Solo in Tokyo (Day 5): Snows and Ninjas

October 20, 2019

After that magical trip to the Arakura shrine, we continued the the rest of the tour at KKDAY.

Lunch at Hotoukura Ayusei Kawaguchiko
Included in the KKDAY tour is a stop at a restaurant, named Hotoukura Ayusei (ほうとう蔵 歩成 河口湖店), near Lake Kawaguchi for lunch. The restaurant was unique -- the interior is mostly wooden and it has a high ceiling! We had to take our shoes off before going to our assigned seats. Mt. Fuji would have been visible from the restaurant, but since it was snowing, we weren't able to see that kind of view.
I wasn't really starving at that time (which was somewhat alarming in hindsight because I wasn't able to have any breakfast). Carl and I went to the the same table. During our wait for our food, I shared my experiences in Tokyo so far with Carl. Apparently he likes anime, that's why he stayed at the Akihabara area. I didn't want to pry too much on his personal details but I think I'm older than him (but good thing he didn't use 'po' and 'opo' with me ahahaha).

When our lunch came, I was slightly disappointed that the dish didn't have any meat in it, but I sipped the warm soup appreciatively. It was a huge bowl, and I wasn't able to finish all of it.

When we were back outside enroute to our bus, I heard Carl talking to Yoko-san (our tour guide) in Japanese! He apparently speaks fluently! Sugoi!

Strolling Along Lake Kawaguchi
Our next stop on the tour was to check out the Cherry Blossom festival along Lake Kawaguchi. From our bus, we had to walk a few meters to reach the side of the lake.

However since it snowed hard, I wasn't really expecting to view anything on the lake. Just like I thought, there were only a few people at the area, but you could see the amenities (tables, chairs and tents) that they use during the festival.

It was a bit disheartening, but we have to make the most out of this, right? I waved goodbye to Carl for a while and proceeded strolling along the lake. Up until that moment, I was still so amazed of all the cherry blossom trees that were covered in snow.

I might have seen this scenery in a different way from the internet, but this is the version that I saw in real life, which was very unique.

I was still so amazed by all the snow I was looking at. I just couldn't help but snap more photos of the park!

I saw one tourist face-timing with her folks back home. I wished I could do the same -- I wanted my parents to see this magical beautiful scenery before me. But I wanted to savor the moment for myself. I leisurely just walked along the lake sniffing the cold (winter or spring?) air of Japan. 😚

Since we didn't have much to do anymore along the river banks, I returned to the bus and we went on to the next and final stop of the tour --

The Ninja Village
I didn't really know what to expect here but I guess since this is part of the tour, why not check it out. Guests had an option to watch a short play from the ninjas, which of course I availed.

It was still snowing hard at this point, and it was a bit of a challenge walking to the Ninja Village. While the ninja show has not started, I took some time to walk around and check out the scene outside. Welp, everything was just covered in snow!

There was a souvenir shop inside so I killed some more time by looking at the different goodies displayed there. I bought some sweets and sake wine here (of which I still haven't consumed as of this writing)!

There was also a mini museum there with some ninja pharapernalia.

This poster was up inside the museum. Looking closely at it, something clicked. Now I finally know why Kento Yamazaki was all over TV programs during my stay -- he's apparently promoting for this movie!

For the Ninja show, the staff there guided us inside a room with a small stage. Phones and photography were not allowed, and so we enjoyed fully the little skit that the "ninjas" there prepared for us without distractions. There were lots of moments where the room was totally pitchblack (😳) and the ninjas would appear out of nowhere. There were no English translations (unfortunately) but based on context clues, I think the show gave us a glimpse on the different techniques of ninjas in facing and attacking their enemies. The whole show lasted roughly around ~15 minutes but it was very entertaining.

Travel Back to Shinjuku
Second to the Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine part, this my favorite part of the tour. It was more than an hour-long journey back to Shinjuku, where the bus would drop us off. I was at the window side looking out at the snowy plains and scenery while listening to the songs that now define my solo Tokyo trip.

I was in my magical place. I felt happy.

At that point, I felt like I was dreaming. I was just so thankful to the Universe that these wonderful things happened... and I am just half-way into my dream sequence. I was 100% sure these are the kinds of memories that will be embedded to me forever, just like a tattoo. 😉

Moving forward for the rest of my life, if ever I experience snow again, I will get reminded of this day and of the people I met along the way. ❤️

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