We booked a bus tour on KKDay to visit which started at 8:20 am. The tour started us with the famous Gotemba Premium Outlets in Gotemba. Afterwards, we were taken to Oshino Hakkai, a quaint village built on a former lake that dried out centuries ago. Here, snow melt from Mt. Fuji has left eight scenic ponds, giving life to colorful flowers all year round. Later in the day, we visited Lake Kawaguchi. On a good day, we would be able to see Mt. Fuji reflected in the lake’s still waters.
We arrived at the Gotemba Premium Outlets around 10:00 am and were given until 1:00 pm to shop to our hearts content and also grab lunch. Lunch wasn’t included. That didn’t matter, since there were plenty of places to eat.
This is the entrance to Gotemba Premium Outlets. We arrived just before anything had opened. In fact, we were one of the first people in the area.
The Pokemon Store in the Gotemba Premium Outlets was just getting itself ready for the day. Here, we managed to pick up some great deals at cheaper prices. Many of the things that are on sale have reduced prices. If you are looking for a bargain, you need to pay a visit to this place. If you buy clothing, like I did, expect many sizes to be sold out.
The Gotemba Premium Outlets are a bunch of stores where there is no shared undercover area. It’s literally shop fronts along the path. There are so many shops here, you are bound to find something that you will like.
There is a Zegna store and other luxury labels.
There are two sections to the Gontemba Premium Outlets, an A and B sections. I found most of my preferred stores in the A section. There is a bridge that connects A and B sections. On a good day, you will be able to spot Mt Fuji. In the photo below, you can just make out the peak of Mt Fuji, but it is well hidden in the clouds.
There are heaps of food options for you to consider and dine. We decided to have our lunch at Shake Shack. As Australians, we don’t have Shake Shack from where we come from. So, it was fantastic to get a taste of something different. Surprisingly, we thought these burgers were delicious and well made.
Of course, we are interested in most Asian flavors, there is a food court you can visit. The photo below shows you all the options.
In the photo below are Fendi, Tag Heuer and Burberry. You can’t take photos in any of the stores. There are prominent signs on the front windows banning the taking of photos and videos in-store.
There was this Bandai Asobi store that I found interesting. It sold a lot of Gundam merchandise, but also a whole host of Bandai and any collectable statues and figures. I managed to win a few prizes from the One Piece Ichiban Kuji. I also noticed a nice collection of One Piece and Dragon Ball figurines.
On the bus towards Oshino Hakkai at around 1:45 pm, we passed the Fuji Highlands. You can see the roller coasters through the windows. I hear this is a great theme park to visit if you are wanted thrill rides.
We got off the bus and I managed to capture this shot of Mt Fuji. It was sadly a very clouded day and getting a good shot of Mt Fuji actually proved elusive.
The Oshino Hakkai contains plenty of ponds. Also, there are lots of tourists that visit the area. The ponds are crystal clean and full of creatures. It’s such a fascinating area.
Walking around Oshino Hakkai is a boon, because there are so many beautiful locations to capture nice photos. Most tourists tend to congregate near the entrance. I recommend walking further to be able to capture nicer area.
This garden has a nice hue of red and green colors.
Afterwards, we visited Lake Kawaguchiko where there was a violet wave of lavender before the lake.
There is also a beautiful trail of flowers and other flora.
There was also this garden bed, which was well curated. Behind in the distance is a another peek at Mt Fuji.
We were in the middle of summer and were disappointed the skies were so clouded. I am told that Mt Fuji is usually covered in clouds. So it was fortunate we could see anything at all.
We were taken back to Ginza after our tour concluded. We visited a soba restaurant called Sasuga. Here they proudly made hand-kneaded soba. It was delicious. We eat the soba in different ways, including dunking the soba in the dashi broth and eating it as is.
We decided to then travel to Harajuku since we wanted to see a place that would interesting at night time. We walked down Takeshita Street.
Normally we can catch some cos-players during the day. At night time, it’s a good time to find some interesting snacks, like the famous Harajuku crepes. Marion Crepes has been a staple for many years and there are so many choices.
I also decided to get a haircut, even though my hair was already short, and treated myself to Koi. Koi has got to be one of the best bubble tea/milk tea places in the world. It’s a shame we don’t have it in Australia yet…
Also, if you are in Harajuku. Try to find this building to take some awesome photos with the reflecting mirrors. It’s the Tokyu Plaza Omotesando.
Next time Day 18 – Tokyo – 6 July 2019 – Ghibli Museum, Shibuya and Roppongi with an Attack on Titan exhibition.