Saturday, August 31, 2019

Japan Kantō Winter Drive to Mt Fuji - Part 1 (Tokyo-Atami)

In 2017, went to Japan right after Chinese New Year. That was one of the first journey whereby we spent virtually the entire trip by self-Driving around Japan.This trip will bring us from Tokyo to Hakone before stopping at Atami for a night, then onwards to Lake Kawaguchi for a night to take a look at Mt Fuji. After that we will head upwards to Kusatsu with a detour to Matsumoto Castle for a look before finally making our way back to Tokyo.

We landed in Tokyo and swiftly made our way to our hotel for the night HOTEL UNIZO Tokyo ShibuyaThe hotel is a short walk from JR Shibuya station and is situated right in the middle of Shibuya shopping district. 

Right after we check-in and left our luggage, we made our way roaming the streets of Shibuya searching for Yakiniku...

And Sushi...

And we even had time for some crepes~

We ended day early as our travel really start on the 2nd day. Checked-out early on the second day and had breakfast at my favourite cafe Doutor. Got our rental car and started our drive

The plan for the first 2 days was to travel to Hakone for lunch, then onto Atami for a look before checking-into our hotel for day 1, then travel back up Northwest to Gotemba Premium Outlet and Lake Kawaguchi for our ryokan for the 2nd night.

The drive from Shibuya to Hakone took around 1.5 hours. It went from urban to clear skies to forest...

... And when you see the lake, its Hakone 箱根!

Our ride for the trip, a cute little Suzuki Swift

Tori by the lake @ Hakone Shrine

Road leading to Hakone Shrine

After exploring Hakone Shrine and queueing up for our family wefie under the Hakone Shrine, we drove over to the other side of the lake for an udon and soba lunch!

View of Lake Ashi from the Udon restaurant

My wife has never been a big fan of boats so we skipped the cruise around the lake~ After a short stroll along the lake we continued our journey towards Atami.

Throughout our drive over the 2 days we keep catching glorious peeks of Mt Fuji.
Atami is an onsen seaside resort. Using the Shinkansen it will take around 1-hour. We drove for around 40 minutes from Hakone. Given it was a weekday, the town centre was really quiet and sleepy. We parked our car and went for a walk around town, hoping to find something nice to eat for 2nd lunch...

With some luck, we managed to find a sushi restaurant which was still opened at 2pm (Most shops in the area are closed between 2-5pm). This shop is closed from 3-5pm. And boy was I glad!

Umai Sushikan Atami うまい鮨勘 熱海支店

Do you like Sea Urchin?

Seafood-don~ Yum!

Shirako白子 - basically fish sperm~ Real Delicacy!
How's that for lunch?

Fresh oysters~ really good~

By the time we finished lunch it was nearly 3pm and most shops have already closed. We started to make our way to our hotel for the night, driving slowly up the hill to our hotel for the night...

Atami Mori no Onsen Hotel (熱海森の温泉ホテル)
This hotel is one of those older large hotels that has been renovated. In terms of price level it's considered low-moderate level. But what drew me to this place was the private outdoor onsen that overlook the forest.

I could imagine what the view would look like in Autumn when the entire forest would be covered in red leaves~

Perfect for a family of 3... a bit too small for a crowd of 4!

Would be perfect in Autumn!

Dinner was an underwhelming buffet dinner but I cannot complain because the whole stay with dinner and breakfast for 3 pax cost me only S$260... After dinner we bumped into an American family and spent a good 30 minutes chatting with them at the hotel lobby before we headed back to our room to rest for the night~

The next morning we head to Lake Kawaguchi! See the post here:

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