The dry bag came in handy! All the tech stuff safe and dry. I haven't repackaged my stuff yet, because I used my morning time for something else: I found a 'cheap' (3800 yen) hostel for tonight. If the rain was heavy I was planning to take a break, and if it was light then I could look around the area without my luggage. It turned out to be light, so I cycled around lake Kawaguchiko. After mounting my bicycle for the first time after removing the luggage I was really surprised! It's so much easier without the luggage. I really need to reorganize my stuff tonight.

On the way to the hostel
The youth hostel

The inside is similar to the outside. The building has on old traditional feeling, which is another way of saying that everything makes noise as you touch it or walk over it and there's no heating whatsoever. I intended to stay inside my room (well, 8 beds, although no one was there when I left)  for a bit longer, but it was just too bloody cold. 'Cold' seems to be this area's expertise.

You can get a 600 yen discount if you're a member of the Japanese hostel association (or whatever it's called). I asked the owner if I could register for that, but he told me it was 'Japanese-only'. I showed him my alien registration card, told him (in Japanese) that I had an address and lived in Japan, but he told me it was Japanese-only. I see.

After dumping all of my luggage I went out to cycle around the lake.

Did I mention that it's cold?
The clear sky never reached here
Lonely fisherman

After cycling around the lake I figured I might as well go to an onsen (hot spring/bath) instead. There was exactly one onsen on the tourist map I was given, and after some searching it turned out to be closed. Just like everything else around here by the way. I guess in the tourist season this place is busy as hell, but on weekdays like this there's absolutely nothing. The only thing that server as a reminder that a lot of tourists come here is the people's attitude: uncaring. Anyway, I found another onsen on the way back, but when the automatic doors let me in nobody was there. I yelled a bit, walked around a bit, but in the end nobody came. Finally, just as I was leaving, an old guy teleported in from out of nowhere and told me that the bath was closed for today. He did point me to another onsen close by, which was in business, thank god. Early in the afternoon is a strange time to take a bath, and as such nobody was taking a bath when I entered. I couldn't resist the opportunity to take a few snapshots.

The, locker room, I guess
Indoor bath

There was also an outdoor bath, but I didn't want to bring my camera that far in. There was even a second floor with a jacuzzi, which was awesome, and a direct view on the road next to the building, which was less awesome, as people could see me naked.

Some of my Japanese friends reacted surprised when I told them where I am right now. They thought it would take more time. In reality though, Japan is not that big. Tomorrow will be a lot of downhill slopes, so I'm quite confident that I can go down 1100 meters in a short amount of time. Without dying. It's too bad, but I'm going to skip camping in the suicide forest, as it's just too bloody cold, and I would have to delay my trip for another day if I did that. I'll definitely pay it a visit on the way though.

I'm not sure what to do yet in terms of where to stay when I reach the coast, but I'm sure that things will fall into place somehow. Until next time.

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