Gotenba & Hakone

December 27, 2013 in Japan

On our first anniversary, the danna took two days off so we could have a little retreat away from all the chaos in the city. Tokyo is crowded beyond belief during year end and a toilet visit in departmental store may take up to 20 minutes depending on the queue.

We took a 2 hour drive to Gotenba (御殿場 at Shizuoka), famous for its Gotenba Premium Outlet, where all the  overseas group tours like to include in their itinerary. Shopping is one thing, but our main business here is to eat sushi lol.

When it comes to sushi, i don’t even think about Tsukiji, because i have found my absolute fav. Except that it is not really in Tokyo and we can’t really drive 2 hours away every time we crave sushi.

View from Gotenba outlet.

In winter you normally get a full, clear view of Mt Fuji very very very up close! It’s quite surreal to be so busy shopping and admiring the magnificent mountain at the same time.



And our fav sushi shop is called Uogashi. It is located right next to SLY/MOUSSY outlet stores near one of the bridges. The queue is normally about just 10 minutes. You must must must try if you go to Gotenba!

We ordered all the Aburi sushi on the menu lol. See the bottom left pair of sushi? It’s called Engawa. Keep these fellas in mind. I’ll elaborate more on that.

Then i had to revisit the fav creamy fish ball sac again wtf. It is still sooooo good.

Kazunoko is fish roe but instead of bursting little pearls, this one is kind of crunchy!

And then comes the life-changing sushi lol.

It is called Engawa, i have no translation for it in English, but basically it’s a body part of a flounder. Not a gross part. Pretty sure it’s a legitimate and politically correct body part.

The one you see is raw. The danna prefer this because he loooooves the chewiness of it. Not really my cup of tea.

The is Aburi Engawa (Seared Engawa). They just flame it slightly AND IT TASTES LIFE CHANGING.

The nearest thing i could compare its taste to is yakiniku. A super premiun slice of perfectly-marbled wagyu beef, so full of fattiness it just melts in your mouth the moment it meets your tongue. I have no idea which i like more, a slice of super wagyu or this engawa sushi. They will have to both win.

Mind you, there are other sushi restaurants that serve Engawa also, but none close to this one. Don’t say i got bad taste oh if you encounter the not so good ones!



Serving the most luxurious for the last, we have…


jeng jeng jeng jeng…


Uni (sea urchin).

Normally in Malaysia you can order it in Rakuzen for like what, RM18 er piece? This one is not cheap too, it is 1800 yen (RM58) for just two sushi.



They call it “Sungoi Uni” lol. (Means extreme/very geng uni). In fact they have a whole sushi series called the “Sungoi Series”, including ikura, sakura ebi, etc. All overflowing wan.

I call it the uni banjir. Look at how it overflows the entire piece of sushi until cannot even see lolol.

Looks like human tongue hor if it’s reddish.

Anyway this uni also tasted like no other uni i’ve tried. The rest were kinda sloppy and melty and half liquified already, but this one remains its very fine texture, which allows you to really, really taste the whole uni-ness of it.

Ok that’s all for sushi.


After a happy lunch and some shopping, we drove to Hakone Shrine (to give our thanks and pray).

I love Hakone!



Then we check into our ryokan (traditional Japanese hotel).

Did i mention it before (i seriously need to install extra memory chips in my brain wtf) that ryokan is my fav??? A friend said she will never stay in ryokan because it looks like the house which well Sadako climbed out from lolol.

View from our room.

Ok la i get it. Too much Japanese horror and maybe it does somehow look like those creepy olden houses. But man ryokan with onsen is the best. The BEST.

Ours was super spacious with a separate room for beds (normally they remove the dining table and put futon (Japanese mattress/bedding) over the tatami. The ryokan people will come and help you make your bed.

And serve you tea and snacks.

The one we stayed in has in-room dining. Something like a 8-course traditional Japanese dinner.


Oh ya and you always change into a kimono/yukata of your choice. (Only girls get to pick the colors. Guys are forever navy blue lolol. I wanna be a girl in my next life too.)

Course dinner.

