Kawaguchiko – Finding Enjoyment on its Lake after Unexpected Moments

After spending sometime in the 5th station of Mount Fuji, we decided to go to Fujikawaguchiko. A town near at the base of the mountain. My whole family and I will never forget this town in our Japan travel because it was the place we experienced a nervous and quite hopeless moments of our lives. It was not really a life threatening situation but a desperate moment of our travel.

After we got off from the bus we took from 5th Station to Kawaguchiko Station, we walked around near the station to find an ATM machines so I can withdraw some money we need. First, we tried the convenience store that we found and we were unlucky because I was not able to take some money because it seems that my ATM card was not being accepted. Next, we tried another similar convenience store and I tried again my ATM card and the result were the same. At that time I started to feel anxious. We walked back to the station and went to the information center and asked around about the ATM nearby. After some inquiries, I let my parents stayed in the station. My sister and I went to find the banks and the post office that was given to us by the officer from information center. There were two more banks we visited and tried my ATM card, again both result were the same. I was really confused and surprised because I was able to get the money at the ATM in airport. There was one last place we had tried on, the post office where there’s international ATM. At that time, I was really nervous and felt uncomfortable because my family and I were in the middle of a town far from Tokyo and does not have enough money to even come back to the city (I only reserved the bus and still need to pay for it). At the post office, I tried to use my ATM again and the result was failed again. When that happened I had a feeling that my ATM card was somewhat blocked by my bank in the Philippines. It’s my suspicious reason why my ATM was not accepted for almost 5 places with international ATM.

I was thinking to call the bank. I have my mobile phone but felt doubtful to use it since I was weary about the international calls that will cost me. I checked my Skype and checked if it has still load to allow me to call outside. I saw that it wasn’t enough. I reloaded my Skype account and used it to call the bank. During the call, my hunch was  correct. The bank blocked my account after they detected, that there was withdrawal in my ATM outside the Philippines. I was really angry with them, because they never notified me, then told me they’re trying to reach me but unsuccessful. The agent that was talking to me, immediately unblock my card. After the call, at the post office, I tried my ATM card again and without issues, I successfully withdrawn money. It was really a great relief. That time I felt at ease. My sister and I came back to the station to pick-up my parents. That’s the only time we were able to had our lunch. What an experience indeed!!!

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Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko)

Because we lost time to see more around Fujikawaguchiko, I decided to see the nearby lake from the station. We walked around half an hour and we reached Lake Kawaguchi. As we were anticipating the bus scheduled booking that I had to go back to Shinjuku, we estimated our time to spend in the lake. We spent sometime in some parts of the lake. We walked a bit and enjoyed the sceneries that the lake is offering.

Kawaguchiko Station

Finally, we went back to Kawaguchiko Station. And there I exchanged my booking to bus tickets and paid appropriately. Then we’ve waited for our bus to arrived. If our travel from the city to Mount Fuji 5th station was smooth in the morning that day, it was different when we were on our way back to the city. Since it was Sunday night, we experienced the traffic jam that Japan has. We left Kawaguchiko station past 6PM and we arrived in Shinjuku station almost 11PM and had our dinner in the area. We reached our hotel in the city almost 12AM. It was a good thing that the next day adventure we had in our schedule gave us ample time to rest because we were schedule to watch Sumo Bout event.

That’s how we spent our third day in Japan.

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Theme : Cave – Batu Cave

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Theme (Post#1) : Cave – Batu Cave

Batu Cave is one of the accessible cave in Malaysia for the tourist since its location has train station and accessible from the city. It was mentioned that the cave is one of the popular Hindu Shrines outside India. The cave itself contains lots of limestone and being preserve in our time. The huge statue beside the stairs to the cave is Murugan which considered as Hindu’s God. The snapshot captured last December 2012 which still part of our Malaysia adventure together with my youngest sister.

