Japan, Travel 44 COMMENTS

Exploring: Mt. Fuji & Yokohama

mtfuji-yokohama-wild-spirit-blog-cover(Read part one & part two of my Japan trip)

Our last two days, before heading back home to sunny hot manila, was spent exploring the region of Mt. Fuji and Yokohama. Our 3rd morning brought gray skies, a little drizzle that soon turned to very light snowfall, which was nothing entirely exciting. Our tour guide warned us that the weather didn’t look ideal to see Mt. Fuji, but with high hopes we boarded our tour bus and embarked on a two hour bus ride towards our first stop: Gotemba.

Fuji Yokohama (1 of 56)That’s Mt. Fuji hiding behind clouds. I’ve heard some people have visited Japan thrice and still haven’t seen the very elusive Mountain.

Fuji Yokohama (2 of 56)Gotemba Premium Outlets is a shopping area for high end brands, which currently has over 200 stores. Now, I love shopping but I’m not exactly the biggest fan of high end brands so Gotemba to me was so-so. Personally, it’s not a place I would visit myself if I were in Japan on my own. The coolest part of Gotemba to me was the Pokemon Store, a place my 26 year old self was giddy to be in but my 11 year old self would have DIED.

Fuji Yokohama (52 of 56)Of course, a visit to the Pokemon store would never be complete without selfies with the best three starter Pokemons there ever was:Fuji Yokohama (53 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (54 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (55 of 56)

After two hours in Gotemba, we made our way to visit Mt. Fuji herself. The weather really wasn’t all that great, almost dangerous even. The tour guide made some calls and we were permitted to go up until the 5th station. The way up was long, nearly everyone on the bus ended up sleeping. But how could I? The view going up was absolutely beautiful.

Fuji Yokohama (5 of 56)I’m a fall/winter type of girl, so you can imagine dead trees, colors of light brown, dark greens and auburn in nature appeals to me the most.

Fuji Yokohama (4 of 56)The further we went up around the mountain, the more snow we saw at the side of the road…

Fuji Yokohama (6 of 56)And then slowly it started to snow. Our tour guide exclaimed about how lucky we were. Snow in March was not a common occurrence, apparently.

Fuji Yokohama (8 of 56)It go stronger and stronger the higher we got. I was giddy. My first snowfall experience.

Fuji Yokohama (10 of 56)Beautiful, eerie, makes me want to play Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago album.

Fuji Yokohama (11 of 56)We finally arrived at the 5th station, but there were so many tourist busses that we could only stay for about 20-30 minutes. This was the most frustrating thing for me. Suddenly it felt like our tour was being put on a time limit, which sucked. But we tried to make the most of it anyway. I snapchatted, took photos and sent videos to Gab like crazy.

Fuji Yokohama (13 of 56)David, Jowee and I being totally cute. Last photo-op before being called back on the bus.

Despite the fact that it was freezing, our gadgets completely depleting (my phone went from 50% to zero because of the cold temperature in a matter of minutes!) and barely feeling our faces — I was ecstatic. It was one of the happiest experiences I’ve had in my travels. Definitely the highlight of my Japan trip too, aside from the great food everywhere, of course.

Fuji Yokohama (3 of 56)An outdoor sale on the way to our next location (Oshino Hakkai) I wanted to check out but couldn’t because we were on the bus.Fuji Yokohama (56 of 56)

Fuji Yokohama (14 of 56)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oshino Hakkai is a small and charming village known for their 8 ponds with water (snow melt) from the nearby Mt. Fuji that filters down from the mountain through porous layers of lava for over 80 years, resulting in crystal clear spring water. Next to some ponds, you can drink (or even fill up a jug) the spring water straight from the source. The ponds are deep, have beautiful freshwater plant life and even large fish like Karps.

Fuji Yokohama (17 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (15 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (16 of 56)

Due to heavy traffic on our way back to the hotel, our tour guide had to cancel dinner reservations and opted to give us our money back so we could eat out on our own. By the time we got back to the hotel, it was already 9PM. David and I were too tired to go far, so we visited the super market across our hotel and bought dinner instead.Fuji Yokohama (19 of 56)Onigiri is easily one of my favorites to eat in Japan, aside from the sushi of course!

Fuji Yokohama (20 of 56)Here’s a tip on saving money when you visit Japan: EAT THE FOOD IN GROCERY STORES.

