Day 13 & 14, 1st princess at Miss International Japan - Joseanne's Diary


Day 13 - Today we left for an overnight stay in Hakone. This was a city which suffered last year as there was much devastation from volcanic eruption. Now, however, it has recovered and safe is ready to show its beauty to the world!

We began our day with a stop off at the Museum of Modern Art Hayama and got to see a change from the traditional Japanese artwork we saw in the last museum. We then served practically a feast for lunch in Yokohama's China Town. In the afternoon we were taken on a cruise tour where we could see the Yokohama skyline! Finally we headed to Hakone and were given an amazing welcoming by the locals. Although I was absolutely exhausted, seeing how excited and how much effort to make us feel special the city had put into receiving us was very overwhelming.

We went to visit the Odawara castle at night, which is an ancient samurai castle! The whole area was so beautiful and we were given Japanese lanterns and welcomed with a great firework display. We then were given less than an hour to get ready for our gala dinner with members of the Hakone community! The food was great and it was our last time to wear an evening gown before the final show. Some of the contestants performed. I would like to thank Candenzza Gibraltar for lending me the beautiful dress that I wore. Our final surprise of the day was after dinner as the hotel was a traditional Japanese style so we had our matreses on the floor!

Day 14- Today we visited the nature side of Hakone! When many people think of Japan, they think about Tokyo and big cities, however, the majority of Japan is very green with a lot of natural scenery. Hakone is a city that suffered from volcanic eruption last year and we began the day with a trip up a cable car to see volcanic activity.

The view was spectacular and it was interesting to see the steam emission from the ground, we then went on a short boat cruise around lake Ashi to see more of Hakone's beautiful scenery. After lunch by the lakeside, we visited Hakone's shrine and were able to drink water from the mountain collected from a special fountain outside the shrine that protects the God. It is believed drinking this water will make your dreams come I made sure I drank the whole bottle!

We also visited MOA Museum of Art which has an amazing viewpoint and we were also treated to a traditional tea ceremony which consists of Japanese cake and powdered Macha green tea. Finally we were taken to Hakone's fish paste factory and although this may not sound exciting, the owner gave us so many fruit cakes made from fruit grown in a fertilizer made out of the fish paste byproducts. Perhaps this was not the best idea 3 days before the final but it certainly was very well received by all of the contestants. I was also able to see my family who have traveled from Gibraltar to watch me in the show! Tomorrow we will be showing off our national costumes in the Miss International Japan beauty pageant, so I am excited to be on stage once again.