Resorpia Hotel – Hakone, Japan

So the next hotel I was booked into was the Resorpia Hotel in Hakone. It’s very, very far, and it’s very, very uphill. If you’re a good climber then by all means you should walk it. But with my stamina, the best thing to do is go up in the tram. 

At night, if you go outside, you can clearly see the stars.DSC_2205

 

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The rooms are very clean. I was placed on the 6th Floor, but it’s like a maze trying to find your own room! I really had a peaceful night at this hotel, I couldn’t even hear anyone from the next rooms… Was I the only person on that floor I wonder!

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Bathroom was nice and clean enough.

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This was the view I had from the hotel room. Trees and mountains. I was basically next to the car park as well.
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Although I got off the wrong stop, I think I may have been able to have go through the car park (as I found out in the morning!) to get to this hotel. 

Anyway, if you know which route is the fastest, let me know!! This is the route I took, but you’re actually going uphill with this route!!! ¬_¬””

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The food is excellent here, but make sure to reserve your space, otherwise there’s no other place to buy food… I found out the hard way!!!

Address: 1320-1239 Gora, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0408, Japan

Nearest Cable Car Stations: Naka-Gora Station (the one I got off) and Kami-Gora Station (probably the easier route)

Lost in Japan, Memoirs of a Geek: Day 5 – Mount Fuji and Hakone

Have started my new job as a freelancer for some of my old colleagues, but this is only a temporary thing until things have settled. It’s a bit of a slow-paced job compared with my previous job – pretty much free to do my own thing, so we’ll see how it goes for now…

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

It’s my last morning in Tokyo as I was scheduled to go on a coach trip to Mount Fuji and Hakone, so I woke up early. I knew I wouldn’t be able to have any breakfast, so the night before I bought some breakfast – milk and a couple of onigiri’s.DSC_2073

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Milk in Japan tastes like full-fat milk. But I also used this for my morning coffee.

Uh, I actually didn’t like these… Too healthy I think. The rice was basically sugar-free!

Salmon and Seaweed flavour… Hmmm. Very bland. DSC_2075

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Pickled plum and red shiso flavour. This was better but really sour.
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Luckily I had this cake which I didn’t eat the night before! This wasn’t too sweet.   DSC_2079

So Bamba Experience booked me on a trip with Sunrise Tours.  But my starting point was at another hotel (Tokyo Metropolitan Hotel), hence the reason why I woke up so early as I needed to be at the nearby hotel by 7.15ish – something like that. It was a little trek getting there, and had to stop once as I had no idea which street I needed to turn into, however I found the under-passage… The map below shows different routes to the hotel. It says 13-14 minutes, but I would say allow yourself half-an-hour due to luggage and not knowing the area so well.

When I arrived at the other hotel, I asked reception desk, and they said to wait in the waiting area. I was actually confused a few times, as I wasn’t sure of how this tour worked… So I kept asking around. Confused and lost!!

When one of the tour guides arrived, I finally understood what was going on. We were given our confirmation slips an a sticker to wear for the trip. Then it was off to another hotel, pee stop, then off we went for 2-3 hours to Mount Fuji! Woohoo!!DSC_2082.JPG

We arrived in the Kanagawa area around 10-ish, around we could see Mount Fuji! In Japanese classes, Mount Fuji was always mentioned in lots of scenarios. ^_^

Our tour guide explained to us that we were very lucky as the sky was clear, hardly any clouds and we could see the top of the mountain very clearly. Just so lucky!!!

Instead of going to the 5th Base, we ended up at the 4th Base due to some hazards at the 5th Base – not sure what it was. It was fairly cold due to the snow, but was bearable. Unfortunately my small jacket wasn’t warm enough!

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After viewing the top, we moved back downwards for lunch. We had a small lunch at the Highland Resort Hotel.
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Pretty decent, but too small for me! I wanted more food!!DSC_2123

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After lunch, I really needed a loo break. The toilets in the mountain area is fairly busy, and each coach has only half-an-hour to be up there…

After the loo break, I went outside to have my last viewing of Mount Fuji. It’s so spectacular from the bottom! DSC_2130.JPG

So after lunch, we speeded up to the next destination. Our tour guide did not want us to miss this boat trip.

Thankfully we made it in time! Phew!!

We found ourselves going for a ropeway ride… We were only allowed a short period of time up there.

