Hoping to catch a glimpse of Mt Fuji, we reserved the last seats available on the Shinkasen from Hiroshima to Hakone (in smoking) in anticipation of snapping our award winning World Press photographs. Sadly between the fag smoke on the inside and ground level mist on the outside we sped past for the second time arriving at Odawara photoless with heavy lungs and a smokers cough.
Never mind, I bouyed the team, we’ll get a great photo op tomorrow, high in the hills of Hakone. A toy train, a cable car, a gondola, a pirate ship across the lake, a bus ride, 34°, sixty million kids and chinese tourists, all in a misty rain so dense we had no hope of seeing our feet let alone Mt Fuji.
We did happen upon one of those great serendipitous moments though when we jumped off the toy train at the Hakone Open Air Museum. It was a fantastic sprawling park with hundreds of outdoor sculptures from around the world – truly amazing! And of course we had the best photo op ever the next day at Odawara Castle – with the Princess, the Ninja and the Samurai – so all was not lost!