We take the Kachi-Kachi Ropeway back down to the lakeside and grab our bikes. The day is just perfect and Lake Kawaguchi is magnificent.
There is a wonderful path along the lake. We take our bikes down but can’t get very far because it’s simply too beautiful and we’ve gotta capture it. I know I keep saying this but… the autumn colors are amazing. Really, really amazing
There are swan boats to take out but I think we got our fill back in Ueno Park
(Reminder: Never miss leg day)
This path by the lake is so unbelievably pretty.
We come across some sad swan boats in the weeds. Looks like they may have some holes in em. Ohhhh, there’s an even more sad bear boat. Poor lil duffer. You’re still gorgeous, buddy.
Here’s a pic Queenie took of me taking pics so she could make fun of me for taking so many pics
We’re gonna cross that bridge later and go to High Spirits. Excited for that.
The bike ride is peaceful. We only pass a few people as we glide beside the water and fall leaves. One older lady is down by the water painting the scene, probably hoping for a good sunset. I snap another shot back at Mt Fuji. Wow, this place is nuts. Before heading back up to the hotel I get a panoramic.
The hotel driveway is super steep. We missed too many leg days and don’t have enough gears, so we’re walking the bikes most of the way up. When we get back we lock up the bikes and go into Mizuno to explore the roof.
Elevator opens up on a window nicely framing Mt Fuji.
Up to the roof and we’re the only ones up there. Doesn’t seem like the sunset is going to be too spectacular since it’s so clear, but it’s still a beautiful view from up here. Some clouds are gathering around Mt Fuji’s peak.
Really cute little town
Looks like there’s a rooftop hot tub up here? It doesn’t seem open at the moment. Time for some selfie stick espionage
Yep it’s a hot tub alright. That would be a great place to watch the sunset. I wonder if we just have to ask at the front desk. Ah, by the time we get that all set up the sun will be down and we’ll be heading to High Spirits.
We go back to the room. The bacon and egg costumes are still on the chair, “That’s us in 20 years.”
There’s a cool wooden speaker that you just slide your phone into a hole and it resonates out of a hollow chamber on each side. French Jazz please. We take it to the deck and sit for the rest of the sunset.
Ahhh this is nice. It’s a good thing we’ve been practicing our no-look selfie
That seems suiting. Ok, now it’s time to get over to High Spirits. I grab a sweater and use the room’s awesome shoe horn to get my feet on.
We bike back down the treacherously steep driveway, out the road and across the bridge. We find our way over to High Spirits pretty easily. We’ve got about an hour to kill. Hmmmm, looks like there’s another izakaya next door. At least it has the white lanterns that signify a bar of some sort. Queenie goes over to check it out
All the signs are Japanese and we have no idea what it’s called. Looks like a total local spot. There are a couple of older guys just chilling with some beer and food at the bar seating. They aren’t together, it looks like they’re both just posted up on either side of the ‘bar’ for a drink and some food. There’s also a raised seating area where you take off your shoes and have a seat on the floor around a table.
The older lady running the place is very surprised to see us but switches straight to hostess mode. She ushers us in and sits us up at the bar around the area where she cooks. She offers us food but we decline, trying to explain that we’re about to go eat. I point to a strange keg contraption and hold up two fingers.
She brings over two beers, a couple of salads and some meat. Actually that looks like fish. Yep, it’s sushi style tuna. Queenie says it’s delicious. The older dude next to us really wants to chat. He seems nice but I don’t really know what he’s saying. He finishes his beer and shakes my hand to say that he’s leaving. He backs out the door, bowing.
As we’re sitting there a group of younger girls come in, take off their shoes, and sit at the long table in the corner. I’m not sure if they’re old enough to drink. Looks like they may just be playing cards or something. Hostess Lady serves them some iced tea.
Hostess Lady really likes my hair. I tell her she can touch it and she does. She’s fascinated. So is the second older guy that’s still here at the bar. We order another round of beers. OlderGuy2 gives us an orange and let’s us try his sake. He’s got a massive bottle of it. He points over passed the bar. Oh yeah, there’s a ton of sake against the wall.
OlderGuy2 sees the mess on the other table and goes over to clean it up. Hostess Lady says something to the effect of “no, no, no” and he just waves his hand “Baaaah”. He also cleans up the first guys stuff from the bar and moves all the dishes to the sink behind the kitchen/bar area. What a nice guy. He seems like quite the character. Polite, smiling, funny and really wanting to talk and interact.
While this is going on, Hostess Lady brings over a number of poster sized photo prints of the area. It looks like they are pictures of Mount Fuji from every season. They’re quite beautiful, professional pictures. She takes a moment to shuffle through them and show us each one. OlderGuy2 knows the seasons in English and points to say “Winter”, “Summer”, etc… for each one.
She hands them to us and motions for us to take them. “Oh no, no. That’s too nice, we’re ok.” But she won’t have it and she leaves them on the bar next to us. “Arigato, arigato” and we put them in our little day pack with my new orange hoping not to bend them.
OlderGuy2 pours us a couple more sake shots and then places the bottle back on the shelf. He shakes my hand profusely to say goodbye and then hands me a banana. Haha this guy is great. I put the banana in my bag after he goes.
I guess it’s also time for us to get going. We’ve got dinner reservations next door at High Spirits in about 10 minutes. We finish up our beers and thank Hostess Lady for her generosity. She’s so kind and walks us to the door to see us out.
I’m really glad we stumbled upon this little local spot. I like the wall of sake and tiny beer cooler rig. The hang out vibe with the owner making simple dishes for you, true izakaya style. Nothing touristy about it, just people from the area coming down here for some comfort food and a beverage. Good find.
We’re perfectly primed for High Spirits now. One final wave goodbye to Hostess Lady as we exit through the curtains.