The view is spectacular from the top!!

After this ropeway trip, I think I could have made my own way to the next hotel, but I stayed on the coach so that I can see which station I needed to get to for the next day! (That was a wrong idea really!).

We were dropped off at Odawara Station. And I had to find my way to get to Gora Station.DSC_2172.JPG

There was one station change, which I didn’t mind…DSC_2174

However after reaching Gora, I needed to get onto the tram. The hotel was all the way uphill!!! Grrrr!!! So I needed to purchase another ticket for ¥250 (~£1.72) as they don’t accept PASCO cards or any other cards.DSC_2175

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From my experience, it was the worst part of this whole trip! I was in the middle of darkness, and I think I should have got off the next stop… instead the station staff said I should get off the stop beforehand. Hmmmm. I should always trust my Geek Instinct. Anyway, I went up one path, then uphill another… 😦 This Geek was not happy. I was frigging lost, and needed the loo so badly. Thankfully a resident in the area was able to direct me in the middle of the darkness… I was at the back of Resorpia Hotel!!! WTF!

I was able to check in by 7.30pm. But needed to rush to my room and walk swiftly back to be able to have dinner by 8pm.  I should have bought dinner at Odawara Station.

I was quite irritable at this stage, and I needed food. This restaurant part of the hotel is for reservations only. The staff said I didn’t have one, but reception said I did… ¬_¬” I was not amused.  I asked in Japanese where I could buy food nearby… No answer… I guess there’s no place to find food in the middle of the night.

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Finally, I was able to have dinner – they said I had a reservation and payment was made after checking out. This dinner costs ¥12,000-15,000 (~£82.76 – £103.45) I think. An expensive dinner! :-O

Well… A decent dinner. I was filled to the brim!! Happy Geek came back. ^_^

Nice chandelier by the way!!

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Tired Geek went back to her room, and a very peaceful night.

End of Day 5.

Keio Presso Inn – Ikebukuro, Tokyo

Before pressing onto the next holiday blog post, I will introduce to you the hotels that were booked for me.

This is a 3 star hotel, and it’s located in the north west side of Tokyo centre. It’s about an hour and a half to get to from the hotel via rail. But if I had the transfer it would have taken me half-an-hour or 45 minutes to get there.

It’s about a 10 to 15 minute walk from Ikebukuro Station (just don’t get lost when you’re trying to figure out which exit you need to get out of … stay near the East exit).DSC_1861

I had a room with a single bed. It’s quite small but very cozy. The shutters slide open. The wi-fi password is located on the TV saver screen. If you’re used to cold weather it might be wise to open the window instead of using the air-con. When I switched the air-con off, the room became completely silent. Brilliant! DSC_1862

Shower and bath were both decent. Baths in Japan are quite deep, and fairly small – not sure how people manage in them! DSC_1863

A decent hotel. I was able to sleep even though I had jet lag at the time. I would have stayed longer if I didn’t have to travel to other areas of Japan.

Address: 2 Chome-29-11 Minamiikebukuro, Toshima City, Tokyo 171-0022, Japan

Tel: +81 3-5396-0202

Lost in Japan, Memoirs of a Geek: Day 4 – Ikebukuro

Oh for goodness sake, I failed my driving test for the fourth time. Pedestrians, if you see an learners car near a test centre, please don’t walk in front of them. They could be doing their test. Just one silly fault that’s cost me. Grrrrrrr. 

And now back to Japan… ^_^

Tuesday 2nd April 2019

After two heavy long days of walking around Tokyo, I decided to keep things light for this day. I finally received a message from the reception desk that my package for my JR Pass arrived, so I where to the desk first before breakfast.

This time I had a lighter breakfast. Normally in London I would hardly eat breakfast this big in the morning, but it seems my appetite got bigger after arriving in Japan. ^_^DSC_2048

They made some special mochi for this day (and the day before, they made a fluffy cake). Yummy. Inside was some sweet red beans. Umai!DSC_2049

Because I think the coffee cups are particularly small for breakfast, I had bought some DIY drip coffee sachets from the convenient store the day before. So I actually drank some decent coffee… with some mini Kit Kat’s. DSC_2050

Question to Nestlé: Why can’t we have decent Kit Kat flavours in the UK? Or innovative Kit Kat ideas like the Japanese in the UK?

