We both had a terrible nights sleep, thanks to an inconvenient typhoon. Being a typhoon it didn’t let up until morning, however it did give us a lovely new swimming pool in the park.
Having taken shelter in the toilets, we did what we could only do when your stuck in a toilet in Japan and charged our phones, learnt some Japanese and harmonized with the rain. We also went around establishing The Republic of Toiletstan, an interesting country were the currency is high fives.
Hitchhiking to Osaka
When the rain parted we begun our hitchhiking, again. We were picked up in 30 minutes by a German gentleman called Stephan, a master brewer. What are the chances! Unfortunately for us he didn’t have any of his fine brew with him, as has been to an Oktoberfest. He offered us a lift to Fuji, whilst en route when we explained that we where interested in climbing Mount Fuji. Instead of dropping us in Fuji he then turned back to drop us off in a small town called Gotemba. Stephan explained that Gotemba was one of the starting locations to walk up Mount Fuji.
Stephan had dropped us right in the centre of Gotemba leaving us with no real idea of what part of Japan we where in, we searched for a tourist information to see what was to happening around town. and when we worked out he had also dropped us off right next to the tourist information. Thank you Stephan for the ride and for going out of your way.
The lady at the tourist information told us to stay away from Fuji as it was out of season for tourists, as much as I wanted to climb the mountain we didn’t have the right gear. On the other had we found out about a campsite at the base of another mountain and that there was a small Japanese festival starting in a few hours.
Festivities Japanese style
The festival started with a group of young drummers, who put on more of a show rather than just music for everyone to enjoy. The combinations of the different drums was incredible especially when some of the children were around 12.
Next up on the stage some kids entertainment, which was quite interesting a superhero and villains sketch. With a super surprising ending. Yes our hero won! At the end of the show I was stood watching everyone, children and adults alike surrounded the stage. To then have all of the performers and what I believe was the mayor throwing sweets in to the crowd.
Night time, a time for drifting
Reluctantly, we had to leave the festival and head off to our campsite. A 4.5km walk out of Gotemba up a mountain, as we walked out of town we saw and heard a lot of drift cars heading out on to the motorway and in to the mountains. We headed further out of town climbing all the way, were we discovered an old windmill over looking the town below.
When we finally arrived at the campsite we discovered it was hmm. A bit fancy for us and we also needed to book in advance. So off we headed again to find somewhere to stay for the night luckily for us our Maps.me showed that there was a car park/viewing point just up the road.
It was a great place to camp for the night, with toilets and a good view of Mount Fuji.
As we were relaxing charging everything up in the local toilets, a couple of drift cars pulled in to the car park and started to jack their cars. Us being slightly mechanical minded we went and offered our assistance.
After much confusion between languages, we worked out that they raising the suspension. After everything was sorted and the wheels back on, asked go for drive with them which they where more than happy to do so.
As many people do my driver thought that it would be a good idea to show off to is new friend, in this instance me. All was good to begin with however, after a mile and a half we raced around a corner at 80kph (50mph) sideways. We ended up in a metal barrier, very lucky really, if there was no barrier we would be been rolling down the mountain side.
After trying to start the car a few times, he gave up and we pulled his car out of the barrier. Instead we inspected the damage to discover that it was fairly serve and called up André who was having a much better time with his driver.
There was a lot of damage to the right had side of the car, including the inter-cooler and headlights. We tried
to start the car with no luck. Unfortunately on these cars the inter-cooler is essential for them to run. Luckily for us though the drifters were out in force and it wasn’t long before, 4 cars hand stopped to lend a hand. Including one kind chap who gave us a lot electrical tap. With which and time a few hours we managed to fix his car, well in such a way he could drive it home. And give us a lift back to our camp for us to get some sleep.
Until tomorrow or check out what we happened yesterday.