Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Serenity Of Oshino Hakkai...



From Lake Kawaguchi, we headed to the heritage village of Oshino, located between Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Yamanakako,...


...passing by snow clad mountain slopes...


...and quaint fences guarding the slopes!


Oshino is famous for the Oshino Hakkai, a set of eight ponds that are fed by snow melt from the slopes of nearby Mount Fuji that filters down the mountain through porous layers of lava for over 80 years, resulting in very clear spring water that is revered by the locals...



The ponds are quite deep and teem with life - plants and fish...



The ponds look very inviting...


Views of Mount Fuji from here...


Strawberries on sale - notice the white strawberries, which are quite a delicacy...





The snow on the roofs looks quite neat...



A beautiful tree...


A beautiful slope in Oshino...



Soft and fluffy snow... 










Mount Fuji does look impressive...

The Majestic Fuji-san...



And today we make our way to Fuji-san, or Mount Fuji, which is regarded as an enduring and a much loved symbol of Japan...


We are on the shore of Lake Kawaguchi, in the Yamanashi Prefecture...


Mount Fuji is nearly 19 kilometres away on a straight line, but by road the distance is nearly 60 kilometres...


We are blessed with an exceptionally clear morning, which they say is quite unusual here...


And the scenery is incredibly beautiful...


And the nip in the air heightens the sensory experience...


At 3776 metres, Mount Fuji is Japan's highest mountain. Its exceptionally symmetrical cone is snow-capped for about 5 months a year. The mountain has quite a lot of significance in Shinto mythology and is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in traditional art...





The peace and tranquility of Mount Fuji has to be experienced...



Love In Tokyo...


This morning, we are heading out to Mount Fuji and we are to catch our bus at the Shinjuku I-Land Tower in Nishi-Shinjuku district. We were instructed to wait by the Love Statue...


This was the first time we were seeing the Love Statue - apparently there are over thirty of them around the world, with the majority located in the United States...

This pop art image by an American artist, Robert Indiana. The letters are in bold Didone type, with the O slanted. The original image, with green and blue spaces backing red lettering, served as a print image for a Museum of Modern Art Christmas card in 1964, and then the design appeared on a popular postage stamp in the United States.
LOVE's first sculpture was made in 1970 and is displayed at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Then the world caught on to it...
And we were reminded of the 1966 Bollywood hit, Love In Tokyo that starred Asha Parekh and Joy Mukherjee that featured the still popular song, Sayonara, Sayonara! (The movie was incidentally shot here in Tokyo, besides Hiroshima.)
As for us, it was Sayonara Tokyo for a few hours!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Back To Ginza...



Back to Ginza, we walk back towards our hotel...


We quite liked being in Ginza...


Ginza was decked up...


Pedestrian lane for walking with kids...


And it's time to relax back in our room. The hotel room, as we previously experienced in Osaka and Kyoto, was fairly tiny with only a little space to move around. The bed too was really small. And the bathroom, was barely double the size of an airplane toilet. Despite this, the room was pretty organised and quite comfortable. And the thing that we really love about hotels in Japan are the yukatas or the cotton nightgowns, which are super comfortable. The nicest touch was that of the origami cranes which were placed on our yukatas...


Before turning in for the night, we watched the Richard Gere's Hachi: A Dog's Tale - an adaptation of the story of Hachikō and Hidesaburō Ueno...

Postcards From Shibuya...



In an hour or so, Shibuya will have a different feel to it when the neon lights come up...


Crossing the junction...



The vibe around here is electrifying...



Colonel Sanders in Japan!




The neon signs come up...


Crossing the junction again...


That's the Starbucks which has a great view of the crossing...





The streets of Shibuya...



What a name for a shop...



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