Everything was very very good!!! And super healthy! All the dishes are either steamed/braised/simmered/raw, and could taste literally zero oil. The seasoning was so light yet so flavorful.

What are these?! Some unidentified fish?! Noooo they are all vegetable. Looks so cute and realistically sushi right!!! First one is obviously veggie, next one is kabu (radish, which looks like squid right??), then myoga (Japanese giner, which looks like shellfish??), and then some other preserved veg i forgot.

After dinner we went to our onsen. OUR onsen. Because we have attached outdoor onsen in our room. (!!!!) *floats into sky*

The danna says “you can go few hundred times if you want”.  i briefly considered setting the alarm middle of the night multiple times so i could go to the onsen again and again and again.

But i only took a short dip so i don’t overheat myself!!

After onsen we rested on tatami to watch TV and laughed at all the variety shows until stomach pain. I wish they air Owarai (comedy varieties) overseas and dub them.


The next day.

We had to check out early T____T. So bu she de to leave this place. Before that of course more dip in onsen. And then our car was frosted lol.


Snow in Hakone was also much more than last year.

Which was perfect for a white Xmas.


How did you guys spend your Xmas?? 🙂


Stored in Japan | 62 Cheesed

62 people cheesed “Gotenba & Hakone”

  1. That’s what I need now. Thank you.

  2. Haha omg! In the last picture, I really thought you wrote “Merry Christmas” in the snow!!! Then I realize it’s not! Hehe. Anyway, Happy Anniversary to you and danna!

  3. This looks amazing! Could you please share the name of ryokan?

  4. Love your post ^^nI’ve been to Hakone with my grandma once! It’s really lovely!nHope to go there again next year!

  5. so jealous! I want to taste all that sushi too 🙂 Happy Anniversary to you and your danna and Merry Christmas!

  6. BiiBiiBeauty says:

    Ah I am so jealous! Ryoken with osen is something I always want to have a chance to go to! Looks so relaxing! What a lovely way to spend the first anniversary 🙂

  7. congrats on your little bun in the oven!! have a query, wonder if you can be help? do you have any articles/feedback regarding onsen for pregnant women as well as eating raw fish (sashimi) during pregnancy? i believe japanese women continue to do both during their pregnancies, but most chinese (in M’sia & SG) will avoid raw rish! just wondering if there’s anything you may have come across that can be used to deflect overly concerned grandmothers-to-be! =P thanks dear! you are looking as lovely as always. =)

  8. Happy Anni cheesie! and congrats on ur earlier post! :PnnFinally we got a sneak shot of the Danna! hehehehe! he looks very ikemen!

  9. Happy anniversary to you and ur Danna!! Enjoy yourself at japan!!

  10. I dun believe in the raw fish thing. 🙂 but Singapore and Malaysia sashimi is not as fresh. My sister in law was admitted to hospital for eating unfresh sashimi so to me, it is more whether it is fresh and not so much of sashimi la. 🙂

  11. Congratulations on your last post and happy anniversary! As well as a belated Christmas and Happy New Year ahead. Enjoy yourself!

  12. omg! I swear I gonna go thr whn I visit japan! cheesie cn I noe wats the name of the ryoken?

  13. Hey Ringo!nWill you please tell me the name of that Ryokan??? It looks amazing!

  14. Happy anniversary by the way ^___^

  15. hakone looks like the shooting place in wolverine! @@

  16. 寿司おいしそう〜私なんか長い間食べてない気がする、、汗nn温泉気持ち良いよね!nn私のクリスマスは結構静かだった!食べ過ぎて、寝過ぎて。でもそれもたまには悪くないかな?

  17. @ A MuslimahnnIm a muslim myself but seriously?? what’s with comment? How would you like if a jewish/christian/other religion comment the same thing about their religion.

