Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

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


MEETUP: The Tokyo & Urban Explorers

Now it’s even easier to follow our steps and participate in expeditions through our official page at The Tokyo & Urban Explorers MeetUp.

You will be able to find details about each expeditions, including costs and dates.

But if you’re not on Meetup, you can also find us on: Twitter, Digg and Facebook.

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Alex Kawano.
Official HE Blog Author

Protected: First Expedition: Meeting Location

June 4, 2010 Enter your password to view comments.

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First Expedition: Gearing Up For Some Serious Adrenaline

Hello everyone and apologies for the delay to send updates on our first expedition.

As we’re all aware of, preparation is an essential factor for any outdoor adventure (specially this one!) and having the necessary supplies and equipment can make a difference in our overall enjoyment and experience. Due to this reason I will introduce some new information and rephrase a few others previously mentioned in past articles.

— Read it carefully —

Picking-up The Car
The car, a 8-passenger van, will be picked up at 6am on June 5. The car rental*1 is located only a few minutes from Shinjuku Station.

Where We Will All Meet?
We will meet a couple of blocks away from Shinjuku Station*1 at 6.30am. If for reasonable circunstances you cannot make it on time please let us know well before the departure time. Please note that we will be able to wait only until 6.50am.

There’s an old saying that goes, “If you are five minutes early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, then you’ve got a lot of explaining to do.” I couldn’t agree more.

What You Should Bring
When heading out for a hiking trip there are some definite basic items you should bring along and the most important are definitely food and water.

01. Water: Bring at least 2 bottles (500ml) of water but don’t drink it just because you have it. Drink enough to stay hydrated and save what you can in case of an emergency. Remember anything can happen at anytime, don’t assume you won’t need it.

02. Food: We, of course, won’t be able to bring a three course meal with us but try to carry enough energy bars to not only satisfy you for the length of our hiking but also extra to keep you alive for at least a week.

03. Cell phone: Make sure the battery is 100% charged (It might be a good idea to also bring one battery pack that can be easily purchased at any convenience store in Japan. Make sure to check if the plug is compatible with your cell phone model) and if you don’t get a signal the first time, try moving to a different location if possible.

04. Compass: Why a compass? A compass can be very important not only if you get lost but also if you call for help you can then aid rescuers in figuring out where you might be. Remember that technology is dependant on power and can be unpredictable and unreliable but a compass will almost always work (Not sure if that applies for Aokigahara though!).

05. Blanket / Jacket: If you are constantly feeling cold in Tokyo then it might be a good suggestion to bring a small blanket or a very warm jacket. Inside the forest it can get quite cold in the afternoon (or because of the presence of some ghosts) even if it is extremely hot outside.

06. Change of Clothes: Bring at least one change of clothes in case you fall over, trip or slip. You don’t want to scare everybody away on the train with that Sadako (character from the movie ‘The Ring’) looks on you.

07. Hiking Shoes/Boots: This is totally optional and I am not saying that you should buy hiking shoes in case you don’t own one but the protection of your feet needs to be given top priority when hiking. Foot pain or discomfort can quickly take the fun out of hiking, and an injury could prevent you from walking at all. Hiking boots are designed to provide comfort and support for the feet and ankles while walking on rough and wet ground as in Aokigahara. Wearing them will significantly reduce the wear and tear on your feet and minimize the risk of an injury.

On this trip we will share costs for the car rent (incl. insurance), gasoline (round trip), toll (round trip) which must be paid by the end of the trip.

Car Rent ¥20,160 (1-day hire / insurance incl.)
Gas ¥10,000*2
Toll ¥ 6,400*2 (round trip)
Total ¥36,560*2
Total p/ Person
(with 8 participants)
¥ 4,570*2
Total p/ Person
(with 9 participants)
¥ 4,062*2
+ Personal Expenses ¥ 3,000

Please note that all spots were confirmed last week and if you cancel now or don’t show up on the day, you will still be liable to pay for your share.

Hiking can be fun and exciting but it can also be dangerous if we are ill prepared. A few rules we should hike by are to always tell someone where you are heading to and when they should expect you to return.

As for me, I am also gearing myself up with possibly every single thing to ensure the safety of every participant. Please mind yourselves that we will still head out to Aokigahara even if it rains.

If there is something you were not able to understand and/or wish to make a suggestion, please feel free to write it using the comment box below.

Looking forward to seeing you all next Saturday.

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Alex Kawano.
Official HE Blog Author

*1 For security reasons, I will send the location details to each participant by e-mail.
*2 Estimated costs. The final cost might differ slightly.