Saturday 13th October
Another glorious clear morning. Room affords such a great view of Mt Fuji
I think they must have taken pity in us because breakfast hot pot was ham and we added the egg, still quite a bit of fish and its strong tasty like mackerel or smoked herring, not what I find pleasant to start the day on. But the ham and egg was plenty along with the steamed rice, juice and coffee.
We farewelled Hotel New Century and caught the Fujikyu train from Kawaguchiko Station to Otsuki Station. Only travels 26km but took a hour as it passes through built up areas. This fare not included in the JR pass but only 1,110 yen each. It was the local train stopping at all stations. There was an express (40mins) for an extra 300 yen but it left an hour later and we would be in Otsuki by then.
At Otsuki, the JR passes are able to be used. The trip from there took another hour on the Kaiji train, ending at Shinjuku.
Here we needed to catch a local train from Shinjuku to Tokyo, about 13 minutes. We never saw anywhere to buy a ticket and finally managed to garner that we could purchase ticket in Tokyo, from the conductor. So we boarded the Rapid train to Tokyo and crushed on with all the locals, standing room only.
Got off at Tokyo, never passed through the ticket machines as we needed to board the Yamabiko Shinkansen from Tokyo to Utsunomiya. So it seems we had a free ride on the local train or maybe it was included, we will never know. This was our 4th and final train and another 50 minutes. Had a wonderful toasted sandwich and coffee lunch out of paper bags while waiting 20 minutes for train. This double decker train called Max heading to Tanigawa pulled in. Love to go on one of these but not on our travel plans this time.
Passed through Omiya Station where both girls went when homestaying in Japan. Arrived Utsunomiya an hour too early to check-in, so we went and booked our onward journey for two days time. The trains have been really full so I dont like to leave it till the day if I can help it. As it was the Otsuki-Shinjuku trip we were both in aisle seats and not together. Not a problem but of course the other passengers have their gear spread across the spare seat thinking its all theirs and then you turn up. The guy where Chris was trying to sit was fast asleep and had to be woken up to move his bags.
Found out where to catch the bus for the Motegi Twin Ring Circuit, right outside Utsunomiya Station and across road from our hotel. Will catch the first bus out if we can at 5:50am as its bound to be crowded. Its a 90minute ride from memory. Our hotel far right in photo and station far left.
Staying at the Chisun Hotel. Were about 20minutes early of the 2pm check-in time and they were sticklers so we left our luggage and went for a walk. First time this strict check-in time has been enforced. Had read about how strict they are in Korea and Japan so have tried to not be early. Hasn't been a problem so far.
Not a lot to see at Utsunomiya, it seems to be a gateway to other places but there's always a shrine to be found and an interesting mall.
Not much in city about the MotoGP, found this one poster, plenty about a Japanese Bicycle Race next week though. Chris went out to get coffee and said the crowds were starting to build and plenty of people in the hotel lobby trying to get directions on how to get to the circuit. Staff not to knowledgable so Chris was able to give the information we had got earlier.