Picked up our rental car and only fixed point for the next 10 days outside Shinagawa station, and got on the road right away, headed for our first goal - some caves outside of Mt Fuji.
Spotted Mt Fuji! You don't realize how huge it is until you can see it from miles and miles and miles away.
These caves were formed naturally as lava tunnels by Mt Fuji when it was more active. Then when they were discovered by olden time people they used them for things like cold storage and hatching weird bugs.
Here you can see the ripples from the lava flow
At the wind cave we couldn't avoid repeatedly making rude jokes about entering the cold wet hole (kanji for cave is the same for "hole") of an NMB48 member with a certain kanji in her name...
Narusawa Wind Cave by kalleboo, on Flickr
Loved the cute signs
Already now we started customizing our car - with a plushie Mt Fuji and a good-weather charm (teru teru bozu)
On our way to the caves, we spotted a sign for a lookout point which we now made our way to. To get up the mountain we had to drive on a poorly-maintained dirt road. My first time getting some dirt under the wheels! It was really fun.
But when we arrived we got worried. Was this place abandoned?
No problem, it was just really run-down. Run by a friendly elderly couple who also had a restaurant and souvenir shop in there.
The view was amazing. Too bad the weather wasn't better.
You could also see the "Aokigahara" forest famous for being a popular suicide spot.
This was the day after a mad man had snuck a saw into an AKB48 handshake event in Iwate and hurt two AKB48 members and one of the staff. It was headlines in all the newspapers this day.
Another thing we just spotted on a road sign and made a small detour for - The Otodome falls. A small park with a bunch of waterfalls.
We had also wanted to go to famous photo spot where you can take a photo of Mt Fuji with rice fields and the shinkansen bullet train in front, but the weather was turning bad and it would have made us arrive at our hotel really late, so we just headed to the hotel for the night, in Shizuoka city. We had a well-deserved dinner of fried stuff and I got a nice refreshing beer.
Our hotel was quite run-down, but you could tell that one day it was a really classy place. Points for being the first hotel in Japan with a Yukata that doesn't end at my knees.
Finished the day with some drinks and AKB48 TV shows