  18. Now I know. Thanks for your comment.

  19. I also first time see this on my blog haha

  20. お正月もお食べ過ぎないようにw

  21. Haha that was Nagasaki in the film. But I doubt the actually set was in Nagasaki. Then again it could be hakone. So all bets are off lol

  22. Thanks a lot!!!

  23. It’s 華の宿 ふくや

  24. It’s 華の宿 ふくや

  25. Thank you so much

  26. Thanks :)))) hope you get to come back soon!

  27. Lol arigato

  28. Thanks!!! :))) yea I do read up a lot and there are tons of articles on it. Unfortunately they are all in Japanese. >.<

  29. It is not dangerous but there are certain guidelines to them. As long as you follow through. But I guess it’s troublesome for some people so they just avoid it altogether.

  30. thanks for the reply Cheesie♥

  31. Anyway even if you eat cooked fish you still have to be careful (mercury level etc). It’s really all up to your discretion and practicing moderation.

  32. Yea that’s our fav relaxing activity hahaha. Really the best XD

  33. Thank you! Come to Japan!

  34. Come back soon!!!

  35. Yes yes, it is 華の宿 ふくや

  36. Welcome

  37. Haha! #UseAllTheXmasStamps

  38. Cheesie, you have the radiant glow that preggers have! And I must try the sushi at Gotenba! Sushi-shopping-mount.Fuji ? Can’t think of a better combo ^^

  39. Hi cheesie, do you mind to share what’s the ryokan’s name? Thanx

  40. UNI T___T Literally scroll up and down few times cannot believe really so much!

  41. I thought Hakone was a boring place but you definitely proved me wrong >.<nnWould love to check out that place next time ^^nnand…got to tell you that you look really pretty n glowy… maybe it’s because of the mother-to-be happiness. Haha…nn

  42. Nice photos 🙂 love Mt Fuji!

  43. Thks for sharing the ryokan you stayed!!

  44. Yup. I believe in eating everything and eat more nutrition food. 🙂

  45. Thanks!! Hope so.

  46. Thanks for all this info cheesie! I loveee Japan and try to go at least once a year! I am going again next year and was wondering if you can give me the details of your hakone trip? Links and stuff or transportation etc. My family really once to see a traditional side of Japan that is still within reachable distance from Tokyo. I don’t think they would survive super long train rides. Any ideas would be nice! 🙂 nnp/s: Most of the ideas of places to go in Japan would be from referring to your blog so thanks a lot! Happy New Year Cheesie! <3

  47. just looking at the food, im full already ^-^. Thanks for sharing

  48. Haha best combo!!!!

  49. I did!! 🙂

  50. Lolololol you must see it for yourself

  51. Haha see it in new light!

  52. Me too!

  53. You are welcome!!! Anyway we always drive to hakone and it only takes about 2 hours so there’s no long train ride haha. Check out the “Romance Car”. It’s a comfy train ride with great view!

  54. Normally people see is hungry wan why you so weird XD

  55. This is my first scrolling through the comments section and I realised how you actually reply them! Just wanted to tell you I think you’re a really nice person! 🙂 haha happy pregnancy! 🙂

  56. Thank you!! 🙂

  57. I’m one of your many many many Malay fans Cheesie. I wish I could meet you one day.n I’m leaving for Japan for a short vacay on Feb23rd until the 28th. Will be staying in Akihabara for the whole trip but we’re planning to go to Hakone (for a MT Fuji tour) on the 1st day. Can you tell me what’s the temperature/weather like Cheesie? Appreciate it so much! You’re so humble and treat your readers kindly. Wishing you all the joy & happiness for 2014.

  58. In Feb it is really really cold!!!!! X( you can always check IPhone weather, it’s quite accurate!! You can’t climb up the mountain though only at 5th station cuz it’s only open in summer :))))nnHave great fun!!!!

  59. Cheesie, thank you very much for your Japan posts. All of them are very insightful and have helped me plan my first ever trip to Japan. Much love and God bless. -Audz

  60. i loled at uni banjir. XD

  61. Hi Cheesie,

    Love to read ur Japan posts 🙂 Care to share the name of Ryokan in English? I tried to copy and paste the Japanese name but not sure if I get it correct. Did you book online?

    Thanks 🙂

  62. Hi Cheesie! Do you mind if you share the name of the ryokan that you stayed in?

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