Trip to Mt Fuji

Mt Fuji is probably, the most popular tourist destination in Japan  and since moving to Japan in 2015, Arpita (my wife) and I were trying to go there. We went to Tokyo in February, 2016, but due to lack of time, we could not visit Mt. Fuji then. So, when we found out that we will be going for a conference to Tsukuba to attend the annual meeting of Biophysical Society of Japan, we thought of going a day before and make a trip to Mt. Fuji.  With great help from our friend Nagai-san we planned our trip to Mt. Fuji. Nagai-san booked one day tour to Mt. Fuji and Hakone from Hato tours. I did not know about this tour operator at the time. It turns out that they run several one day tours from Tokyo  with english speaking guide and an option of vegetarian meal for lunch which was a great relief for us. Our trip was scheduled to start at 9.20 from Hamamatsucho bus terminus in Tokyo.
We live in Nagoya and we had to reach Hamamatsucho by 9 so we took the first Shinkansen from Nagoya bound to Tokyo at 6.41 AM. Thanks to punctuality of trains in Japan we reached the Hamamatsucho bus terminus well before time.
Our bus started at exact 9.20 AM.There were 40 people in total in our trip group. The weather was cloudy and we were quite sceptical if we will be able to see Mt. Fuji.
Our tour guide Masayo- San was an excellent guide and quite a manager. Our bus took the Chuo express way to Mt Fuji fifth station. The entire way was quite beautiful and we could still see autumn colors.
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On our way to Mt. Fuji, we passed through something called “Melody road” . Driving on these roads produces a distinct melodious sound. The music created by this particular road was from some Japanese song that our guide taught us and we sang it together while driving over that stretch of road. We reached Mt Fuji fifth station at about 11.40. Fortunately as soon as we reached there, the weather cleared and we got a nice view of snow covered Mt Fuji. The weather there is really unpredictable and it changed again after few minutes with fog and mist all around but by then we had already enjoyed the view and taken plenty of pictures.
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The first view of Mt. Fuji

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A clearer view from the way

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From Fifth station

We started for Hakone from Mt Fuji at around 12.20. Our driver was kind enough to stop at several places on our way back to help us take pictures of Mt Fuji.
On our way to Hakone we stopped for lunch at Fuji premium resort. The lunch turned out be surprisingly good. My wife being a vegetarian often faces problems in eating out but to her delight they served salad, Veg spaghetti, bread and some kind of matcha flavoured mousse.
We reached Hakone at about 3 and from there took a cruise on Lake Ashi. Its a beautiful lake surrounded by several hills.
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Lake Ashi

The cruise boat took us to the starting point of the Komagatake Ropeway that took us to the summit of Mt. Komagatake. The view from the summit was breathtaking.
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View from Mt. Komagatake

We started our return to Tokyo from Hakone at around 5 PM and reached Tokyo station at around 8 PM. We thanked our guide Masayo-san and headed to our hotel.
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Masaya-san, Arpita and Me

Overall the trip was excellent, however I would like to visit Mt. Fuji at least once more during hiking season ( July-August) and try the hike to the summit. But, that’s in future…
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An amateurish guide to living in Nagoya

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It has been almost three months since my wife and I moved to Nagoya, Japan. I am working at Nagoya University (NU) as postdoctoral researcher. After some initial hiccups we have been able to get settled here with a routine and life seems to be going smooth. We were fortunate to find some friends here in the beginning who helped us a lot and we will always be thankful to them. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to find helpful people right away and for a person not speaking Japanese, it can get quite difficult to understand things in Nagoya. So, I decided to start a blog which will be a culmination of all the useful information that I believe is important for getting around NU.

I understand there are several portals online to help Indians in Japan, but my attempt here is focused only for Indians coming to Nagoya and more specifically the students and researchers coming to NU (or near by). I will try to keep the information as less redundant as possible, meaning that I will only share the information that I believe is difficult to find using simple Google search.

Since I have been living near Nagoya University, all the information that I will be sharing will be specific mostly to the area around the NU.

I will try to be as organised as possible but since inherently I am not organised it is going to be difficult task and you might find several stray thoughts here and there…. So lets begin

A few words about the Japanese people

We found Japanese people to be one of the most helpful people ever. They will try to help you in any way possible. So if you are stuck somewhere just try conveying your problem to one of the local people and surely they will help you. Knowing a few Japanese words can go a long way. Japanese are very well mannered and polite, so you need to be polite while talking to them. Start by saying “Sumimasen” which means “Excuse me”. Also thank after they have helped you by saying “Arigato Gozaimasu”