Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 13th - Tokyo to Gotemba and back

We went out to Gotemba today via the rail from Tokyo. We had to transfer at the Kozu station and then we got on a second train to Gotemba. This is where the English announcements stopped and the adventure began. We went out here because we saw the Gotemba Shopping outlet on a website and thought it would be fun to see. They have Valentino, Bulgari, Chloe, Bottega Veneta, Issey Miyake, Gucci, Prada, and tons more. It was like a modern art exhibit trying on clothes in Issey Miyake. Bill and I laughed at the small size of the clothes everywhere and felt like complete giants. There was a bridge over a river connecting the two sides of the outlet. We explored one side, then the other, and then when we came to cross back to the other side we discovered it was pouring with rain and we got soaked through to the skin. We went out to catch the outlet bus back to the train station and met what we thought was an American. It turns out Barbara was Japanese and studying law in America and could speak English fantastically. She was with Florence who is of Japanese descent but Australian and studying law in Yokohama and Casey who was from Tokyo.

We got back to the station and found that the trains had been cancelled for the foreseeable future due to the heavy rain (with the help of Barbara). Then we waited around and service resumed. Our new friends helped us with the transfer at Naumnu and then we changed at Mishima to get on the Shinkansen back to Tokyo. We got back to the hotel around midnight. It was a long day.

As a note, Gotemba is right by Mt. Fuji on a clear day we would have seen Mt. Fuji looming from the train station and the shopping centre but no luck on the day we were there! It was cloudy and rainy.
Gotemba Outlets: They have a ferris wheel and a bridge

Gotemba outlets bridge goes over a deep ravine

At Gotemba Outlets. It's tough to see, but the white marks are actually rain drops. It was raining very seriously.

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