Hi there, welcome to my blog.

What's this all about? Well, that's a question I'm probably not even qualified to answer. I guess it started off because I had nothing better to do, but turns out that I kind of like it. So when I'm not working for The Man I like to take pictures, make videos and write about whatever else might seem like a good idea at the time.

From dragon boating to mountain biking, to road trips and travels overseas - this is me trying to enjoy life. Clock out at 5, eat, drink and don't forget to smile a lot.

The Time Machine


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Monday, November 8

Us in Japan: Day 8 Part 2 - Hakone & There's only one speed on an electric bike: fun!

Made it back to Shinjuku tonight, but heading back on the bullet train tomorrow to Kyoto. I think the hotel we booked is pretty baller so we'll see. As for the train, a one way trip is roughly $133. Coming from Odawara today in the dark, it was hard to see how relatively fast it was but let me tell you it seemed pretty fast anyway. I can't wait to see scenery fly by tomorrow - I think the ride is like 2 hours (570km)...or something like that.

Anyway, like I was saying, My Fuji was pretty epic. We actually went up to to station 5/10 on the mountain, which I think is about half way, but to be honest the view of it from a distance was way more spectacular.

Roughly translated (according to our guide), Fuji stands for "only one". Like the maple leaf this thing is an icon. I've seen my fair share of mountain ranges but to have the largest mountain in an entire country standing alone like that is pretty majestic. Seriously.

We stayed in the town of Hakone, which is located in the crater of a volcano. Apparently it's active, since the heat from it powers something like 3000 hot springs in the area. In the center, there's a lake which I'm gonna go ahead and guess feeds the springs.

If you've never been to one before (which I haven't), let me tell you that's its a liberating/awkward experience. Imagine an open air hot tub but then like a whole bunch of guys with their junk hanging around bathing in it. You're only allowed to bring a small rag (like a face cloth) with you into the actual hakone and you gotta wear a robe to it (nekkid underneath). I dunno, public baths are kinda like the showers at the Y...a bit awkward.

The next day we woke up next to the lake and it was still beautiful outside. Despite the fact that we had day passes for the transit and cable cars in the area we opted against it...ok, that's a lie. My sister lost her pass like a chump and I got super pissed. Instead, we ended up renting these electric assisted bicycles (for 500 yen an hour), for a few hours to get around the area. They are super fun and make you feel like Lance Armstrong but with both testes. Cruising around was pretty fun.

Cruising along the lake was beautiful and we even stopped off for some fresh soba in a restaurant overlooking one end of the crater lake...sitting on the floor. This area was pretty much the boonies but stunning.

The other reason we rented the bikes was because we couldn't figure out the bus system. Everything was hardcore not English and we got the Japanese hand-X symbol a whole bunch of times. It was just easier this way, and luckily worked out great.

We caught the shuttle to Odawara station, chilled in Starbucks (420 yen for a grande latte, WTF) and got back to Tokyo. Got some refreshments and chillin like villains right now.

Kyoto, here we come...