They taste great, quality is superb (a lot are at par or even better than most Japanese restaurants in the PH) and it’s cheap!!! Even Family Mart had great food. On our last day, David bought ramen and he said it tasted just like in our Japanese restaurants here. And that’s just Family Mart. ;-)

Fuji Yokohama (23 of 56)The next morning, the weather was a lot better, less gloomy, but still freezing cold. Typical, but just the way I like it when I’m traveling. On our last day, our itinerary was pretty full: visit Lake Ashinoko, Yokohama, the Ramen Museum and eat in China Town.

Here’s the problem though: TOURISTS. Yes, I know, we’re tourists too. But it was peak season and everywhere was packed. Oftentimes, this ruined our plans or we had to make changes. Either way, we made the most of it and always stayed positive. Afterall, we were in Japan.

Fuji Yokohama (21 of 56)Saw the Tokyo Tower several times but this was the most decent photo I got from the bus. They say it was inspired by the Eiffel Tower, which rings true only the Eiffel Tower is probably five times its size!

Fuji Yokohama (25 of 56)Lake Ashinoko is known for its scenic views of Mt. Fuji, numerous hot springs, and historical sites. A number of boats and ferries traverse the lake for tourists, some of which are designed like sailing warships. The scenic ride take 30 minutes around the lake.

Fuji Yokohama (26 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (30 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (28 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (29 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (33 of 56)Our second stop for the day was the Ramen Museum where we hoped we could have lunch. Unfortunately, the crowd was too unbearable, and waiting in line would’ve been an hour, resulting in a ruined schedule for the day. We were able to walk around the venue a bit but even taking photos proved to be a struggle. The Ramen Museum was interesting, the entire place was designed and decorated beautifully to make it look sometime in the 40’s, almost like wartime in Japan.

Fuji Yokohama (34 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (35 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (37 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (36 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (38 of 56)Outside the Ramen Museum was this sign, the chopsticks move up and down. I thought it’d make a cute photo. 

Fuji Yokohama (40 of 56)We quickly moved on to China Town because the crowd at the Ramen Museum was unbearable — only to be met with another big crowd. David and I walked around to see if there was any place we wanted to try or at least not filled to the brim with people. We were unsuccessful, but that’s okay. We decided to look for a Family Mart and just bought lunch for ourselves. I ended up getting real yakisoba noodles, while David settled for ramen. It was a great lunch, no BS. Their Family Mart food selection is A+++, nothing like the food selection we get here.

Nevertheless, David and I still tried to explore China Town. Jowee and her mom offered us some Buchi and I swear, it was the best Buchi I’ve ever tried in my life — of course I might have to retract this statement once I’ve actually been to China and try buchi there, but I mean Chinatown anywhere is pretty much a legit place to try authentic Chinese food right? I think it counts. :-P

Fuji Yokohama (43 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (45 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (44 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (46 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (41 of 56)

After China Town, we headed to Minatomirai shopping mall for — you guessed it — more shopping. Haha Tour groups usually consist of families and older people who love to travel AND shop, which comes to no surprise how much shopping places we visit. They’re the kind of travels who love to buy stuff souvenirs for family and friends back home. David and I didn’t really spend a lot of time at the mall and opted to just walk around and take quick photos outside.

Fuji Yokohama (48 of 56)A theme park somewhere in Yokohama

Fuji Yokohama (47 of 56)

Right outside the shopping mall was one cherry blossom tree that had begun to bloom. Everyone flocked to take photos with it and I was no exception. How could I resist? Some people might say they’re overrated, but no. They’re so beautiful in real life that I get why tourists flock to Japan to see it in bloom. Imagine being in a park full of these trees!

There’s a radio station in Japan that reports especially for the first bloom of the cherry blossom when the season comes around and people flock to parks to have picnics under these romantic trees — a tradition they call Hanami.

Fuji Yokohama (49 of 56)Fuji Yokohama (51 of 56)

The next day, we packed our luggages, twice heavier than they were before we left, ready to head home to Manila. I was sad that we were leaving the very country where my favorite cuisine comes from, where locals were extremely helpful, polite and respectful — but I was also excited because I knew that I’d be back someday soon with Gab. Currently, we plan to go back around January 2017 (originally October this year but we moved it due to Gab’s work).

