Japan part 2 – Fuji-q Highlands, Kyoto and the tale of the pee pants.

Continued on from part 1… My family travelled with my sister Lauren and her husband Mitch to Fuji-q highlands resort and theme park. It was a 13 hour travel day consisting of:  a taxi, two trains, a plane, another train and a bus trip. Exhausting with a 3 year old to say the least, but Hayden did really well and only chucked one mini tantrum on one of the trains.

We thought we had left the snow for good back in Niseko but it turns out it was cold enough to be snowing on the mainland as well.  We had a big snow day again at Fuji-q Highlands resort and theme park and unfortunately the rides were closed down for the day and that was the main reason we were there.  Lauren and Mitch were pretty disappointed as they were only there for one day.  We drowned our sorrows with a bottle of sparkling sake and they ended up getting on two rides on the morning of their departure so it all worked out ok.  We still had one day at the theme park so we were good.

 

We had an amazing room at Fuji-q with traditional Japanese tatami mats and futon beds on the floor.  It was so pretty.japan holiday kyoto fuji-q highlands resort winter

We visited the Mt Fuji art gallery on the day that we couldn’t go to the theme park.

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We also destroyed some time with a few games of bowling.  Hayden’s very first time!

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Then the sun came out the next day and we finally go to go to the theme park and Thomas land for Hayden.

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Absolutely spectacular views of Mt Fuji from the theme park!

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Next stop…. Kyoto.  I looooved this city!!!

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On our first day outing in Kyoto we decided to try to meet up with mum and dad and head to the Fushimi Inari shrine. It should have been an easy 3 station train ride straight to mum and dad’s hotel but someone got their North and South mixed up and it ended up being a bit more of a walk than expected.  Life with a three year old is slow moving.  Especially one who seems to dislike any kind of new activity and likes to dawdle.  Long story short, we all got to the shrine together at about midday.  By this time, said three year old was starving and thirsty.

The greatest parents we are not…  Occasionally (most of the time) we forget to pack appropriate snacks for hungry little tummy’s.  So what to do but try to find the three year old some street food that he will eat.  This is not an easy feat given that we have the fussiest eater in the world.  If you can picture a vegan, coeliac, paleo-dieter trying to order something from McDonald’s then you are coming close to feeling how we feel every time we try to order food for Hayden. All I can say is, thank the good lord for “fried potato”, aka hot chips.  I don’t care if Erica says that deep fried octopus balls are the shiz-nizz of the East, we tried it and it’s just not cricket.

5 hot chips and 2 vending machine apple juices later, Hayden was “full” and ready to pee.  And, actually, when he’s ready to pee, he’s busting and doing the “wee wee dance”.  Exit stage left mummy and Hayden (daddy was eating bbq quail kebab) to the nearest toilet and this is where it all went downhill quickly.  The toilet blocks at the Inari shrine all happen to be the traditional style Japanese squat toilet. Heads up if you are going there I suggest to go before you leave.  With the amount of inexperienced drop-toilet-tourists going there, things get messy quickly.  Now I absolutely don’t have a thing against drop toilets at all.  Doing the kangaroo squat is a killer workout for your thighs and butt.  You’ll come out of there looking like Cameron Diaz’ personal trainer.  Any-hoo… On this occasion I would have liked to see a normal seated toilet.  It’s the middle of winter, I have a busting at the pants three year old and I’m faced with a choice.  1. Take all of his shoes, thermal pants and pants off and let him stand over the toilet to pee, while risking the possible germs encountered to stand on a toilet floor and the possibility of him peeing his pants while I am undressing him.  Or… 2. Pull his pants down and hope that he has remembered how to aim.  I’ve seen him do it before, he likes a good bush wee as much as the next drunk Aussie boy walking down the mall at 2am.  So I chose option 2 and he seemed excited that he was going to get to do a “daddy wee” so I thought all was good.  Oh how wrong I was!  Pants were down, he was in position but there was absolutely no aiming.  I quickly did what any self respecting mother would do and grabbed that little thing to try to aim it.  Holy hell those things are out of control!  I’m so glad I never have to do that (again hopefully).  Pee was going everywhere, down my wrist, all over his pants, each side of the toilet and probably a few splashes up the wall!

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I believe this activity below is called “Omikuji”? I participated in this at the Fushimi Inari Shrine.  I read a bit more about it here: http://zoomingjapan.com/wiki/omikuji-fortune-telling-paper-strips/

You are supposed to pick out a “fortune” and tie it to the strings to either hope for the good fortune or wish away the bad.  Here is a loose translation of what my “fortune” said:

* 後吉 means ‘happy in the end’

* lucky direction – west : disease – difficult but will be better : lost things – will be found in the water : travel – BAD!

* partner : will be found but can break up : competition – tough but end up winning : person you are missing – will come but won’t stay : business – bad, will lose your capital : moving – change your mind.

So there you go!  Overall I am supposed to be “happy in the end”.  Big thanks to Sayaka for translating for me!

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