Monday, August 17, 2015

Atami/Kai Atami: 2nd July 2015

Today is the last day me and Becky could travel together. I woke up slightly early to catch if there is any sunrise and yes there was!

 Patiently Waiting


We had an early breakfast and proceeded with checkout. The staff at Risonare Atami were very kind to give us a little gift before we left. This was an amazing stay with great food, comfortable beds, and nice scenery, aside from the persistent rain. It also rained on the day we left :( Nevertheless, I enjoyed my visit here!

They were very kind to help me deliver my luggage to Kai Atami, which was my second place to go to. This saved the trouble of me depositing my luggage at the coin deposit locker at the station. So me and Becky set off to explore the museum at Izu-Kogen that day!! My much-awaited visit to the Izu Teddy Bear Museum =D

Train ride to Izu-kogen is covered with out JR East Pass!


Seen at the station!

There are two big teddy bear museums in Japan, one of them is located at Nasu, while the other is at Izu-kogen. It was a 5min walk from the station to the museum. Weather was bad but that did not deter our determination to reach this wonderful place.. Boy I was so excited when I saw the exhibits at the Izu-kogen Teddy Bear Museum!!

Us with the Big Teddy Bear

How Classic!

Exploring the teddy bear exhibits, taking pictures over the various wonderful teddy bears, all these are overwhelmingly cute!! I was taking tons of pics for memories' sake. On the second floor of the museum, there is the Ghibli-alike museum. The official Studio Ghibli located at Mitaka was rather crowded and I have already visited it in 2010. This Ghibli-alike museum was equally stunning. In fact, I found my trip here more enjoyable than the one at Ghibli as it was less touristy and you could enjoy the exhibits and photo-taking at a slower pace..Of course, the most popular character was Totoro, the friendly neighbor. You could judge based on the number of exhibits given to Totoro haha!

My friendly neighbor Totoro


After this museum visit, we went around the vicnity and found a quaint restaurant that offers great Japanese cuisine! Little English was used but we managed to make our orders and have small chats with my average standard of Japanese haha.. so everything was good and we had a wonderful meal!

The rain still did not subside after our lunch. After lunch, we made our way back to station. Becky had to leave for Hakone while I had to make my way back to Atami. It was great travelling with her =D

So after an hour's train ride, I stopped at Atami station. Originally wanted to take the Yu-yu bus to visit the Akao Herb and Rose Garden before going to Kai Atami, but I realised the bus timings had ended. And the garden is about to close at 5pm! It was already 4 pm when I'm at Atami. To avoid time waste, I just took the cab to herb garden. Lucky it was a short trip and the weather had brightened up by then with beautiful sky and wispy clouds!!

I was supposed to take a shuttle bus up to the mountain, and a slow walk down the mountains while visiting the accompanying rose and herb gardens. I was so glad I did this as the scenery was spectacular! Although I was alone, but it was pretty safe. I encountered many exotic flower species filled with colors!

As the pictures could tell, I was having a great time to myself haha..and it was near to 5pm by the time I reached the entrance. I bade farewell to the counter ticket staff. As it was near evening and I was worried to miss the dinner time, I took a cab to Kai Atami and I must say, the entrance really surprised me with so much greenery. It's as if I'm entering a different paradise through the greenery!
 I was glad my luggage arrived safely to Kai Atami and I was received by one of the staff who patiently gave me all explanations of the ryokan and the onsen. Yes onsen! I do need onsen after a cold rainy day!

I was brought to my room named "Shizuka" which means quiet..haha..I loved this room as it was located right at a corner and I could have privacy. However, the room was really big and at times I felt a bit eerie facing the green by myself as they have a window view.

 It will be nice if this is a sunny day. But rainy day..hmm...haha.. I settled down and grabbed my stuff to make my way to the onsen..and boy..I lost my directions.. it was such a long walk from my room to the onsen place..having to climb a fleet of stairs up and down before I could order to relax, there is a price to pay! 

The onsen place was nice with greenery as a major attraction of one can view while doing onsen.  I also made a new friend from Amsterdam and we had quite a lot to chat about our adventures thus far haha.. we had to cut the conversation short though as dinner time was round the corner. And after dinner, there is a Geisha dance which I wanted to catch! So just have to chop chop and get things going..

I went back to my room and am pleased to see appetizer has already being prepared on my table. Yummy! Ninomiya-san attended to me as she brought in dish by dish to my room. I was kinda embarassed for such good hospitality fact each dish was so nice but too full for me at the 2nd last course that I told Ninomiya-san she could join me for dinner if she is hungry haha.. 

Looking at the dishes, I bet you can understand how stunned I was with their presentation of cuisine and food quality. I was really too full beyond words by all these spread. Upon realising it is time for Geisha performance, I rushed out with my camera and tripod to the venue hall! Very excited for this show as I have not had the chance to attend any in my previous trip :)

The Geisha first performed a traditional dance with the fan, followed by inviting guests for an interesting game. Objective is to topple the standing toy fan placed at the stage in between the two contestants. Each contestant is supposed to use the real fan, swing it with a particular strength and angle. Based on how the toy fan topples, it results in different points.
It was pretty entertaining and fun to participate haha

So after about an hour, the show ended. I requested to take some photos with the Geisha with my new friend Audra to celebrate the night. It was an awesome experience!

1. Izu-kogen Teddy Bear Museum
2. Akao Herb and Rose Garden
3. Kai Atami

No comments:

Post a Comment