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Posts Tagged ‘Fuji’

The Fujiyama Garden Hotel: Image Tour

Here are some photos taken at the very location of the former Yamanaka Lake Hotel and comments by our official Haikyo & Urban Explorer, Wye-Khe Kwok, who visited the area last weekend.

It was a strange sense of disappointment and awe that crept over me as I walked up the freshly-laid concrete driveway of what is now a former Haikyo site. As efficient as the Japanese machine is when it comes to cleanups (evident in their handling of train jumpers), the whole concrete shell had been wiped clean and renovated up into a pretty slick and grand resort hotel in less than a year.

It so happened to be the opening ceremony when I walked in through the glass archway entrance with cap and backpack, sticking out amongst the suits and Kimonos like a rusty nail in a pile of shiny tacks.

The bar was open, blue note jazz wafting about with the odor of new carpet and glue, and the gift shop displayed the usual generic assortment of overpriced but useless souvenirs and Hello Kitty trinkets.
So it is with great regret, that we commit what was once a great concrete skeleton Haikyo to the category of just-another-boring-hotel-by-the-lake hotel.

(Click on the thumbnails to enlarge image.)

As you could see, it’s no longer abandoned and they have high hopes to make it a one-stop-sightseeing for anyone wishing to visit glorious Mt. Fuji.

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Alex Kawano.
Official HE Blog Author

Yamanaka Lake Hotel: From Hell To Paradise

The Fujiyama Garden Hotel (formerly known as Yamanaka Lake Hotel), a popular haikyo spot in Yamanashi, has been completely renovated in May 2010 and now enjoys a new age of prosperity and exuberance.

Haikyo era
This hotel is just another evidence of one colossal project that got halted before completion in the very end of the bubble era in Japan and lied there abandoned until a company bought the property back in 2009.

New era
The opening ceremony was held today, June 12 and one of our group members had the pleasure to experience the facilities and delight himself with the new scenery. At Fujiyama Garden Hotel, guests can now gaze down at the clear-running waters of Yamanake Lake, while savoring the renowned hot spring bathing and succulent cuisine from Yamanashi. The surrounding area offers the best when it comes to nature with 5 lakes, over 12 mountais (incl. Mount Fuji), and other famous stops along the course of the Yamanaka Lake.

How to get there:
• Option 1. If you take the Tokaido Shinkansen (bullet train in Japanese), get off at Mishima station and take the 50-minute rude bus to Gotemba where you will take another bus, 40-minute ride, to Yamanaka Lake.

• Option 2. If you decide to come from Shinjuku station by train then take the JR Chuo Line to Otsuki. From there you change to the Fujikyuko Line to Fuji Yoshida Station, totalling a 1h45m train ride. From Fuji Yoshida station take a 25-minute ride bus to Yamanaka Lake.

• Option 3. If you want to go for something less costly than you have the option to take the Chuo Highway Bus from Shinjuku directly to Yamanaka Lake. The bus ride takes about 140 minutes.

• Option 4. If you want to do it on your own pace then you can drive from Shinjuku to Kawaguchi Lake I.C. for about 90 minutes and from there you take the Higashi Fuji Goko Route to Yamanaka Lake IC which shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes.

For those who had the opportunity to visit the site before it was renovated, I totally recommend that you take another tour to the site and while you are there, enjoy a very relaxing and quiet bathing time in the hot springs of Fuji Yamanaka Lake Hotel! Because things change…

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Alex Kawano.
Official HE Blog Author

First Expedition: Overview

Wowwww, what a trip!

Aokigahara has delivered what it has best in terms of nature and serenity. From the very instant you enter the forest, you feel completely overwhelmed by the beauty and complexity of the robust vegetation and at the same time relaxed by the wave of fresh air and silence.

It’s hard to believe that all this is only 2 hours away from Tokyo downtown and it’s even harder to describe what we’ve experienced last Saturday but to give you a little taste of it, we’ve posted some of the pictures taken on that very day.


(Click on the thumbnails to enlarge image.)

Despite the fact that our experience was a complete success, we must acknowledge the fact that throughout our journey we came across danger and distress.

For anyone wishing to explore the wild forest of Aokigahara, please come prepared and protected to face challenges on hiking trails and so on.

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Alex Kawano.
Official HE Blog Author

First Expedition: Thank You!

Thank you everyone who joined us on this amazing trip to Aokigahara last Saturday! The trip was perfect not only because you made it possible and also because you behaved well! haha!

A special ‘Thank You’ goes out to Wye-Khe who was constantly watching over everyone and Keio for driving us to our destination and back home safely.

Please follow our blog for more information on upcoming events and expeditions.

Looking forward to seeing you all again!

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Alex Kawano.
Official HE Blog Author

Protected: First Expedition: Meeting Location

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First Expedition: You Spoke, We Listened!

You Spoke, We Listened! The alternative sightseeing spot with most votes is ‘The Ice and Wind Caves in Aokigahara – Mt. Fuji’!

And to give you a little a glimpse of what you might experience this Saturday, I added videos, images and explanations about each spot here.

Narusawa Ice Cave
Narusawa Ice Cave was formed by Lava from Mt.Fuji with average temperatures hanging in the 2.7°C (37°F) throughout the year. The cave is covered with ice 364 days, and icicles are every where you can possibly imagine. One single icicle sometimes grown up 27.4m (90ft.) long and 45cm (1.5ft.) wide. The entire cave is 137m (450ft.). Entrance fee: ¥200 p/person.

Fukagu Wind Cave
Fugaku Wind Cave was also formed by Lava from Mt.Fuji with average temperatures hanging in the 2.7°C (37°F) all year round, making this cave propitious for cold storage of silkworms. It is about 182m (600ft.) length and 8.2m (27ft.) height.
Somehow, there is no echo sound inside it and the walls are all covered with ice. Entrance fee: ¥200 p/person.

Weather Forecast
Quick update on the weather forecast for Saturday, June 5.

Thank you everyone so much for your votes! And I am looking forward to experiencing this trip with you this Saturday! Yay!!

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Alex Kawano.
Official HE Blog Author