D6: The Shibazakura Festival.

Hello everyone! Today marked an end of long holiday in Indonesia, as our Muslim friends celebrated Eid Al-Fitr. But don’t worry be happy, because our stories haven’t ended yet. In fact, now we are going to share our sixth day in Japan. Are you ready guys? I can’t hear youuuuuu~ Fine, Let’s roll!

Our itinerary today is to visit Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Fujikawaguchiko. Why only one you ask? Well, because it is quite a distance and we wanted to enjoy the festival to the fullest. For your information, the festival doesn’t open all year, it opens only from mid-April to end of May. This year it opens from 15th of April to 28th of May. We suggest that you if you plan to visit the festival, come in between those dates. Keep in mind that at the end of April till early May is the Golden Week, which is one of the busiest holiday season in Japan because there will be 4 national holidays in a week! Any tourist attraction spot will be very crowded at those dates.

Today, we decided to use bus as our method of transportation. There are two bus terminals in Tokyo that could take you to Kawaguchiko Station: Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal & Shibuya Mark City Bus Terminal. Since our apartment is the nearest to Shibuya Station, we chose to depart from there.

At first we were confused to locate the bus terminal, since our initial plan is to depart from Shinjuku. The bus terminal in Shibuya is located at the 5th floor of Shibuya Mark City, a mall complex. So you have to go upstairs and you can find it there.  We bought only a one way ticket for ¥1800 per person. You can also check the schedule and buy the ticket online here.

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The ticket looks like this. Ours depart at 10:40 AM. The bus stop is right in front of the ticket office, and you can also wait inside before your bus reach.

The trip takes around 2.5 hours and when we have departed for about 1.5 hours, we can already see the majestic Mount Fuji.

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Taken from inside a moving bus. Precision at its finest 😛

From then, the Mount Fuji stand still and you can view it along the way to the Kawaguchiko Station. Upon arriving in Kawaguchiko Station, you can see that the station design is unique.

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There are 7 bus stops in total. With each stop have different destination/arrival. As for our destination, the ticket is sold in bus stop no 7 (seven). So, we went there and to our surprise, the staff told us to look at 2 important notices:

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So, the flower is not blooming yet, and this resulted in free admission fee. So, we kinda ‘saved’ up ¥900 for the admission fee, and only need to pay ¥1000 for the return trip transport.

The trip to the festival site almost take up an hour from Kawaguchiko Station. Our schedule is at 1:00 PM, and it was 12:40, so we have to wait for around 20 minutes. Dang, it was windy and cold while we waited. Hence, to help us to neutralize it, we took a walk and captured several photos around the station.

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Can you see the bus stop around?
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Some bus wanna run it all, some just want nothing at all~~
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Fuji mineral water.

And finally our bus arrived! We queue up and ride it to the festival site. Oh yeah, you can check the schedule for Shibazakura buses here. Make sure you come early to get on your preferred schedule, since there will be lot of people if you queue too near to the departure time. After purchasing the ticket, around 10-15 mins before your departure make sure you come near the bus stop and wait (there are limited seats) there.

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Welcome to Shibazakura Festival of 2017!! This year it celebrated its 10th Anniversary.
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Greeted by this lake view from Shibazakura festival site.
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The Shibazakura (Moss Phlox) as informed haven’t bloomed yet. It would be very majestic if we have the full set.
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Of course we have to snap one for memories of the lifetime!
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Now the couple picture 😀
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The view was splendid, so we took it seriously. Let us check the photos first to make sure everything is under control.
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You kissed the Mt. Fuji???? What about me???!
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How about this one?
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Mother and son sure looks good together in a photo.

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Wow.. Much dedication…So professional… Careful on where you step on baby.
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There are food stalls around for you to taste Kawaguchiko local dishes.
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You might also want to enjoy the food and scenery from Sakura Cafe, here is a glimpse of some menu.
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Let’s rest for a while. There were not so many people so we can enjoy this place thoroughly.

