbor, but at a lavender festival by the lake. We didn't even know about the Lavender festival so I was really happy with the surprise! The farm was so beautiful with purple color everywhere! I hadn't photoshopped any of these pictures so they are kinda flat-looking, but in real life the scenery was amazing! 

After meandering the lavender farm and took a ton of pictures, we hopped on a bus and headed back to the train station because we couldn't find get a taxi at the farm. After we got to the train station we hopped on another taxi to go to the lake harbor (it was only a 5 minute ride!) to go on a boat ride. I am surprised that all four of us could fit into the pedal boat! Mr.L and I did all the pedaling while my mom helped Liam steered the boat. He was in heaven--steering is his favorite thing to do! 

Monday, November 24, 2014

I LOVE Japan: Hakone and Yunessun Resort

It is snowing outside now. The ground is so beautiful with a blanket of white snow on it. But is crazy cold. I wish I could just soak in a hot tub right now! Speaking of hot tub, when we were in Japan, we tried out "onsen" or Japanese hot springs. Even though it was technically summer and was supposed to be super hot when we went (July), some days were rainy and gloomy because of the typhoon that was rolling into Tokyo. It was perfect for us though because we could enjoy a hot public bath without being overheated.

We went to the Yunessun onsen resort in Hakone. Hakone is famous for its natural hot springs and beautiful scenery. It took us about 2 hours to get there and another 20 minutes by bus to the resort.  A funny story took place before we went into the resort. When we got to the resort we decided we wanted to go see some outdoor sculpture museum, so we got in a taxi. When I got in the taxi I realized I had left my purse, with all our passports and train passes and my wallet in there, on the bus. We immediately asked the taxi driver to chase down the bus (despite not knowing how to speak Japanese. Just imagine me frantically wave my hands around and pointing towards where the bus had gone and shouting "bus, bus bus!!"). I thought it wouldn't take long to get to the bus but holy cow, it took us like 20 minutes to finally caught up to it!! I was almost in tears because I thought we had to go all the way back to the train station to tack down the bus and everything. Thank God our taxi driver took a short cut (he even politely asked us if he could take a short cut!) and intercepted the bus! We went all the way to Lake Ashi, which was a famous spot to view Mount Fuji, while chasing the bus! After we got my purse I absolutely did not feel like going to see the museum anymore so we headed back to the resort, which was 20 minutes away. In the end it cost us close to one hour for the whole ordeal and $50 taxi fare! Trust me, I wanted to kill me too!

Despite th whole crazy bus-chasing ordeal, we had a good time at the onsen resort soaking in different hot springs. I really liked the green tea onsen because it smelled so refreshing and it's pretty cool! The red wine onsen was cool too but it was a little too chlorinated in my opinion. The sake onsen was okay and the coffee one was kinda scary cause it looked mud water.

The resort also has the indoor onsen where you'd have to go in naked so my mom and I opted out of it. No way, Jose! 
There's also some indoor swimming pools (this resort is huge!) where Liam could play in. We also went in the man made water cave area for a dip. 

We weren't planning on going to Hakone at all because it was kinda far from the city, but because we had quite a fun day visiting Lake Kawaguchiko to see Mount Fuji (I'll be posting about it soon!), we decided going away from the city for a day would be worthwhile too. I wish we had more time to explore Hakone, it just seems like such a beautiful and serene place. It is SO green and misty. It is so zen!

Across the street from the Hakone train station

I love this vending machine!! I seriously want to try every single ice cone in there! Especially the one with the cute polar bear! 


even the wall is so cute!

coffee bath

coffee bath

red wine bath

woo~~ so comfortable!

Smells so good!

sake bath

too hot to go inside!
Liam and daddy playing in the green tea pool

some pools are on the higher ground so we had to climb up the stairs to get to them

man...I would give anything to go back there!

this is rose pool or lover's pool or something like that

Liam thinks that the coffee pool is pungent. 
indoor kids pool

i love the mural and the greek themed decor.

he was telling his grandma how much he likes the pool

red tea, milk tea, and lemon tea bath

hmm...I don't know why every single picture of us three turned out blurry!

this is in the rock cave...kinda eerie. 
Here's a short clip of what the day looked like. We had so much fun!