The last part of the Sunrise Tour was to Lake Ashi or the Hakone Lake. We spent the time on our bus solving puzzle boxes and being rewarded with candy, and trying futively to snap pictures of Mt. Fuji whenever our tour guide pointed to the mountain in the distance as the bus swerved through the mountains.
We boarded a boat along with a ton of other tour groups and headed to the third floor which had a panormic view as we passed the lake. The first and second floor were also nice with tons of seating that was comfortable and huge glass windows all along so you still had a nice view. We passed a couple “pirate ships” which our tour guide told us were nice but limited in seating. On board our ship was a guide that told more about the boat we were on which was built for stability. It wasn’t a long cruise but it was nice.
We were given a bit of time to peruse the shops on shore. They weren’t particularly exciting. The bakery was mostly sold out of things when we got there and they were selling the puzzle boxes we had played with on the bus but the were pricy, which made sense but not enough for me to buy one and lose luggage space. There was also a huge souvenir shop with things from all over the area and a ton of onsen bath salts as souvenirs since we were in Hakone which is famous for its onsens (and onsen cooked black eggs). Almost everyone in my tour group left the little shopping area early so we could board the bus for the final time and head to the train station. Our tour guide gave us tickets for the bullet train back into Tokyo. She also took that time to sit with each of us and make sure we knew how to get back to where we were staying. The ticket she gave us was great, if we were staying on the more popular lines then transfers were included, like taking the JR line. Which meant I got most of the way back to my friends place with ease and I wasn’t alone since several others were going in the same direction. The bullet train was nice, peaceful and quiet, not to mention fast. It didn’t take nearly as long getting back and it was a fun experience.
Over all I greatly enjoyed my tour. It was nice to go up Mount Fuji, even if it was cloudy, to eat a nice traditional meal, and have opportunities to learn more about Japan, about onsen culture (bathing culture too), and even a miniature tea lesson all on board our bus from our knowledgeable and friendly tourguide. The latter half, the trip to Lake Ashi and wandering around on the shore wasn’t particularly as exciting to me but it was a relaxing way to end the day. Plus I got to knock out two big things, taking a bullet train and seeing Mount Fuji.