We decided to have some food before returning to Kawaguchiko Station. We went to the food stalls and picked some that we loved. The price is quite reasonable for us though. You definitely have to try them out! From snacks to heavy meal, they have it all.

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Tried Sakura Mochi Ice Cream. This was so gooood! Cost you ¥350 each
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aaaand the highlight of the day is: HORSE MEAT!! It costs you around ¥500.

After completing full course of meal, we resumed our trip by enjoying the flowers. As I have mentioned earlier that the highlight of the festival hasn’t bloomed yet, the Moss Phlox Flower. But, some of the other flowers had. So, why don’t we enjoy them instead? 🙂 After all, God’s creation will never fail to amaze us. We were very happy even without the Moss Phlox. God is good, and we will keep saying this again and again. Basically, we went to Japan with the expectation that in Tokyo, the cherry blossom has ended. So, our backup plan is to visit Fuji Shibazakura Festival and enjoy the bloom. But then, God gave us our way to execute our main plan, not the backup plan. The cherry blossom is still there, while Shibazakura is yet to bloom. Keep your faith, God will never fail you.

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There are some variance of flowers available. So no worries 😀
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Blue ones, not too good with flower name. Maybe anyone can help to name it?
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Purple bros.
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Anemone is this flower’s name I believe.

After we had enough fun in the festival, we headed back to the main entrance, in which we wait for our return bus. Kindly note that the last bus back to Kawaguchiko Station is at 5:00 PM. After that, you can only get taxi to get back to it. At first we thought that we need to get to the bus stop and wait for the bus early to secure the seats. But then there were not so many people there when we first reached. So, off to Kawaguchiko Station we go.

Our accommodation of the day is around Kawaguchiko, because tomorrow we will still be exploring this area. We rented a villa from booking.com that goes by the name Villa Ausblick. The host was a Japanese named Hiroki Takahashi. He offered to pick us up at Kawaguchiko Station to the villa, free of charge. This guy is great, will explain more in next post, where his kindness leave us speechless. His villa can accommodate 8-10 adults. You can check his villa out here.

When we arrived in Kawaguchiko Station, we contacted him to pick us up. While waiting, we went to the souvenir store inside Kawaguchiko Station. There are lots of local souvenirs and also a cafe there. We thought we will be picked up using a regular villa van, or something like that. But then, our ride to the villa turned out to be:

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Bruh… Nissan Teana.

He asked whether we wanted to buy anything before we head back to the villa, and we nodded signing that we sure could use that. We bought some food for our dinner from Lawson, just 2 mins away from the station. Good guy Hiroki. Later, we drove back to the villa and wow. His villa is located at Kawaguchi Village, in which Lake Kawaguchiko is just within the walking distance. The surroundings were spectacular as well.

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Villa Ausblick. Brought to you by Hiroki Takahashi.
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What else could you expect? Such view, leaving us at awe. This is just one of many views, more to come in the next post.

This villa has 2 large bedrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 living room, TV, microwave, wifi and a heater. Really worth spending your pennies. Guess who needed the heater badly???

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TA-DAHH!

That sums up our sixth day, and first day outside Tokyo. We could happily said that we managed to wrap it up nicely. Started with being able to visit and enjoy Mount Fuji’s spectacular view, in which we were blessed to be able to see it clearly. We have heard cases that lots of people have failed to see Mount Fuji because of the clouds. Again, God is good. Next we had a nice meal, met up with super friendly host, picked up with quite an elite car, stayed at affordable yet great villa with amazing surroundings. What else could we possibly expect???

Okay, it is already late, time to sleep guys! It’s 11:00 PM in Japan. We need to rest up our body to continue our trip. Many more posts to come. Hit us up if you have queries or anything. We will be more than happy to help. Stay tune for our next post!

Cheers,
Charlie Pramana.

PS:
Follow us on Instagram:
1. Charlie Pramana
2. Pricilia Saud

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