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Saturday, May 26, 2012
11:22 PM

// TokyoTravel-DayOne // TokyoTravel-DayTwo // TokyoTravel-DayThree // TokyoTravel-DayFour //


On the fifth day of our trip, we wanted to see Mount Fuji. The highest mountain in Japan, rising to 12,389 feet. The mountain is located west of the city, surrounded by fives lakes in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. It is visible from Tokyo on a clear day, however getting to see an ideal scene of Mount Fuji, with a complete view of its exceptionally symmetrical snow-capped cone can be a little difficult.

{Photo credited: GoJapanGo.com}

"To get a great view of Mount Fuji; you need to go to the right location, in the right season, on the right day and at the right time with the right weather." -GoJapanGo.com

Our initial plan was to join one of the organized tours from Tokyo to see Mount Fuji. It includes a return trip on the Shinkansen, commonly known as bullet train, a network of high-speed railway line in Japan. The 'Mount Fuji and Hakone Day Tour from Tokyo: Return by Bullet Train' costs approximately SGD224, and I wasn't willing to spend money on it. Hence, we abandoned the plan and had a self guided tour. Come to think of it, I should have spent money for an experience. But I certainly wasn't ready to climb the Mount Fuji. Well, if you're thinking, nobody asked you to be a climber. Then you are dead wrong! Isn't that what you must do?!?!?!

If I were to visit Mount Fuji, of course, I would climb it. I will start out in the late morning to reach the summit for the sunset, then I will sleep in a mountain hut and catch the sunrise. DO, BUY, EAT, SLEEP. STAY SAFE, GET OUT.

Add to my bucket list: "Fuck yeah, I'm going to Mount Fuji!"

So anyway we considered a far cheaper alternative to see the Mount Fuji, and there we went... on the road to Gotemba, located in the Northeastern part of Shizuoka Prefecture, in the center of Japan. Gotemba is situated at the eastern foot of Mount Fuji, in a plateau abound with beautiful nature and inspiring surroundings.

Shibuya Station ➖➖➖ JR Yamanote Line ➖➖➖ Shinjuku Station ➖➖➖ Odakyū Odawara Line (***Limited Express Asagirl, Romancecar) ➖➖➖ JR Gotemba Station ➖➖➖ Free shuttle bus ➖➖➖ Gotemba Premium Outlets WE ARE HERE!

Gotemba Premium Outlets in Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture, is one of the largest outlet centers in Japan. It is located on an extensive area within view of Mount Fuji (Fuji-san).

Gotemba Premium Outlets offers a good variety of brand name stores, from Armani to Adidas. There is a special savings for overseas visitors. You have to print out the online coupon voucher, and present it with your passport at the Information Center. There are two information centers; one next to United Arrows in the West Zone, and the other near Banana Republic in the East Zone. You will get a coupon booklet (a special booklet of savings) in return.

Before I share, here is a video tour on Gotemba Premium Outlets--

Gotemba Premium Outlets Center Map

As our priority is to see the Mount Fuji, we really didn't take the time to shop around Gotemba Premium Outlets. Oh wait, I think we did spend some yen there, and honestly I wish I have more money to spend.

We began our journey in the West Zone, where the bus terminus is. Around West Square, you will find fashion stores like Gap, Nextdoor and fashion good stores like Coach.

[ West Zone ]

West Square ➖➖➖ Hill Street

Oh... did I mention that pets are allowed at the centers provided that the owner observes the center's guidelines on pets. However, pets are not allowed into the stores, with the exception of the Dog Dept store. It is definitely a plus point for pet owners, like myself who would love to bring our jack russell terrier for a walk in shopping center. Heh heh.

Beside fashion stores, you will also find food stores & cafe such as Fauchon, a French gourmet food company. This has gotta be one of the best gourmet food store!

{A collection of home-made breads}

{A wide range of Danish pastries}

{Breads - For breakfast or afternoon snack}

{ A selection of soups, salads, sandwiches, risottos, fruits, etc}

{Chocolate, confectionary, wine and champagnes, fruit baskets}

There is a play ground situated in Hill Street, West Zone, near the bridge that connects West Zone and East Zone. I think it is a brilliant idea, but I'm worried about the children's safety. There is no doubt that Gotemba Premium Outlets is a crowded place being since, it is a shopping center. Hence, it is more comforting to see adults supervising their children.

While we crossed the bridge to the East Zone, it is no surprise to see ourselves stopping every few steps and taking photos of beautiful scenery. We just have to take photos of all the moment there. It is so precious when you have good moments to share...

{Journey to the East Zone}

{Beautiful nature and inspiring surroundings}

[ East Zone ]

Main Street East ➖➖➖ Northern Street ➖➖➖ East Square ➖➖➖ Pine Street ➖➖➖ Center Court ➖➖➖ Southern Avenue

We found the best spot, in front of the Food Bazaar store in East Zone, to see Mount Fuji. However, the clouds often block the view of Mount Fuji. We barely had the chance to see the mountain. Count yourself lucky if you have a complete view of its exceptionally symmetrical snow-capped cone!

According to research, it is advisable to go during the colder season of the year than in summer, and in the early morning or late evening hours if you want a complete view of Mount Fuji.

We stood there for a short while, wishing to see the snow-capped tip of Mount Fuji, but to no avail. Therefore, we decided to make a move back to the West Zone. No doubt, we stopped along the way, hoping to capture the last few shots before we leave Gotemba...

Back in the West Zone, we took photos of ourselves with Mount Fuji in the background... but the clouds completely blocked the mountain. WHY LIKE THIS?!?!?!

{With my favorite girl, Serena}

[ West Zone ]

Hill Street ➖➖➖ Main Street West ➖➖➖ Park Street

Gotemba Premium Outlets

1312 Fukasawa
Gotemba-Shi, Shizuoka, Japan

(Mar - Nov) 10:00 - 20:00
(Dec - Feb) 10:00 - 19:00
Closing Day: Once a year, on the third Thursday in February.

Free Shuttle Bus Service

• From JR Gotemba Station
10・30・50 minutes past every hour
(First bus departs at 09:30)

• From Gotemba Premium Outlets
00・20・40 minutes past every hour
(Last bus departs 40 minutes after close of business)

Where we started, where we ended.

Another highlight of our journey will be this shophouse that we spotted at JR Gotemba Station. Although we didn't have the chance to step into this extraordinarily unique shop, I have already fall in love with everything I see...

{Love is Art. Art is Love.}

{A collection of vintage cameras on display}

After a long day, we were back in Tokyo, and from there we continued to roam around the district. The time we spent there together, seemed to fly~~~

End of Day Five. Stay tuned for TokyoTravel-DaySix...

{Some photos credited: Lisa}


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love life.

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