Stations and bus stops become a square box of sugoroku (Part 1)

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Stations and bus stops become a square box of sugoroku (Part 1)

Both teams start their sugoroku trip from Otsuki Station. The women’s team will head to Tsuru city first while the men’s team has to go to Kasei, two stops behind the women. At Kasei, the men have to try their hand at roasting sweet potatoes. They make their way to Sumikou Farm, which opened four years ago. After picking the potatoes, they have to wrap them in aluminum foil and roast them slowly with charcoal. It costs them 1,500 yen (S$18.60), and this includes tasting the potatoes and taking some with them as a snack. The men return to Kasei Station and have to proceed one stop ahead to Akasaka Station. Their next task is to move two stops forward to Yamura-machi.

Meanwhile, the women’s team heads to Tsuru city by the popular Thomas train. Their challenge is to eat hoto noodles with natural mushrooms. The restaurant is a 10-minute walk from the station and its speciality is hot hoto noodles with five types of mushrooms. After trying this delicacy, the women head to Kotobuki by train. However, as luck would have it, their mission at Kotobuki is to head back two stops to Higashi-katsura. So they hop on the Thomas train again and travel for nine minutes to Higashi-katsura. Here, they have to eat masu fish, which they have to catch themselves. It takes them an hour to reach a river where masu fish can be found. Later, the freshly-caught masu fish is cooked with butter and served with lots of vegetables and miso sauce. After finishing the challenge, the women return to Higashi-katsura Station to receive their next task. Their mission is to head to Gekkoji.

As for the men’s team, at Yamura-machi, their mission is to try their hand at archery. So they walk for 10 minutes from the station to the Daijinguu archery centre, located near a shrine. It is an archery school run by the archery league of Tsuru city. Staff here will teach anyone above the age of 15 how to shoot arrows for free. The men spend an hour learning the basics before attempting to hit a target which is 28m away.

The women’s team, meanwhile, reaches Gekkoji. Their mission here is to climb 397 stone steps to reach a spot known for its breathtaking views. For this, they first have to walk 10 minutes to Chureitou. After climbing the steps, they are greeted by a gorgeous view of Mt. Fuji, the sunset and even a five-storied pagoda. They return to Gekkoji Station and they find out their next task is to travel by a sightseeing boat to a cable car station. They take a train to Kawaguchi-ko Station and look for the Retro bus No.1 which will take them to the Nature Living Centre. However, it is already dark by this time and the last bus has departed, so they call it a day.

After completing their mission at the archery centre, the men’s team heads to Kotobuki Station by Fuji-kyu train. At Kotobuki, their challenge is to take a bath at the Goemon hot spring. From the station, they walk for about 30 minutes to Tonoiri-kousen. This place is believed to be a lucky spot, so many people come here to pray to Buddha. They would also drink the spring water and soak in the fresh water to get rid of their diseases. After completing their challenge at Goemon hot spring, the men’s next stop is Yoshiike Onsen Mae Station. They end their day at this station as it is already dark by this time.

At the end of the first day of the Sugoroku trip, the women’s team is five stops ahead of the men. On the second day, the men resume their trip by going to Kotoku Park to witness a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji. It is one of the top 100 spots to view Mt. Fuji. The men rush back to the station, hop on the train and move five stops forward to Kawaguchi-ko. In fact, the women’s team starts the second day from Kawaguchi-ko Station. Here, they take a cute Retro bus which travels along the Kawaguchi Lake to the place where they have to take a sightseeing boat. After this, the women find out they have to travel five stops back.

Meanwhile, the men arrive at Kawaguchi-ko Station. They then take a bus to a cloud-shaped building to eat a Mt. Fuji speciality at a popular hoto restaurant. The freshly-made noodles and miso soup are served with lots of vegetables and edible mountain plants. After this, the men make their way back to Kawaguchi-ko Station.

Meanwhile, the women are also heading back to Kawaguchi-ko Station by the Retro bus. Then, they have to take a train to Mt. Fuji Station. While the women are waiting for their train, the men arrive and are surprised to see them there.

THIS WEEK'S TIPS:

  • Hoto noodles are a must-try item when visiting the Mt. Fuji area

  • Find out the opening hours of tourist spots and schedules of buses and trains so you can plan your trip accordingly

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