Travel Plans/August 2023
- Fireworks festival at Meiji Jingu https://jinguhanabi.com; requires tickets that go on sale on July 15th; paid seats, which is weird, but the cheapest seats are ¥6000 and are in the rugby stadium; mika can buy
- Fukagawa Hachiman Matsuri 11-15th in Tokyo ; the main thing is at about 13:30-15:30pm on August 13th. We should be there!
- Schedule and maps are online here: http://www.tomiokahachimangu.or.jp/shahoNew/pdf/tomigaoka109_reisai.pdf#page=1
- August 15th evening fireworks in Ota (7:30pm):  
- garlic restaurants
Plan is to start in Fujinomiya in a hotel near the station.
- Both Options
- 635am get bus Fujinomiya Station → Fujinomiya 5th Station  (Mika should verify this information on the bus website)
- Both Options
- 755am: arrive at Fujinomiya 5th Station and start climb to the top (should take "up to 5 hours" to make the climb)[ https://www.jrailpass.com/blog/climbing-mount-fuji]
- Option 1
- Descend back down the Fujinomiya train (which could take Up to 2 hours and 45 minutes ) for a total of 7h45m to make the last bus back at 7pm ; one concern is that this route might be congested; we then proceed back in more-or-less the same way (we'd have 11h from arriving to make this)
- Option 2
- Descend down the Yoshida Trail (the most popular route with a separate descent route) 8to Fuji Subaru 5th Station (should take "up to 3.5h" for a total of 8.5h to get the last bus at 6:40 [] to Kawaguchiko (we'd have 10h45m from arrival to make this)
- Option 3
- Descent down the Subashiri trail although we'd need to make the last bus at 17:45 (because the 18:45 only runs on Sat/Sun, holidays and 8/14-16); that path down should take "up to 3 hours" though and we'd have 9h50m from when we leave; if we've made good time up to the time we should consider this because it should be the least crowded route down, by far; should be much more in the woods
- Japanese Bus schedule: https://bus.fujikyu.co.jp/rosen/fujitozan
- PDF for Fujinomiya schedule: https://bus.fujikyu.co.jp/pdf/rosen/fujitozan/fujinomiyatozan_fare_eng.pdf
- PDF for the Subaru (Yoshida Trail) schedule: https://bus.fujikyu.co.jp/pdf/rosen/fujitozan/subari_line_202307.pdf
- Very nice pamphlet from 2018 with lots of maps and stuff in English. That said, all the timetables are wrong! http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/mtpass/_file/climbersbus_en.pdf
- Very nice train map/PDF https://www.fujisan-climb.jp/en/kjhqgg0000002r95-att/Fujinomiya_info2018_en.pdf
- Comparison of trails: https://www.fujisan-climb.jp/en/trails/index.html
- Toilet map (including a PDF we can download): https://www.fujisan-climb.jp/en/mountain_huts_and_toilets.html
Thailand Diving trip planning
Date suggestions would be arriving to Ko Tao on August 20, 2023 and leaving on August 27th. We could then to visit Bangkok for a couple days arriving on the August 27 and leaving on August 30.
Potential dive shops
Sairee beach places in order that I should contact them:
- [Contacted 2023-07-09] [good choice for combo diving/place to stay] Sairee Cottage diving seems to have extremely cheap package deals w/ diving trips  and places as little as $15/night; some have wifi and the Sail Rock trip is on Saturdays
- Mojo Diving goes to Sail Rock every Wednesday and Saturday (6am-1pm) w/ 1.5k reviews on TA: https://mojodiverskohtao.com/
- Shop that runs very early morning trips (6am) but seems to mostly beat the crowds as a result with 1.5k reviews on TA: https://newwaydiving.com/en/fun-diving/
- Bigger newer shop seems to be run entirely by foreigners w/ lots of options (3k reviews on TA): https://www.roctopusdive.com/
- Run by Austrian's with a website in German (200 reviews on TA): https://www.divepoint-kohtao.com/index.php/en/
- [more of a school] Big Bubble which seems to be one of the bigger options: https://www.divingatkohtao.com/
- Hobo-ya (Japanese Dive shop): http://www.hobo-ya.com/kohtao/
- Mae Haad dive shop with built in accommodations and some upgrade options: https://www.crystaldive.com/accommodation-at-crystal-dive/
Places to stay
- Splurge place to stay (~5000 TBH for the cheaper ones) https://www.kohtaocabana.com/
- Just a place to stay but like 1000 baht/night: https://www.summerguesthousekohtao.com/
Mako's Plans for getting in/out
When leaving, it probably makes most sense to fly to Koh Samui. There are direct flights, which are reasonably priced:
There is also the option to take Singapore Airlines (SQ706) leaving at 7:10am, changing in BKK, and arriving at 11:40am in Ko Samui (USM).
Two high speed boats go from Ko Samui to Ko Tao:
The closest pier to the airport is the Ko Samui Bangrak SeaTran Pier and departure are at 12:00 (arriving at 14:15) and 14:30 (arriving 17:00).
An alternative plan would be to fly to Bangkok, which is MUCH cheaper and there are many many options. From there, there are a bunch of options including a sort of bus + high speed boat options. These leave at 6am (arriving at 2:45p) or at 9pm (w/ VIP bus option that costs a little more) arriving a 8:35a the next day.
Bus location in Bangkok for the Lomprayah bus is: 154 Rambuttri rd., Banglumpoo, Bangkok 10200
Request to Sairee Cottages
Greetings! I am interested in arranging for a stay in late August for myself and my wife Mika. It will just be the two of us. We are both PADI Rescue Divers with 100+ dives. Here are the details: - Arriving on Sunday August 20th - Leaving on the morning of Sunday August 27th I think we'd want to plan to dive on all those days: - Monday 21, Tuesday 22, Wednesday 23, Thursday 24, Friday 25 (so 10 dives?) - PLUS a Sail Rock trip on Saturday August 26 In the interest of taking a day off, maybe we can just register for 6 or 8 dives with the idea that we can add one or two based on how we are feeling when we arrive? I think we're flexible in terms of accommodations although a double/queen bed would be fine and we'd love to stay in a place with Wifi. In that sense, the Yellow or Green rooms look most attractive. You can reply to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org Regards, Mako