Saturday, 7 November 2015

08.08.2015 ~ Travel from Hakone to Yokohama

We woke at 08:30 after a restless night due to hard floor, hard futon, and bean bag pillow. We packed the suitcases and decided to catch the bus to Lake Ashi to try to see Mt Fuji... However as we stepped outside we saw it was cloudy again so decided to go straight to the train station to catch the train to Odawara to get the Shinkansen to Shin-Yokohama (which was a 20 minute journey). We got the JR Line to Tsurumi and then walked 5 minutes to the Best Western Hotel.

After leaving the bags in the hotel and a family mart lunch we got the train from Tsurumi to Namamugi Station to go to the Kirin Beer Village. It's an easy 10 minute walk from the station, and we were in time to go on the 13:30 tour. There were about 20 people in our group & we were the only non-Japanese on the tour but they gave us an English guide to read at the different sections of the tour. Overall the tour took 45-50 minutes and was really interesting and the guidebook was very informative. At the end of the tour you get 3 tokens each to taste the different beers produced; as M doesn't like dark beer he had 4 Kirin Ichiban half pints, and I had 1 half pint and an apple juice. The tour and tasting is completely free and very worthwhile, especially if you're staying in Tsurumi as we were as it is on the way to Yokohama city centre.

After finishing the tasting session (for which you get 20 minutes) we went back to the station to go to Yokohama centre. We took the JR Line one stop from Yokohama to Sakuragicho to be closer to the Landmark Tower. There's a covered walkway with travelators that take you to just outside the Tower Plaza. On the way there was a lot of Pikachu stuff going on (not clear what) and I gained a Pikachu hat, which turned out to give discount at the Landmark Tower so we got 2 tickets for ¥1400 instead of ¥2000! (who knew!).

The lift travels 69 floors in 40 seconds (! ears popped twice) and is very smooth and silent. The 69th floor is the observation deck with 3 'sides' of windows and a shop on the last side and a bar and toilets in the middle. We did a circuit then had a beer and a wine (¥1500) while we took in the view which was stunning (though unfortunately still cloudy so no Mt Fuji here either).

After another circuit we got the lift back down into Landmark Plaza which is a huge shopping centre. We stopped by the Pok√©mon Centre to try to find a Pikachu lanyard but no luck (are lanyards not a thing in Japan?) then went down to Basement level 2 to go to the Dockyard Restaurants to look for dinner. We chose a restaurant that had steak as M had craving for it again and ended up eating our steak with chopsticks, a novel experience! M had beef steak with potatoes and veg (¥2000) while I had honey black pepper pork steak and beansprouts (¥800); we shared 3 sections of garlic bread and had glass of wine each. The meal totalled ¥5300 and although the food and wine were good, there wasn't enough.

(huge shopping centre!)
(Top middle is the restaurant we went to)

So once we'd got back to Tsurumi we bought a convenience store Tonkatsu Kare to share plus our staple of apple juice and our first chocolate of the holiday! Two weeks without chocolate was surprisingly easy, though we think that we replaced the sugar of normal chocolate intake with apple juice. We checked into hotel and ate our second dinner then I put washing on for ¥300 and a dry for ¥100. We had showers and baths then early bed as we hadn't slept well at Azito and planned to leave at 08:00 in the morning for our long travel tomorrow...

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