It’s snowing heavily in Tokyo.
Seeing is believing.
The cloud was thick and building was blocking; therefore, I couldn’t see Super Flower Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse.
I immediately line this town.
Crab on the street.
Old fashion building with Namako Kabe (Sea Cucumber Wall).
Nice dinner at Shinsai Kuon.
Be careful with Wasabi Edamame (Wasabi young Soy Beans). It really hit you.
All others are also nice.
There was an antique cashier that can work today.
There is a traditional post.
And this is my BGM for a night.
It’s not far from Tokyo; It takes 3:30 hrs.
It’s worth coming
Despite the COVID, Sakura blooms in Tokyo.
Due to the COVID, many events have been cancelled to avoid creating clusters.
Time past without realizing seasons.
Usually there are events for Sakura viewing in Spring, summer festivals in summer so that we can actually witness seasons.
Today, seasons have changed without notable events.
It’s been over six months living with COVID by paying special cautions.
I cannot say we are managing it well towards COVID but I could say that we took every measures to prevent infections.
Today, I witnessed some events are getting ready.
Tokyo Midtown Retreat Garden Project @ Tokyo Midtown Roppongi.
Finally, we can live in closer to normal life or past life. Yeah!
The State of Emergency was lifted; weather is getting nice so decided to go to Moto-Hakone for Onsen (Hot Spring).
Choco found his stay over goods at the entrance so he got excited.
On the way to Moto-Hakone, we stopped to get our lunch and I had my BigMac and Ramune Shake.
Ramune shake (Japanese traditional soda flavored shake) is seasonal and limited menu.
It finishes serving either finishing the ingredients or serving duration.
We arrived Moto-Hakone early so that we stopped at Ashinoko (Ashino Lake).
Some people are enjoying fishing.
I could see a fish, very peaceful.
We checked in at Caro Foresta Moto-Hakone Lucia at 3 pm.
This time, I have chosen a western style room.
There are welcome Onsen Tamago (Hot Spring Boiled Eggs) and cookies for Choco.
These Onsen Tamago were boiled at Ohwakudani: the origin of natural Onsen.
These eggs are also known as good luck because we believe one egg can bring us longer life, 9 years, by eating it.
The air is fresh there.
This hotel is dog friendly and I was busy using facilities for Choco.
First, he exercised at the Dog Run (Dog Playground) at the entrance.
Hakone is famous for Onsen (Hot Spring).
The hotel is equipped with Onsen facility for Choco as well!
He had his first Onsen of his life and it was Iou Onsen (Sulfur based Onsen).
I also dipped myself at Onsen.
After refreshing, I had a nice French for dinner.
All dishes are delicious.
I got so excited when I received the dessert plate!
There is Choco!
After dinner, I took Choco for Indoor Dog Run.
This Indoor Dog Run is opened for 24 hours.
Both of us got tired and slept well.
First thing I did on the next day was dipping in the Onsen.
In the morning, I found a dog greeting me from outside!
I had a nice Japanese breakfast.
After breakfast, I took Choco to the Wood Dog Run.
Again, I took him to the Dog Run at the entrance and Indoor.
The check out time is 11 am; therefore, we rest in the room before checking out.
Choco must have so much fun because he slept in the car on the way back to Tokyo.
I had a big breakfast so I had a late lunch at Misoichi, Nakameguro Shop.
I had a basic Miso Ramen with toppings of corns and butter.
I like it!
After unpacking and resting, went for late quick bite to say hello and congratulate reopening after Stay Home Request to our friend, Sushiya no Goto (Goto’s Sushi Shop), Roppongi.
It’s nice to see smiling face of Taisho (Master) and Mama san (Madam).
I enjoyed Sushi very much after two months!?
It was memorable two days.
It’s Super Moon tonight.
Let’s get Luna Power!
First I went to Utsunomiya, Tochigi.
This town is known for Gyoza (fried Chinese dumpling).
In fact, this is my first time to try Utsunomiya Gyoza at Utsunomiya.
There is Gyoza Dori (Gyoza Street).
There are many Gyoza specialized shops and Ramen (Japanized Chinese style noodle) and Gyoza restaurants.
The lamp is also in shape of Gyoza.
I queued and had my Gyoza at Goku, Gyoza Dori, Utsunomiya, Tochigi.
Then proceeded to Nikko, Tochigi.
In Nikko, visited Kegon no Taki (Kegon Fall).
Today, there is a lift to go down to watch Kegon no Taki in front of it.
It’s very cold there and we can still see some snow.
We drove by Chuzenji-ko (Chuzenji Lake) and enjoyed the view from window.
