This is the story of deliciousness, cravings for ‘adventure’, and last Sunday. It all starts on a lonely, rainy day at the end of May, actually.
I get spam (“informational”) emails in my email every day. A lot of them are of the completely unsolicited variety. (Like I really need a pill to enhance the size of any part of my body?) But there are some that I really love, like the ones from the Japanese travel companies HIS and Jetstar. I love looking at pictures of places that I could theoretically travel to if I had a lot of money! Don’t you? In this case, an email from HIS for cheap plane tickets made me click to see their page so that I could fantasize about going to Thailand.
Then I saw it. An ad for Hato bus tours!! As soon as I saw the link for one-day bus tours that included cherry and peach picking, and an herb festival, I was sold! It was totally fate. Who could resist?
A month-ish later, three of my good girlfriends and I were boarding a really, really early bus from Shinjuku station, our tummies rumbling in anticipation! Well, mine was at least, I don’t know about anyone else’s!
Here is the link to the tour, if anyone is interested! (It’s in Japanese)
I live forever away from the city center (although it’s not that geographically far, I have to walk a long ways to the nearest train station and time things via the train schedule, so it seems far). I had to leave my house at 6AM to make it for our meeting time of 7:45. It’s lucky that I’m a morning person! Actually, on overcast days where she sky is dark, I find it hard to function. So there I was, up at the butt crack of dawn! The sun had just risen at 5am, and it was breezy but warm when I left at 6.
We met in Shinjuku and arrived at a cute little tour bus:
We sat down on the bus, and were soon greeted with complimentary hot green tea. Here are Lindsay the excellent and Kimberly the spectaular enjoying the tea:
As you can see, we all lugged our cameras out quickly on the journey:
And thankfully for Kimberly and my bladders, the bus stopped soon at a rest stop. Here is our tour bus from the outside!
It didn’t seem long at all before we arrived to the cherry picking location, way up in the hills near Mt. Fuji!
It started raining, though, right as we arrived! The bus driver said, “don’t worry about the rain. You won’t need umbrellas! Trust me!” So, we did. Some Japanese girls weren’t listening, though, and brought umbrellas anyway! 🙁
When we arrived, the cherry orchard was actually tarped, so there was no rain to rain on us! Yay!
Here is Kimberly taking pictures. We tried to eat our fill of cherries and take our fill of pictures at the same time!
Lindsay and Adele, too.
Don’t they look scrumptious?!
There were delicious, sweet, dark red cherries that were soft to the touch and melted in your mouth!
There were also yellow-red mottled cherries (pie cherries?) that were yummy but more tart, as Lindsay is demonstrating here:
Yum! Look how tall I am, lol! Me, Lindsay, Adele, and Kimberly.
Me, and everyone else, enjoyed it quite a bunch!
There were grapes growing nearby, with little hats on them, but we couldn’t pick those! 🙁
On the bus, we were passed a delicious Japanese bentou (boxed lunch). It was quite delicious!
The tunnel to happiness 🙂
I made quick work of mine:
Then, we got off at a fruit park to stretch our legs:
They had partially-ripe apples growing all over!
And some people stood on bridges:
I found a trash can!
Then, we took funny pictures:
And wandered around…
Adele really wanted this giant lemon:
Eventually, we boarded the bus and arrived and after a journey, arrived at the all-you-can-eat peach place.
And after eating our fill, were encouraged to pick one. JUST ONE. Only one! The farmer was very clear that it was only permissable to pick ONE peach (each). We made sure to make an event of it!
And finally, the last stop on the tour was the Kawaguchiko Lavender festival. It was filled with delicious things like Lavender ice cream, but it had started getting cold and pouring rain on us, so I didn’t take too many pictures… We still had a great time, though!
Here are the pictures that I snapped with my iphone:
“The cocoon” in Shinjuku. I’m not sure what’s inside, but I heard that it is an art school:
I have an app that makes fake bubbles all over:
We spent a lot of time in the bus:
Yummy lavender ice cream!
Here are some pictures that Adele snapped:
You can read Adele’s point of view on her travelpod here. 😀
Kimberly took a bunch of pictures, too:
And here are Lindsay’s pictures:
Lindsay is just getting a photography business started! You can see more of her work, and contact information here. *^-^*