Just near Mt. Fuji, Staying in freezing winter in Yamanashi Prefecture.

 Live with a beautiful mountain is a huge experience for many people, especially if it is world heritage. In the cold winter of mid February 2018, I made a two-week trip and stayed Yamanashi Prefecture (山梨県), near Mt. Fuji, at 3,776m, the highest mountain in Japan.

 Everyday was another cold day, and person like me who lives in Tokyo couldn't believe how cold it was. Just less than two hours ride on bus, Yamanashi Prefecture is almost a  whole different country with low temperature in the nights (in an average of minus 12 degrees Celsius). In my life with many traveling to countries, I had never been such a freezing place.

 Thankfully, the weather had been good during my stay, and I could see the mountain wherever I was. It was not only high, indeed it was massive, and I wasn't sick of it at all ;)

 Sometimes I took a walk around a beautiful lake in my neighbour Lake Kawaguchi (河口湖). It's one of Fuji Five Lakes (富士五湖), spreading around the north of the mountain. There was a pathway along the shore with some wooden bench. It must be nice place to read a book it it wasn't so cold, haha.

 Thanks to the mountain being nominated to the world heritage in 2013, many tourists began to come, and top-notch cafes and restaurants as well as accommodations are widely available. I visited one of fine cafes near the lake, felt like being home :)

 I believe it was a bank of some sort....

 Also, I drove to other lake, which was Lake Yamanaka (山中湖). Due to its altitude of 980m, there was covered with thick ice in the north. I could walk on the iced surface a bit (I have no courage to go further, you know!)

 Beautiful mountain covered with snow on top, mirror like lakes....Yamanashi Prefecture is a great place to go, if you can cope with its cold!


endless evening.

 Sometimes I feel pain being still alive. I wish I could let it go, but you know, it's always there in my mind.


Meguro rive and Sakura, on 31st of March, 2018

 It’s always nice to take a walk in Tokyo.
And I particularly enjoy it in the mid spring, when flowers and grasses finally coming out of solid ground, as if we see a sudden change of the world. On the end of March 2018, I cycled along Meguro River (目黒川) in Tokyo, where many fancy restaurants and shops are there.

Sakura is hard to predict when it begins to bloom. This year 2018, it was much earlier than usual. Starting bloom in the last week, it seems now is the biggest days for sakura lovers to walk around.

Along with Meguro river, this sakura road goes on like a few kilometers long, and you can get off the train like Meguro Station of JR or other private line. It’s been three years since I came here last time, I guess.

After seeing beautiful pink scenery, I hop on to the bicycle, headed to Tsutaya Books (蔦屋書店), a famous sophisticated bookstore in the fancy district of Daikan-yama (代官山), where many embassies are along the street.

 Not only books, but you can also find nice stationary, pottery, music and so on. I sometimes come over the place just for have a cup of coffee in the terrace, relaxing myself :) A nice thing about this bookstore is that they open from 7 a.m. in the morning, when many other shops and places are still closed.  Early bird like me love such a place! (It is closed at 2 a.m. in the midnight, by the way)


One-day trip to Kawagoe with fine sashimi dish!

 If you want to walk around old streets but not enough time to go far away from Tokyo, go to Kawagoe (川越) for one-day trip. Just 40km north west of Tokyo, one-hour-train-ride brings you to the city of Kawagoe, where is sometimes called “A tiny old city Edo”. It is a small, yet cozy and attractive place for many people, including foreigners, of course. One early spring in 2018, I visited there for the first time in four years. So…Let’s take a close look at what it’s like :)

 I arrived at a nearby station just before the noon, and have lunch at first. I made a reservation for a tiny restaurant in advance. But….where is it? Well, it actually…

 Here! Oh I took several minutes to find the place! It's too narrow and difficult!

 Built more than a hundred year ago, this amazingly cozy house with tiny garden became a Japanese cuisine restaurant named "Furin" with a wooden counter with chefs.

Sitting back one of seats, I enjoyed watching chefs cooking sushi, and waited for food to come. For the record, I took a raw fish Sashimi Dish, which was 1,250 yen (around USD11).

 Here, we have pudding-style chawan-mushi (茶碗蒸し) as a starter. Steamed with egg and sliced onion as well as dashi (出汁), it certainly warmed my body up after walking with cool air outside.

 This one-bowl dish is my favourite one with a variety of chopped fish, such as tuna, octopus, bonito, and more. I love this! It’s colourful, lots of different textures, and cheaper among other dish :)

 Private rooms, old interiors, decors, tiny garden are so great, worth visiting for meal :) I recommend you to make a reservation before coming, by the way. It would easily be fully occupied, especially in the weekend.

 So let’s go outside and see the old city, shall we? :)

Add caption

 Starbucks is everywhere, you know :)

After lots of sweets, beer, snacks, I waved my hands to Kawagoe, headed back to Tokyo ;)