Special thanks to Airlite International Travel & Tours for giving me this opportunity to see Japan in a way that I probably never would’ve on my own. If you’re interested in touring Japan (or other places!) with your family, you can check out their FB page or their website for more information.

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44 Comments

  • Reply Danica Rama 26 July 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Your travel photos and posts are to die for ate Camie :)

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 July 2016 at 8:15 pm

      Thanks Danica ❤️

  • Reply Alissa 26 July 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Love love love your travel entries Camie! :) The photos feel like I’m actually there. I would love to go there someday. Squirtle is so cute!

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 July 2016 at 8:14 pm

      Thanks Alissa!!! Yeah, I think Japan is definitely worth visiting and worth the hype/money ;) The food pa lang, that’s assuming you like Japanese food. But aside from that, despite the language barriers and all, locals are extremely friendly and the country is just beautiful. I’m going back to Tokyo, and to visit places like Osaka/Kyoto too! :)

  • Reply Kristine 26 July 2016 at 8:12 pm

    i loveeee your travel posts. :) and I love the photos, mind me asking: what camera did you used?

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 July 2016 at 8:13 pm

      Hi Kristine! I’m using Fujifilm X-A2 :) And thank you ❤️

  • Reply Corinth 27 July 2016 at 12:56 am

    Your outfits, your look, and the photos are amazing! I used to hate Japan when I was little because of what they did to our people years and years ago (HAHA), but now, I’m aching to visit the country! I love their cuisine as well, and their culture! So glad I got to see a glimpse of it through your eyes! Thanks!

    • Reply Camie Juan 30 July 2016 at 12:12 am

      Thanks Corinth!!

      That’s a cute anecdote about your childhood and overall outlook towards Japan. HAHA After watching Pearl Harbor years and years ago, I also felt angry at them. HAHAHA But yeah, someday I hope you and Jorge can travel there :)

  • Reply dotdaria 27 July 2016 at 6:23 am

    Seems like the best place ever. Japan is definitely on the travel list!

    • Reply Camie Juan 30 July 2016 at 12:11 am

      You have to visit, you’ll enjoy it!!

  • Reply marsymallows 27 July 2016 at 6:45 am

    I agree with them, your photos really look amazing and that’s just not because of your camera!! Your mt. fuji and landscape photos are all so beautiful and I love the 40’s look and vibe of the museum! :)

  • Reply DMNQ (@superniknok) 27 July 2016 at 10:07 am

    You take the most gorgeous photos Camie!!!! <3 <3 <3

    • Reply Camie Juan 30 July 2016 at 12:07 am

      Thank you!! ❤️

  • Reply renalexis01 27 July 2016 at 11:17 am

    That photo with 3/4ths of the ferris wheel and sky is my favorite. Really great photography skills you have there Camie. And I really enjoy your travel posts! You are one of my inspirations. Keep shining! xx Renee

    • Reply Camie Juan 30 July 2016 at 12:02 am

      Thanks Renee… It’s always a nice thing when I’m complimented for my photography because I feel like it’s a skill of mine I tend to hone out of just practice and not something I take seriously, so when output is applauded, it feels nice! <3

  • Reply Rachel Liwanag 27 July 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Aahh love your photos sooooo much! they’re amazing :) Japan surely is in my top list of countries I NEED to visit

    http://www.stringofthoughts.com/

    • Reply Camie Juan 30 July 2016 at 12:01 am

      Thanks Rachel :) I think you’ll enjoy Japan!!

  • Reply Pearly Jane 27 July 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Miss Camie! I know you’re using your X-A2 but what lens? Kit lens? :) Happy to read a new blog post! ^^

    • Reply Camie Juan 30 July 2016 at 12:01 am

      For these photos I was using my kit lens :)

      • Reply Pearly Jane 1 August 2016 at 10:46 am

        Kit lens as in the 16-50mm or the other one? I only have the 16-50~ Hope to take shots as good as yours ^^

  • Reply Enah Laroza 27 July 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Hello, Camie! Super love your photos!! And even how you post-processed it. But mind if you share where to get winter clothes here in Manila? Thank you!
    http://www.journeyfreaks.com

    • Reply Camie Juan 29 July 2016 at 11:57 pm

      Thank you! :)

      The ones I wore to Japan were from F&F and Topshop (trenchcoat), honestly you can find thick coats anywhere here especially if you buy it during fall/winter season (months of september – february in the PH) Layering lang is needed for cold weather, and you can buy thermals from Uniqlo :)

  • Reply littlemissdin2x 27 July 2016 at 6:40 pm

    I love your photos and your blog in general. Made me want to go to Japan too.

