We awoke to light rain and low cloud and it stayed that way all day. Another great breakfast this morning and a tour dinner tonight so that means we shouldn't need lunch today.
Luggage loaded and on the bus, we head south to Yokohama, the primary sea port of Japan. Actually came about when the Americans sought access to Japan and the Japanese delayed that access to build an island near Tokyo, Odaiba Island where we went on Wednesday, as protection for Tokyo. Access was granted to Yokohama, then just a fishing village of 600 people. It was later discovered that the waters at Yokohama were deal for a deep water port. We did a drive-by of the Yokohama Tower, the seconde tallest building in Japan, around 73 stories that travel at 12 m/s and two computer controlled tuned mass dampers that act to counter the effects of an earthquake. Unfortunately, most of the tower was in the clouds.
We visited a small "shopping mall" at the Red Brick Warehouse, a former warehouse consisting of two long red brick buildings. Half of one was destroyed in bombing raids during the war and they now form a market place of restaurants and shops.
From Yokohama we continued south to check out the old Kotoku-in Buddhist Temple in Daibutsu Kiridoshi. The Buddha statue, the second largest in Japan, was built of bronze in 1252. Originally covered with gold-leaf, the building near the statue was destroyed around 700 years ago and never rebuilt. Since then, the weather has had its effect and all the gold-leaf has gone.
Then it was on to Kamakura for lunch centered on Komacki Street, a long narrow street lined with food stalls and eating places along with multiple shops with souvenirs available. We didn't do lunch but found a Starbucks for a reasonably good coffee.
After lunch it was back on the bus for a long haul which has us travelling around the shore of Sagami Bay which was quite beautiful. This is the Pacific Ocean coast however, the bay has no waves and the beach is a very dark sand. Then it was up into the Hakone mountains on a steep climb but the roads are good. They are currently constructing a new expressway up into the mountains. There is a lot of construction happening here in preparation for the 2020 Olympics.
Then down into the calderas to Lake Ashi. The lake is 6klms long and 20 klms around the shore line. Although still raining and cloudy, the cruise down the lake was otherwise pleasant and quite scenic with the forest covered mountains all around. There are a number of hotels and resorts on the Lake shores.
Back on the bus for another hour of rain to our accommodation in the Motosu View Hotel, Kawaguchiko. This hotel is conducted along very traditional lines and we were all supplied with Kimonos to wear to the tour dinner tonight. As with many resorts and hotels along the volcano faults in Japan, this one has the traditional hot spring onsen guesthouses.
Due to the closed in weather, we couldn't see Mt Fuji from Lake Ashi today so we are hoping for a better day tomorrow as we go to what is called Level 5 of Mt Fuji. I find out tomorrow what that actually means.