Recently, we enjoyed warm temperature and suddenly its temperature dropped; therefore, we could see some steam from lake which makes lake look more scenic and mysterious.
We drove through woods on the way to Oku-Nikko, also very scenic.
We drove farther and reached Sengokugahara (wetland) where believed God of Mountain conducted battles.
There is another lake, Yuko (Yu Lake) at the entrance of Oku-Nikko area.
We finally reached Oku-Nikko Kogen Hotel.
We can stay this nice Washitsu (Japanese style room) together with Choco.
I went to dip in onsen (hot spring) before dinner.
There are two sections: Lower (bigger) and Upper (smaller).
Both equipped with indoor and outdoor/open-air bath.
It’s cold there; so that dipping in Onsen felt really nice.
I became thirsty after dipping in onsen so I enjoyed drinking cold Wakimizu (spring water).
After getting some rest, we had dinner with local sake made for Oki-Nikko Kogen Hotel.
I went to futon (Japanese style bed) early.
Next morning, I woke up with a surprise.
According to weather forecast, it predicted snow in Kanto region.
However, in few days, we will welcome April – Spring.
There could be some snow but I didn’t expect it to be thick.
Well, I was wrong….
It continued snowing and no sign of weakening.
I became panic because I came with normal tyres, not snow tyres.
To calm myself down, I went for morning dip.
It was still early and there were no one.
I supposed not to take any photos at the bath, but it was so romantic.
Quickly got ready and went to breakfast.
There are many varieties of food and there is an egg and bacons in the pot.
Continued monitoring snow and consulted hotel staffs who are local; well, I had to make a hard decision – abundant my car.
I think we made a wise decision because snow is thick and we surely could not drive through these windy roads: Irohazaka.
Reached Tobu Nikko Eki (Station) by hotel free shuttle bus.
Then Took train, Spacia, back to Asakusa, Tokyo.
Choco behaved his best on train.
I had a rich vanilla ice cream on the train while looking at these sceneries.
It’s scary but breath taking sceneries.
We cannot underestimate nature; I safely returned home.
I don’t have any social life for past three weeks.
The weather is getting better in Tokyo, reaching over 20C.
Sakura starts blooming.
I decided to plan a short trip with Choco for refreshment.
Well, Mom followed us.
I thought it would be nice to take Choco for a walk in fresh air in woods.
I still need to avoid contacting people so I decided staying at cottage, Pension Gin No Michi, Hokuto-City, Yamanashi.
The Pension serves dinner and breakfast at cottage so we can avoid people and be with Choco.
Choco doesn’t like to be left alone.
It’s 160 km away from Tokyo and it should take 2.5 hours to reach there.
However, traffic was so heavy….. to go out Tokyo, it took more than 2 hours.
I took a break at highway Hatsukari service area.
I bought Shingen-Mochi and Premium Shingen-mochi Ice Cream and Matcha (Green Tea) Shingen-mochi Ice Cream.
Shingen-Mochi is Kofu (Yamanashi) local confectionery combination of glutinous rice flour mochi, soybean powder and brown sugar syrup.
There are many more products developed by this original Shingen-mochi.
After taking a break, I continued my journey and it took me 4.5 hrs to reach the pension.
We finally reached the Pension.
There are flooring living room connected to a small tatami room (tatami mat room).
Living room is equipped with kitchen.
Then wash room
As mentioned, I wanted to take Choco for a walk in woods; however, it was too cold.
In Tokyo, it’s over 20C, so I only brought leather jacket.
It’s only 4C here…
I decided to stay in.
Choco had so many to experience and learn.
I enjoyed home cooked dinner at the room.
The next morning, it was a nice sunny day.
Hopefully, Choco enjoyed fresh air.
I enjoyed home cooked breakfast.
They also baked these breads.
It was a brief stay but very refreshing.
We headed back home.
On the way back, I stopped by at service area for one last glance of Minami (South) Alps and shopping.
The local flower farmer is selling flower bouquet for JPY 1,200 (USD 12) – very reasonable!
Currently, Japanese government encourages people to buy flower because flower business is affected by corona virus.
March supposed to be high demand period for flower for graduation ceremony; however, now almost all schools cancel the graduation ceremony.
I love flowers so I bought one.
I also looked for souvenirs.
There are many Shingen-mochi products.
I bought Shingen-mochi Pudding, Monaka (Wafer and Shingen-mochi (glutinous rice powdered mochi)) and Kit Kat.
I love the original and these are all nice, especially pudding.
It took only 2.5 hours to reach home, meaning there are so many cars on the road yesterday.
I think many of us got board. ahaha
It was very relaxing trip for me.