I guess I’m a big Kit Kat fan (see previous posts on this blog). I haven’t checked out the recent flavours here in the UK because unfortunately our local tuck shop/newsagents is closed down – not even sure why… Maybe they’re planning to knock the building down.

So these two Kit Kat sizes in Japan are genuinely new. The first one here is the Ruby Chocolate flavour. What is Ruby chocolate anyway? There wasn’t much, so I ate them all. ¬_¬””DSC_2051DSC_2053

And this one is the Milk Chocolate flavour. I think I liked the Ruby one. It was much sweeter than this one.DSC_2054DSC_2055

Ikebukuro is in the north west of Central Tokyo, it’s a bit out of the centre, but so easy to get to take the Yamanote Line using your JR Pass/Suica/Pasmo card – whatever you’ve got. A lot of Japanese flock here, not sure why, maybe because of the small shopping area. It’s like a smaller version of Akihabara.DSC_2056

As it was before 10am, I had to walk fairly slowly before the shops weren’t opened. Most of the shops in Japan don’t open until 10am or possibly 11am. I think it’s because they open till late – and possibly for workers to avoid coming in during rush hour, which is usually between 7am and roughly around 10am (or earlier).

First shop I went into was Tokyo Hands, which is like a department store with many floors. I liked all the things there, especially the bags and stationery, but I honestly resisted as I had spent so much on stationery in China last year, there was no point in me spending on anymore. Hehehehe. So I only bought food-related things such as a chopstick case and a food bag. I really needed those as the MUJI in London don’t supply the sizes I want, and they don’t sell drawstring bento bags anymore!DSC_2057

I went into a few stores after this, like a secondhand bookstore, which is a few doors before Tokyo Hands. Ahhh, if only I can read Japanese fluently, I would have bought many books as they are so small. Sometimes I wished the UK could make their books more pocket sized. I know the font would be compromised but Japanese people seem to be able to manage it, (even Chinese people manage too).

Anyway, one reason I think people come to Ikebukuro is because of this SEGA store, I didn’t go in, but I think you can play arcade games there. DSC_2058

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I think Uniqlo (pronounced uni-klo) was doing a Gundam special. I love the large figurines in the window. There was one episode or movie I had watched as a child and I really loved one of the songs, but I’ve forgotten which one it was… I’ll have to ask Mr Stingy. He’ll remember. (Edit before posting: I liked Macross Do You Remember Love, the Cantonese version, not Gundam! Thanks Mr Stingy!).DSC_2060

After this mini shopping spree, I actually walked down south – as in walked the other way from the hotel to see what other things were there… To be honest, there wasn’t much to see, just a few independent shops, some restaurants including a Coco Ichibanya and a small supermarket that I ventured into. I purchased my lunch in the supermarket, and walked slowly back the other way.

I ended up eating in the park behind the hotel.DSC_2061

Ah man, I really like Japanese fried food. I had a potato croquette and egg sandwich, lemon tea and freshly made skewers of fried pork and egg that wrapped around the pork. The skewers were very crunchy. Too loud for the park, but I ate them all in one sitting. ¬_¬”” They were amazingly tasty.DSC_2062

After lunch, I went around the back streets and then onto a main street. Shopped in the clothing section of MUJI. I bought a couple of skirts, which thankfully fit!

Then I headed back to the hotel room and had a long nap… zzzzzzz (my body said I needed it).

It was around 6pm or some time afterwards when I woke up. I really didn’t want to go out, but I needed to eat my dinner.

I passed this ramen bar a couple of times, and I thought I’ll try it. To translate, this place is called “Yokohama Family Ramen” 横浜家系ラーメン.DSC_2067.JPG

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I decided to have the one with everything, medium bowl size.DSC_2065

The ramen reminded me of the time Miss Pinky and I tried to finish that massive bowl of ramen that was filled with veggies. Heheheheh. Don’t worry, I finished this but didn’t finished the soup. A bit too salty.DSC_2066

Forgot the cost, but it was under ¥1000 (less than £7).

Address: 1 Chome-22-14 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0013, Japan

Went back to the hotel with a few drinks and my breakfast for the next day. It was going to be an early start!

Edit: I did have two puddings before I went to bed! The cake ring was left for breakfast!DSC_2068

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Back to sleep I go, heheheheh.

End of Day 4.