Wednesday 23 November 2011

Hakone - homeward bound....

We had a couple of hours free in the morning so we decided to try the ropeway again since the weather was a bit clearer in the morning, the trees are changing colour so the view is quite spectacular. We just went up to the top and jumped on another car coming down, then we caught the train and headed back to the main station where we needed to catch the Romance Car.

First though, we had to buy omiyagi (souvenirs), the Japanese have got this down to a fine art form. Each area sells things that they are famous for and it is custom to take omiyagi for your co-workers, even if it was just a day trip! I thought these little bentos made of candy were cute...

This is kamoboko - a type of fish cake, you cut slices from the block so you would have police car slices, doesn't look very appetizing to me but I can see little boys loving it in their bento boxes. Ebi-kun was in his element trying all the samples, the kid loves trying new things!

And here it is, the Romance Car, I'm still not sure what is romantic about it, if the seats were all red velvet with heart shaped cushions I would get it. The driver sits in that bit at the top so the people at the front get a cool view, we were 2nd row back this time.

We finally got a peak at Fuji-san too, I was expecting more snow on her.

Of course we had to have the Romance Car bento and chopsticks, at least they are washable and we can use them again. 

All in all it was a great break, could have done without all the rain but never mind. Came back down to earth with a bump when we got to the supermarket and discovered that 90% of the fruit and veg is from the affected areas, we seem to be getting less from Hokkaido and Kyushu, it makes meal planning impossible and every night I feel like I am on an episode of Ready, Steady Cook! time to look at ordering our veg online I think.


  1. hello, I am a daily reader and enjoy your posts so much! I have had friends visit Japan and bring me those beautiful candy Bento boxes. I have had no luck in finding a way to order them online to send to the states. Do you have any ideas? a website perhaps? - kent

  2. Hi Kent, I have just looked on the pack we bought but there is no web address, I have only ever seen them in tourist spots otherwise I could have picked some up for you.

  3. hi jo, looks like you had a great trip! the museums look amazing! is entrance expensive?
    which affected areas should be avoided? does it usually state where fruit/veg is from on the packaging? thanks! becca

  4. becca the prices for the open are museum are here, you can print off a discount voucher, we got a discount with our free pass tickets.

    There are several maps floating around with affected areas such as this one
    we fall in the dark grey area, a lot of the food is produced in the green/grey areas. Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata, Niigata, Tochigi, Ibaraki, and Chiba. The Japanese government claim it to be safe but their safety levels are much higher than the international levels. Plus, over time we are hearing that the initial reports were misleading, TEPCO lied basically and we are not will to gamble with our child's health.

    Most of the fruit/veg/meat states where it is from, of course it is all in kanji. Sometimes things like chicken will just say 'japan' and not where. Before the quake we would buy as much as possible locally now we have done a complete 180 and buying from as far away as possible but the choice is limiting. If we were here just for the a couple of weeks we wouldn't be so bothered but as a long term situation, we are. Milk is a big issue, I wrote more about it here

  5. Thank you for checking about a web address for me. If I ever get there I will know to stock up! They have a special artistic flair in Japan that I adore-kent

  6. I just thought, you could try rakuten

  7. hi jo
    thank you for the links. I shall have to swot up on my kanji so I can read the labels when we're there.
    take care! and happy advent!


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