The Road to Tsumago

We were gifted another fabulous view of The Fuj this morning – what a farewell!

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We watched the staff of the hotel wave off different guests.  They bow, then they stand and wave like this until the car is out of sight, then they bow once more and then they all just get back to it.

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Then we checked out of the hotel and just sat and watch our mate, Fuj until it was our turn to be overly waved at.

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The last couple of days have been quite warm, so the blossoms are just starting to come out – we fear that as we move around the country the blossoms will be blossoming behind us!

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One of the things Japan does well is their approach to smokers.  There are sectioned off areas in the cities for smokers to enjoy, you don’t really see a lot of people smoking and there are not butts on the ground… and they have matter of fact wording on their bins – tell it like it is I say!

This wording on the bin reads: “Where does the smoke go? Only the person producing it is unconcerned.”

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So it’s goodbye Kawaguchiko and hello to Tsumago.  Today we have 4 trains to catch up through the mountains to the centre of the country.  We have been a bit nervous about catching the train as we needed to be at certain stations at certain times to make sure we got certain trains….. but we did it, quite easily as it turns out.  Now that I’m here, I’m wondering what all the fuss was about.

This was train number 1.

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This is the train station parking – everybody rides their bike.

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As we got further along our journey, the amount of people who spoke English decreased…. luckily my skills in Japanese have come along quickly and also the fact that I’m a master of interpretive sign language/dance.  This was what we had to work with at one station.

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Me Jenny was a little concerned, but she held herself together nicely.

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And while we waited I treated myself to one of these special little rice with something meaty inside triangles that some lovely people I know who recently went to Japan put me onto – a 7-11 specialty and quite ‘oishkatta’ (delicious)!

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We watched people come and go – a favourite pastime and this was one of great.  These four train drivers/station staff all walked down the platform and stood here together. The chap in the middle checked his toilet paper, then they all got on the train.

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So after 4 trains at at least an hour each and 2 shuttle buses we arrived at the Kisoji Resort Hotel – a Traditional Japanese hotel with public and private onsen and sleeping mats on the floor.

Me Jenny sat down at the table once and the effort it took to get up again, didn’t try it again.

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This was the view from our balcony – I guess you have to take the good with the bad, right?

(BTW: there were no balcony slippers – we weren’t quite sure what to do!

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Dinner was the a very odd experience – buffet style

You know how I’ve mentioned that the Japanese like to queue, well hold that thought when it comes to buffets – it is every man, woman and kid for themselves.  I’m talking pushing, shoving, grabbing plates and piling them high.  Adults were pushing their kids in front and there was no mercy for the slow – if you missed out, you missed out.  There was timed seating, so at 7.30pm, everybody turned up at the same time and we were all seated within about 30 seconds of each other.  By the time we had been shown to our table and our guide gave us the basics of what was on offer, nearly everything on the table had gone!  At one point, I picked up some tongs and an elderly lady stepped in front of me and took the tongs out of my hand.  I stood there, a little dumbstruck at first, then the funny side hit me and I just watched it all unfold before me.  Luckily we had one of these little grills to cook our own steak.  I’m not sure why other people didn’t have one (I only saw one other table) but what ever the reason, I was glad of it.  The food was very ordinary, so tomorrow night, we are going to the Japanese Restaurant.

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Then while we were fighting for our dinner, our traditional beds were being made up.  I can’t wait to see Me Jenny try and get up in the morning!

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Oyasuminasai (goodnight) everybody.

2 thoughts on “The Road to Tsumago

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