We arrived in Tokyo on a mild, cool, 50 degrees Friday morning with some sporadic rain. Our flight was a grueling 14 hours, non-stop, Houston to Tokyo; although, we’ve taken long flights before, this one hit us the hardest, as jet lag set in that evening.
Traveling to Japan was always on list of places to see and visit. I had imagined it very serene yet noisy. I had memories of seeing the beautiful temples with snow-capped roofs and beautiful Geishas serving tea. I visualized Japan being magical, and it didn't disappoint.
First visit was to the Harajuku Fashion Center. Young people congregated for shopping and food, and it was so crowded that it got really hard to walk. Of course my teenager son, Alex, had a good time because he got to see a new Michael Jordan Nike store. He’s quite obsessed!
I quickly noticed how the young sales girls changed their voice pitch making it very childlike and silly. Although I’m all about quirky, this was particularly weird and off putting.
From Tokyo, there was a 2 hour drive to the Kawaguchiko area, which is known for its proximity to Mount Fuji. This small town was so perfect; a gold mine for a boutique owner like me. Prior to visiting the mountain, I got to visit some of the artisans that were out in the market where they set up a table with a few of their beautiful jewelry pieces such as wooden hearts! My heart skips a beat when I find gems for my customers! So, I purchased a few earrings and bracelets, all of these, of course, handcrafted with care by Japanese artisans.
I must say that Japan in autumn is breathtaking. The fall foliage was really beautiful and very reminiscent of the East Coast, maybe a little bit like Vermont. Kawaguchiko reminded me of a hoity toity country get-away. We especially enjoyed the rest stop because the restrooms were so clean and the toilets were warm; this particular detail was really nice. (Side note: we discovered a month later that we made a stop next to the suicide forest, a pretty popular place where people go to commit suicide, but we didn't know this at the time. It is now made famous by YouTuber Logan Paul.)
The weather at Mount Fuji was mild and fresh. We got to see the mountain with a clear sky. We were told by our guide that people don't usually see it because there's a lot of cloud coverage, but this time we were very lucky that we got a good day. Upon visiting the mountain, we went back to the little town with the most adorable little village where we had a lunch of Udon noodles and local sake. Foodie heaven for me and the boys!
From Tokyo we took a train to O suntory yamazaki Distillery located at the front of a beautiful Hillside the whiskey Museum and Library highlight several thousand bottles of whiskey varieties.
The Suntory Yamazaki Distillery was the pioneer of the first Japanese whiskey