Ruth’s and my next stop was Mishima, a relatively small town located between Mt. Fuji and the Izu-peninsula. It was supposed to be our basecamp before climbing Mt. Fuji and as we weren’t sure of the weather conditions we had booked a few days in a hotel in order to be flexible about the climbing date. As we arrived there early in the morning and it was still a few hours until we could enter our rooms at the hotel, we decided to walk around the town a little bit. After a short time we found the entry to Rakujuen park, which we decided to enter after some persuasion from Ruth (I didn’t really feel like going there in the beginning – tired and without having been able to take a shower that morning xD).
But it’s good to have someone to talk you into something, so we entered and it was a nice place actually. The park was a mixture between a small zoo, natural woods and arranged greenery and even contained an old imperial villa dating back to the Meiji-Era (1868-1912). Like a lot of small zoos everywhere in the world, the cages were definitely very improve-worthy in regards to size and included plants/design, but I guess that’s mostly a financial problem and not easily solved. Still, we had a few ideas flying around on how to work on a few of these things without too much investment very fast. Don’t know if we were thinking to simple and leaving a few peaces out of the bigger picture though…
My personal favourite was the lesser panda, who was having a nice nap the whole time. For some reason Ruth liked the two white alpacas and one big fat marmot a bit more but just look at how cute this one is!
Close to the zoo area there were also a few attractions for children (everything looked a bit old and worn-down, but that made for an interesting atmosphere – think creepy empty theme-park!) where we found a good friend who was just waiting to take a picture with me: Hey Pikachu!
But that was enough joy from childhood memories and fluffy animals for us and we went to see the imperial villa, for which this garden was arranged in the first place. Of course, they didn’t have the zoo and Pikachu back in the days, but you know what I mean. During the 30 minutes tour, which was completely in Japanese and I was only understanding very little of it, all the old people (and there were only old people despite the two of us!) were constantly aah-ing and ooh-ing about everything and also eeh-ing a bit when there was something hard to believe for them. It was like a constant sound while we were in there. Definitely a lot different from German tourists!
Sadly, we weren’t allowed to take photos inside the villa (they had some very beautiful traditional paintings in there), but the scenery outside was making up for that with it’s relaxed atmosphere.
Finally the check-in time came closer and we went back to our hotel where we had placed our luggage earlier to move into our room. It was really tiny, but we didn’t need much anyway, so it wasn’t a problem at all. In the evening we went out to eat some ramen noodles before visiting the Mishima shrine. But due to it beeing late and dark already, my photos of the shrine itself didn’t turn out too well. Instead I have the following for you:
It’s the main exit of the shrine and in my opinion the torii gate and the street lanterns formed a nice contrast for a picture. And with this picture it’s enough for now – I hope you enjoyed the article again!