Travelogue: Japan Part 2

It’s rise and shine morning bound for Hakone today. We decided to grab some breakfast since we got some time and to our surprise, our neighbourhood was quite crowded on a weekday, full of salarymen/women. And some of them were just running to work. Fairly amused.

“Run, run! I cannot be late!”

So it’s gonna be Yoshinoya today. I heard Yoshinoya in Japan is really different so we gave it a try and the best thing is, you can find it everywhere

Here’s mine

With egg

You pour it over your rice, and mix the whole thing together.I have to say, Yoshinoya here is really a whole different story. So damn delicious and it’s only ¥810 for 2 set meal

So we commute to Shinjuku to catch our train to Hakone. I think we were a little paranoid we gonna miss our train cos we realised we may just have to walk a long distance to find the Odakyu line and so, we rushed. It feels like we were filming our own episode of amazing race and to our amazement, we reached the platform with 10 minutes to spare! #dontbelatefortrains It’s not even funny when you are late cos the trains there are REALLY punctual

The green part is where you collect your tickets which you have already reserved online prior. We took the Limited Express Romancecar (VSE Series) and also bought our Hakone Free Pass from there.

Look at the ground to see where your carriage gonna be. We were puzzled why everyone was squeezing next to the rubbish bins and it took us awhile to realise, oh that’s the queue for carriage 1-2. haha

The piece of printed white paper will be your Romancecar tickets. I have to say the Hakone Freepass is really useful. It grants you access to most of the attractions and transport.

And we got ourselves a cup of green tea latte cos it was limited offer for Spring only. See, marketing gimmicks totally work on me.

Spotted Fuji!

Arrived at Hakone Yumoto station and walked over to the opposite platform to take the Hakone-Tozan train which will take us all the way up to Gora. We actually just followed the model sightseeing course on the odakyu website cos we were just too lazy haha

So many people. gosh

It was a peaceful, slow and pretty much nothing to see ride on the way up

Here’s the streets of Gora. We only took a quick shot cos we wanted to take the cable car to Sounzan. But we waited like half an hour under the hot sun before the train finally arrives.

Useful baggage information

The cable car to Sounzan

And then you take the ropeway to Owakudani. I was puzzled that they called the train a cable car and the cable car a ropeway. It’s like saying the chair is the table and the table is the door. Okay nvm I digress.

The view on the ropeway

And ta-da! Owakudani, in my opinion looks different from pictures. It is supposed to be an incredible sight with the volcanic gas and steam spewing all over the surface

But erms, just like that lor

And then like all other tourists, we queued for the black egg and the black ice-cream. Don’t worry, this is not the only shop. They have 3 shops selling the exact same thing in the same compound

And the ice-cream turns out to be just vanilla ice-cream

And normal egg with black shell. But belief has it you will prolong your life by 7 years #likeseriously

So we took many pictures of Fuji and left the place since there was nothing much to see anyway. We were quite amused by the huge number of Japanese at this place cos we thought we will actually see more tourists here.

Look, celebrity! But.. we don’t know who!

So we took the ropeway down to Togendai bound for Lake Ashi. I think we waited like more than 30 minutes for the ropeway and ran for the sightseeing cruise cos the next one comes in 40 minutes

And here’s what you see along the way

Some buildings

Gate #1

Gate #2

And you reach the harbour! #welldone

We were trying to find the right route/transfer to our hotel and after like forever,we finally reached Shinanoki Ichinoyu

I really like our room cos it’s very Japanese kinda setting with our own private hot spring bath

The futons

And the hot spring which was so damn hot. We took like forever to get in, and got out in 10 seconds, flat. haha fail max so we tried again the next day, and it was more successful than the previous night 😀

Dinner for the night, which came with the booking. Cos there’s actually nothing much to eat in the area

Dinner was alright. Sashimi wasn’t the best and the sukiyaki was really salty. It’s the kind where you just need to have something in your stomach and the dessert, was interesting.

I guess my favourite part of this place was the yukata

heh just to have to post a picture of me in the yukata and eating my black egg 😉

So you can actually wear your yukata anywhere in the hotel and we wore it down for breakfast.

A traditional Japanese breakfast, which I don’t really know how to appreciate. HMM

Packed up and left for Tokyo immediately cos we don’t really wanna see anything else in Hakone. I honestly think Hakone is over rated. You spent 4 hours traveling back and forth just to see the sulphur place and with some luck, you might even catch Mt Fuji. But Owakudani wasn’t even that spectacular. And bulk of the time is spent traveling and waiting, and just waiting.

Waiting for the bus that takes us all the way to Hakone Yumoto station

So anyway we got on the normal train back since well, it’s free using our Freepass. First stop in Tokyo, Harajuku! We wanted to explore Harajuku in case it rains again and of course, we had to try the famous crepes

The two famous Harajuku crepes that were just opposite each other. We just followed whichever has the longest line #sotypical

Strawberry cheesecake

We really like it. The cheesecake was soft and melts in your mouth kinda feeling, though it would be better if the crepes was a little crispier

Hungry me after the not-very-satisfying breakfast

Popped by the Calbee store as well

Where fresh chips were made

Couldn’t resist to get a box back, which were really yummy by the way.

As usual, we got the limited Seasonal edition flavour #everythingalsomustlimitededition which J claimed this was the best chips she had ever. lol

And HARAJUKU GIRL! =O though I’m pretty sure that’s a guy..

Dinner for the night was really random. We wanted to try an Izakaya in Ebisu so after googling, we walked down KFC and stumbled along this stretch of Izakayas and decided to choose one that has the most crowd inside, so here goes!

English menu 😀

The staffs were very friendly. They have a Chinese and an Indian waitress that could speak Mandarin and English respectively and the manager made sure they took good care of us. I think the chinese girl was particularly nice to us since well, not many there could communicate in Mandarin eloquently. They even have chefs from Myanmar. This Izakaya is just multinational man.

I think J fell in love in sake after Japan. lol

This cucumber appetiser comes in every Izakaya place as a default appetiser. But we really like the one here, especially with the minced fish meat which was just so good

Edaname

Caesar Salad

We wanted the Agedashi Tofu but this came instead. We were like huh?! Since when we ordered this. But that being said, the salad was pretty decent as well

Scallops. yumyum The meat was succulent, sweet and fresh

Bamboo grilled minced meat

So damn delicious

Fried Beef Tongue Cutlet

I find this very interesting. Since I always eat grilled beef tongue, I was curious to see how the cutlet tastes

And gosh, it was just awesome. The meat was really tender. It is definitely different from the usual grilled tongue I have but this was good enough

Tamago

SO BIG :O This tamago was just lovely. So sweet and tasty

Grilled Chicken Thigh

You can tell the skin is just damn crispy right. This yakitori was just too good

I think the portion here is really generous. It’s amazing we could actually finish everything. It’s one izakaya to consider if you are in the area 🙂

Dinner: ¥6434

Ebisu Izakaya Sakana Ya 肴や ゑびす庵

Japan, Tokyo, Shibuya, Ebisunishi, 1 Chome−8-3 

Click here for Part 1