West Edmonton Mall – Edmonton (Part 7)

I do not have so much stories about West Edmonton Mall during my visit on this place. But one thing reminds me about this mall, I thought at first, that people living in Edmonton does not like going to the mall, because I have this impression in malls in Edmonton City. For instance, Bay Mall and City Centre which are both located in downtown but it seems like a ghost town mall for me. Why? One reason – I found few people visiting this place.
To my surprise, when I went to West Edmonton Mall for the very first time, there were lots of people inside it. When I realized that, I tried to find out why. Before I able to answer my own question, I need to stroll inside the mall.First reason, West Edmonton Mall is really huge, based on information that I got, this mall used to be the largest mall in the world, but China built two huge malls, West Edmonton Mall are now the third largest mall in the world and largest mall in North America. Can someone imagine how big this mall is? What will be your reaction if you will find out that there is a beach like resort inside this mall? When I heard this, I was shocked. I cannot imagine a beach inside the mall. I knew I need to visit West Edmonton Mall.

One of inside view of the mall (This photo was cropped,
there is a big fish sculpture and I was inside it)

I visited West Edmonton Mall twice. The first one was just to stroll around the place but I never able to take photos that time because I was not comfortable and there are lots of people walking around the place. After strolling around, I decided to watch one of the scheduled shows. I watched sea lions show. This show was the second sea-lion show that I watched. The first one was the time I had a vacation in Singapore. I recorded a video of the show as my souvenir, I was entertained while watching it. I was fascinated by the people who controlled the sea lions. For me, it takes a lot of effort on their side to have a show with special animals. And I can say that it is one of the distinct talent of human. The show can be found at Sea Lions Rock at Deep Sea Adventure inside West Edmonton Mall.
Sea Lion at Sea Life Cavern
Photos above is place to watch a sea lion show
Bridge at Sea Life Cavern
After sea-lion show, I visit Sea Life Cavern, wherein I saw a lot of underwater species. And I enjoyed watching creatures such as fish, sharks, sting rays, penguin and reptiles. During the time I visited the place, their was ongoing presentation done by one of the crew and she was explaining something about reptile bone.
The second time I visited this huge mall was happened last June 7, 2008 – Saturday, last Saturday I spent in Edmonton. I toured the mall together with my buddy at work. This buddy of mine likes a sister to me. She is also a Filipina who migrated in Canada together with her all family. Since she was with me, I got a lot of chance to take pictures of famous spot of the mall. Honestly, I tried to find photos inside this mall without myself and to my surprise all pictures that I have in this mall I was there.
All the pictures that I have are memories of this huge mall. Here are some of the famous place to be found inside West Edmonton Mall: Ice Palace, World Waterpark, Deep Sea Adventure and Professors Wem’s Adventure Golf. I also found the Chinatown place, The Galaxyland Amusement Park and Bourbon Street.

Ice Palace is a place to watch hockey game. When I visited this part of the mall, there are young kids (both guys and gals) were playing.

Ice Palace
I never tried to get inside “The Galaxyland Amusement Park” since I am too old to play in this place.

World Waterpark is the indoor beach-like resort where you can swim and just enjoy water. I actually like the slides built beside the resort. This resort has man-made waves wherein you will feel like you are totally in a beach. Edmonton has no beach because it is surrounded by land areas and this is the right place if you want to enjoy the beach like atmosphere. The people who enjoy the place are also the same people who enjoy the beach outside. They just either stay beside the water and enjoy the sun rays passing the glass ceilings of water park.


Inside World Waterpark
Parking beside Waterpark

I also found a bungee jump beside the world water park. I had fun watching the kids enjoying the jump. Next, we found the Deep Sea Adventure wherein I saw Santa Maria – a sea fleet with exact replica of Christoper Columbus Santa Maria. For me its a real classic boat. I also found some people who dine at the docking area of the fleet. Well, it is indeed quite cute for me as a place for a dating with someone.



Christpher Columbus Santa Maria fleet replica

My buddy and I continued strolling around the place until we found an awesome golf course place, Professors Wem’s Adventure Golf. This golf course is a mini golf course with lot of small areas to allow different players to play golf.

Professors Wem’s Adventure Golf

Chinatown is a place for Chinese restaurants and stores. While Bourbon Street is a place mostly for western restaurants and diners.

There were lots of things I saw in this mall and I did enjoy strolling around the place. But for someone who really wanted to explore the place, one day is not enough. Before I forgot, I also found the Fantasyland Hotel wherein I saw an architectural design which similar to Europe.

Fantasyland Hotel

That is all I have to say about West Edmonton Mall.