2014
07.11

TYPHOON UPDATE

As scheduled, the typhoon was supposed to come down as heavy rain two nights ago in Central Japan.  If it did – I slept through it.  Now it is hot (30-32  degrees Celsius), very humid and the weather ranges from sunny to cloudy to the inevitable daily showers.  That the season!  Definitely not recommended as travel season, but nothing compared to Mali.   Happy sweltering whereever you may be.  ET… VIEW PHOTOS AND READ THE WHOLE STORY

2014
07.11

SYNOPSIS:  About the second wrong pick of a hotel.  No redemptive qualities this time.  About the forgotten corner of the five-lake area and a wannabe Ryokan.

From Hakone to Mount Fuji it is, as the crow flies, a mere hop.  With a Shinkansen at hand, this would have taken 10-15 minutes.  Given the terrain and the different domains (private trains, JR trains, bus monopolies, etc.) it took several hours and multiple transfers with substantial layovers.  But I arrived at the specified Hanbali station at Yamanakaku.  The area the bus had recently traveled through seemed pleasant enough — lake front hotels, golf courses, boat rentals.  All this spelled vacation resort.  But now I had reached the northern shore of Lake Yamanakaku and all of a sudden things looked neglected.  No more resort feel.  All of a sudden, this was a low-income fishing town.… VIEW PHOTOS AND READ THE WHOLE STORY