    • Reply Camie Juan 29 July 2016 at 11:54 pm

      Thank you, I really appreciate your kind words :)

  • Reply Pia 28 July 2016 at 3:18 pm

    You take the BEST travel photos! So beautiful! Makes me excited for my Japan trip next year. <3

    • Reply Camie Juan 29 July 2016 at 11:53 pm

      Thanks Pia, that means a lot. I hope you have a great trip!!!

  • Reply Nana W. 28 July 2016 at 11:01 pm

    I’m always in awe of your photographs :’) SQUIRTLE THO <3

    Arraday.com | THAILAND IN 3 MINUTES

    • Reply Camie Juan 29 July 2016 at 11:53 pm

      Thanks Nana :)

  • Reply Jae 28 July 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Wait—ang cute ng pose ni David. Hahaha! Photos are stunning; backstory is wonderful. Now dying to go to Japan and eat all the sushi, sashimi, and ramen!!!

    • Reply Camie Juan 29 July 2016 at 11:52 pm

      ITS. SO. GOOD. I could honestly live off Japanese food… Hands down best cuisine in the world for me. Hahah

      • Reply Jae 29 July 2016 at 11:59 pm

        SA TOTOO LANG TALAGA!

  • Reply ELAINE 29 July 2016 at 8:25 pm

    As always, your photos are superb! <3

    • Reply Camie Juan 29 July 2016 at 11:52 pm

      Thanks Elaine ❤️

  • Reply Kai 1 August 2016 at 8:37 am

    Hi Ate Camie! I can really tell you enjoyed Japan much! Also, have you visited Fukuoka? The best ramen are there based on my experience. Me and my friend went to Fukuoka just to try their ramen and it was really the bessst ever :) and yes, Family Mart here is cheaper but sushis and other products are far more better than we have in the PH. Hope to see you when you come back! ☺

  • Reply kokorosenpai 1 August 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Hello Ate Camie! I am a fan of pokemon as well~ but you didn’t took a photo with pikachu >.< Japan is one of my most travel bucketlist and hopefully wishes have a chance to travel with you :D You are also one of my top favorite blogs :D

  • Reply kb (@heykebe) 6 August 2016 at 11:32 am

    Eating at grocery stores — oh that’s so true, Camie! :) We live on Family Mart meals when in Japan!
    I enjoy your posts in a massive way… and vlogs! Hope you have more of your European tour up :p BUT! No pressure, haha.
    Happy and safe travels, always!

  • Reply Benj 7 August 2016 at 10:31 pm

    I hope you don’t mind if I use your photos as backgrounds for my phone and laptop. They’re so beautiful!!! I aspire to be like you someday <3

    • Reply Camie Juan 13 August 2016 at 2:25 am

      I don’t mind at all ;)

  • Reply Pearl 11 August 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Nice photos Camie! Love this post <3

  • Reply Loura 13 August 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Your photos are so aesthetic, Camie! And I agree with you, just by looking at them makes me wanna listen to Bon Iver too. I hope to take good photos just like you! You are such an inspiration

  • Reply Charity 16 August 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Camie! Came into this post of yours and your photos are amaaaaazinggg! Do you mind if I ask what particular lens did you pair with your XA-2 for the shots you took in this post? Planning to buy an XA-2 soon. :) Thank you.

  • Reply Japan Vlog: My First Snow fall Experience in Mt. Fuji! - Wild Spirit by Camie Juan 3 February 2017 at 1:05 am

    […] trip (aside from all the Japanese food, of course)! I wrote about this part of the trip on my blog here, but this vlog definitely will show you a different side of that blog post. I hope you enjoy […]

  • Reply Azyyati Elias 26 February 2017 at 7:08 pm

    All those pictures are so beautiful and amazing. I’m a fall/winter kind of girl too. In fact I love fall so much even tho I’m from Malaysia hahaha. I would love to go to Japan one day and I love cherry blossom. They are too pretty and the color looks so nice. I wish I can see cherry blossom one day too. And I am a bit surprised that you’re be able to see cherry blossoms in winter. You’re so lucky :)

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