This is the third article in my series of travel photos and bentos inspired by my trip to Japan. My Mom wanted to to see Mt. Fuji. We knew it is often covered by clouds. Since we had a Japan Rail Pass we planned a day trip from Kyoto. We decided not to do any of the tourist excursions to get close to it. Our plan was to go to Shin-Fuji station, see Mt. Fuji (hopefully), then spend some time in Shizuoka before returning to Kyoto.
Left Side: Mt. Fuji made from Nishiki rice, covered with spinach leaves (quickly microwaved until the leaves wilted a little), shredded taco cheese, raw broccoli
Top Right: Watermelon cubes
Bottom Right: Plain Greek Yogurt with some honey underneath (this represents Fuji behind the clouds)
I am not experienced with mashed potato sculpture but I tried it for this Shinkansen – Bullet Train meal. It turned out a little wonky but I like it. My husband ate this meal.
Container: Black Bento Box
Small Tier: Dried apricot, dried cherries, pecans and sliced almonds
Large Tier: Shinkansen – Bullet Train (mashed potatoes with garlic powder and cheddar cheese; spinach details), cooked broccoli
We took the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) many times in Japan. Some of these photos are from trips other than our day trip to see Mt. Fuji. The photo above and below were taken at Shin-Osaka Station.
I never did see the actual sweets (above) but I took a photo of this cute sign at Shin-Osaka station.
Shinkansen employees were very helpful to make sure we were in the correct place. At first we were confused about the different locations on the platform we needed to wait for our reserved car depending on how many cars were on the particular train. After we figured it out it seemed obvious as the signs for the coming trains indicate how many cars. But I do have a policy I started in Japan many years ago. Before I get on a train, I ask someone else waiting (using Japanese) to make sure I am getting on the correct train. I have never been wrong as the station platforms provide plenty of information but it makes me feel more comfortable.
It was exciting to see the scenery and palm trees from our Shinkansen window. It was especially appealing since we are from New York State and typically don’t see palm trees.
The maps on the seat backs in the trains were helpful. It made it easy to find the location of bathrooms, vending machines, and garbage cans. Also as is my nature, I love information.
Train travel in Japan is very comfortable and convenient. It was such a pleasure to ride the Shinkansen!
Many years ago I took this same route past Shizuoka so I knew to look out for the tea as we passed by. Shizuoka is known for green tea.
We took the Shinkansen to Shin-Fuji station because a friend told me it was closer than Shizuoka to see Mt. Fuji. I asked a man (fellow traveler) on the platform where Mt. Fuji was located. He pointed to the area covered with clouds. I had seen Mt. Fuji before but it would have been my Mom’s first time. We were fully aware that it would be possible to not see it. I think that I was more disappointed than my Mom was. But we had a nice but simple lunch at the train station and the information lady was very kind.
Since we were unable to see Mt. Fuji due to cloud cover, the information lady gave us these certificates. They are stamped with the day of visit and have a beautiful photo of Mt. Fuji on one side.
After Shin-Fuji Station (I had allowed ourselves only about 30 minutes there) we continued on to Shizuoka where we stayed a few hours. A friend mentioned that Sumpu Park was located not far from the Shizuoka Station. It was a beautiful day for a walk. Castle ruins from Tokugawa Ieyasu and a statue of him are located at the park. At first I could not find the statue. I was determined to find it as I had studied Japanese history in college. I asked a woman sitting on a bench with a young child, she told me it was behind me! So funny. I just had to turn around from where we were to see it.
From the little we experienced of Shizuoka we thought it was a nice city and would like to go back again to spend more time there.
I loved this Mt. Fuji shaped metal box. I did not care what was inside of it. But I asked myself, “Did I really need a Mt. Fuji shaped metal box?” Ultimately the answer was no.
Since I am fascinated by bento and Ekiben (train station bento) of course I took a photo of the Mt. Fuji shaped bento.
I hope that you enjoyed seeing my Shinkansen photos, our day trip to see Mt. Fuji and Shizuoka and my inspired bento lunches. Even though we did not see Mt. Fuji we had a wonderful day trip!