Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mt Fuji - Go here for awesome food, hot springs and marriage proposals

Michael and I are currently sitting in the deserted common room of what appears to be a completely empty hostel in Kyoto, warming our footsies after a very eventful couple of days at Mt Fuji.

So, back on Monday we left the backpacker's hostel in Tokyo, still trying to recover from the previous night out. We had already arranged train tickets, and nearly 2 hours later found ourselves speeding towards a fancy onsen ryokan (Japanese traditional inn with hot springs). Our first sighting of Mt Fuji was absolutely breathtaking. It is not surrounded by any other mountains, it just rises up from nothing and completely dominates the entire skyline. It is ridiculously enormous, so big that the top third is covered in snow, and even though the weather was fine on the day we arrived, the top was slightly obscured by swirling mist. It looks slightly ethereal and other-worldly, like maybe it is some kind of illusion and isn't supposed to be there. especially since it didn't show up in any of our photos. The day we arrived it didn't show because the sun reflected off the snow, and the 2 days after that were overcast so the top was obscured by clouds.

Anyway, enough about Mt Fuji and onto the Ryokan. It was also pretty awesome, we had a private hot spring bath out the back, and one in the bathroom, we had personalised service and over-the-top 12-course dinners served to us one-by-one in our room, even more over-the-top breakfasts also served to us in our room, a driver to drive us to and from town and the train station in a big black mercedes with tinted windows to make us feel important etc etc. 

We didn't have time to do much on the first day. We arrived, had tea served to us, went for a walk (where we found some of those yummy waffle things filled with cream that we had in Asakusa), went in the onsen (so good!) and had ridiculously big dinner that we didn't finish. Started the second day with humungous breakfast that we didn't finish, then walked into town and caught the bus to the bottom of a 'mountain' (they only call it that, I'm pretty sure it wasn't a real mountain) and caught the cable car part of the way up. We had hoped for an awesome view of Mt Fuji like the day before, but it was slightly overcast so we couldn't quite see the top. We hiked right to the top of our 'mountain', where we found a secluded little shrine. 

That's where Michael popped the big question, after first waiting for me to finish nearly an entire box of Pocky (yummy wafer sticks coated in chocolate). As we turned to leave he dropped to one knee and pulled out the box. In true style I burst into tears and just about fell over. I said yes of course. 

The ring is very pretty and shiny and I keep moving my hand around to watch it sparkle. I'm a bit worried about someone trying to chop off my finger in south-east asia so we might keep it in the pack for that part of the trip.

We haven't set a date yet, probably about a year after we get back to Perth.

We celebrated by having a very romantic lunch of MOS burgers (these delicious little burgers that remind me of Whitecastle from Harold and Kumar go to Whitecastle), chips and ginger ale, after Michael bought me a little Freeza Dragonball Z figurine from a games arcade on the way (I will treasure it always). 

We also had a very nice bottle of Sake with our gigantuous million-course dinner.

So this morning, after a very event-filled couple of days (and one last dip in the onsen), we packed our bags and headed back to the train station. Luckily Michael asked the driver (in his awesome Japanese) how to get to Kyoto, because he told us a way that involved less transfers than our original plan. He then proceeded to take us to the ticket office, organise our tickets for the bus, got the bus to wait for us (which is unbelievable over here since the public transport is never ever late), and gave instructions for us to write down regarding which stop to get off at and which shinkansen (really fast train) to take.

Unfortunately, the directions from the hostel were not so good. We got to Kyoto no problem however we found ourselves well and truly lost about an hour later. Luckily, people over here are soooo friendly and after asking about half the population of Japan for help, we finally managed to find it.

We are hoping that Kyoto lives up to its name as one of the best preserved cities in Japan, because after the amazing experiences that we have had in Tokyo and Mt Fuji, it has pretty big boots to fill.


  1. Congratulations again!, thanks for sharing that special moment with us, and I love the photos! Send me a photo of the ring! Take care on your next stage of the journey. love mum xoxo

  2. How romantic and what a memorable proposal. Best wishes to you both and yes look after the ring because I hope to see it or at least a picture on your finger. Also planning my wedding outfit!! hoping for an invte of course. I am enjoying being in the country with Helen and yesterday worked picking grapes and earnt 6 bottles. love margaret

  3. Congrats Jenni and Michael,
    Obviously the romance tips from Chris Read and myself helped you out.
    Liking the descriptions, a bit like "Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure"
    Read it on Mondays and Fridays to see the progress.
    Spike- "Hard at work in Proteus"

  4. Thanks for all of the congratulations guys :) Thanks for leaving your comments. Jen and I enjoy reading them, keep em' coming!