I was chatting with my bro (with his gf offering some input here & there) last night about the Tokyo trip I’m planning, Mt Fuji & all. He did visit Tokyo a few years ago after all, so thought to leech some tips from him – coincidentally he lived in one of the ryokans I have my eye on around Shinjuku area, and his stay was a positive one… which is a good thing since I’m like 95% set on deciding on that prior to the conversation already. However, what he mentioned resonated with my cautions about this trip, and got me thinking further. He reckoned that I should “dodge the bullet” if I can.
The “bullet” in question, is the Mt Fuji climb. Should I attempt it? And considering that the climb would be the highlight of the trip, if I were to cancel that… should I even go to Tokyo at all?
Yes, I KNOW that Tokyo has much more to offer than Mt Fuji, and there’ll be plenty for me to explore, visit and experience. It wouldn’t be a total waste if I were to decide not to do the mountain climb (much as I’m eager to). The issue here isn’t the travel destination. Ugh, I don’t really wanna seem like I’m bitching about my friends, but a fact is a fact. The issue here is the company… the 2 girls I’ll be going with, J & E. My bro asked the question that my brain has been asking my heart all this while. Do I really wanna go on vacation with THEM?
/sigh. Now that I looked through my older blog posts (see, this is why it’s a good thing to blog LOL), I did casually mention my concerns here & here. Initially I was thinking that it wouldn’t be so bad if E decides to be a princess cos there’s still J who is gonna do the climb with me… I was merely worried about her fitness. That was before the Gunung Datuk hike on Saturday! Oh, for the record, though I’m aching like !#%~& right now, I DID reach the summit & the view there is worth all this pain =) I’ll have a separate post about it within the week (hopefully!), after I get the pictures out from my camera.
J didn’t even get halfway up Datuk. She only managed to drag herself up till Checkpoint 1 and turned back. That’s not even 30% up the mountain, though admittedly, that was the most challenging part if you don’t count the ladder climb at the summit. What’s worse is that, according to her, she reached CP1 at about 2pm. I reached the summit at about 2:30pm (took slightly more than 2hrs) and I was already one of the last ones up there. Datuk is merely 883m, and she managed like what 250m? Call me a bitch but I just have to get this off my chest – does that sound like the kinda person who can climb the 3,776m Mt Fuji? Mountain climbing requires A LOT of mental fortitude… to be able to push yourself to continue when you think you are at your physical limit. If J had managed to overcome that barrier, and continued after CP1, she would have seen that the trail got considerably easier from then on. She didn’t. She went back to base to sit at the coffee shop (-.-)”
That isn’t all. My purpose of getting her on the Datuk trip is to show her where she stands in terms of her ‘fitness’. Yes, I knew she would fail. Go ahead, tell me how much of an arse I am, doing this to a friend… but hey, I honestly do believe that she needed this ‘wake-up slap’. I was hoping that she falls into the category of people who 不見棺材不掉淚 (literally – not dropping a tear till you see the coffin), that Datuk will snap her out of the… to quit underestimating Mt Fuji.
But nope, my plan was an EPIC FAIL. Though she verbally agrees with me that we need to do more training, she is reluctant to set a training date – said that she would do stairs now and then… which I honestly don’t think she would. She also claims that she has more motivation for Mt Fuji & is confident that she will be able to push herself for that. Zzz… somehow I have doubts that she can even make it to the eight station starting from the fifth, much less beginning from Fuji Sengen Shrine. Yes, I know, she still has 3 months to go (I’ve got 5) but with her current mentality & attitude, I don’t see it happening.
I related that to my bro, and also mentioned how J initially claimed that she does not need a backpack & will just carry a sling bag up Mt Fuji. He scoffed, and then told me that I better not go along with it, or it would end up a very horrible trip… one that I’ll definitely regret. He even went on to say that I might not even be able to do much walking about in the city with her current physical condition. Pffftttt… my brain agrees with him.
That aside, the issue with E still exists. We set up a FB group for this, so that we could share links & info more easily. She’s been linking private rooms with ensuite bathrooms, and when I told her that a simple 3 person room will suffice, she doesn’t seem very keen with having a shared bathroom. Ugh. The difference between a room with ensuite and a room without at the same location (a backpacker’s hostel) is ¥3,900 vs ¥3,300. Not to mention, just a few metres away, there’s a ryokan for ¥3,000 – shared bathroom of cos. It might sound that I’m being cheap, but hey, I did make it darn clear from the start that I’m a budget traveler. Paying like S$15 more just to have an ensuite bathroom, that will probably be only used twice a day, is a luxury I don’t wish to indulge in! I’m already taking a ‘a step up’ but not suggesting dorms ffs. Seriously, it’s not as if we are going to some not so developed country. This is Tokyo we are talking about. How bad can their shared baths be?
Meh. S$15 might not be much for a rich girl like her who is accustomed to eating at restaurants… but for me, S$15 can pay for 5 days of lunch if I eat at the hawker. Do I really wanna spend 5 days lunch worth for something as frivolous as an ensuite bathroom in a room where we’ll only return to at night to sleep? O_O
Arrgghhh… much as I badly want this vacation & am greatly looking forward to it, should I take my bro’s advice and dodge the bullet by pulling out? Finding ideal travel companions is so… Mission: Impossible. Ugh.