We had to pass small towns at the base of Mt Fuji.
Soon we were on the winding paths up Mt Fuji herself! We could see some small blooms of cherry blossoms… but were actually a week too early for the full cherry blossom bloom as they bloom much later than those in Tokyo city.
The forest at the base of the mountain is named Aokigahara. In Japanese folklore, Aokigarhara is a forest inhabited by many demons, spirits and goblins. In the past, poor families will abandon their young children or old aged folks should they have no means to feed them. Till this day, Aokigahara is the number 2 top location in the world for sucides. ( The top spot goes to the Golden Gate Bridge at San Francisco, US). The idea of a difficult and haunted forest has had some thrill seeking hikers try to hike the forest, hoping to catch a glimpse of the paranormal.
Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan at 3,776 m and is surrounded by 5 lakes. It is an active volcano.
The summit of Fuji Mountain is regarded as scared and was forbidden to women till the Meji Era. Nowadays climbing Mount Fuji is a very popular sport. The local saying goes ” You would be a fool not to climb Mt. Fuji once—but a fool to do so twice.” The climbing season is in July and August.
In no time, we reached the 5th station. The highest point the coach can take you and the starting point for which climbers will start their accent up the mountain summit.
Sushi and I were first to get ourselves on the slopes of the mountain, bounding up steps and rocks like mad women. While Koji and Clara took their time taking photos at the base of the 5th station.
We all wanted to have our pictures taken on the snow capped Mount Fuji! It was a little tricky to navigate the slippery volcanic ash and melted snow slopes. Luckily I had on the rain boots I bought the other day.
Poor Clara wore flats and probably had the hardest time climbing.
Sushi was going all gaga from the mountain air… lol… but I have to say she dressed most appropriately for the trip!
If you’re wondering why crazy Renzze is wearing a dress to climb, well, I’m actually really tolerant to cold and I wore frilly shorts beneath my skirt so I won’t zao geng (run light). Of course the shorts made my middle a little bulkier than normal under the thin cotton dress… but when you’re having so much fun… who cares!
Sushi slipped and fell a couple of times, pretty gleefully though… lol. And we had a mini snow fight. Tried to take video of the snow fight but it was a lot easier to snow fight without having to hold the camera or focus on not damaging the camera in the process! Hehehe.
Even frozen Koji had a adrenaline rush! She took out her gloves so she can better take photos!
Here I am with my new companion! He looks perfectly happy against the white snow. I would so love to bring Louis and Emmie but since that isn’t possible, a representative has gotta do.
See how Sushi and I are carrying bags from the same cruise collection? Geez! The 2 of us have such similar tastes! I have the exact same bag as her and almost brought it on the trip with me but I figured the speedy version would be more compact for my suitcase.
Clara had lots of small stones in her flats! I ended up being her tongkat (walking stick) for the descent. I guess being short meant that I had a lower center of gravity and thus have no problems with balance.
One last look at the pretty landscape and the peak before heading into the coach! We were really lucky cause the sky was so clear that we were able to see the peak. That moment passed quickly and soon the peak was enveloped in clouds.
We were taken down Fuji Mountain and towards Hakone for lunch in a hotel resort up in the mountain.
We certainly looked forward to lunch after expanding all that energy on Mount Fuji. The hotel restaurant was surrounded with glass that allowed us to appreciate the greenery and the beauty of the nature around us.
That is the view from my table. So calming right?
There was a choice of western (catered) or japanese (self-order) cuisine. We took the japanese one. However, on hindsight, while the western one may be more expensive, it would have been much more filling and thus more value.
I would have love to have more time to explore the hotel surroundings cause we passed a beautiful garden coming in. But since we were on a 1 day tour, we had to be on schedule.
Our adventures are far from over but I need my beauty sleep so I’ll leave you all with a video from the Mount Fuji visit and continue in my next post.
PS – I’ve already watched Transformers 2 and it’s fantastic! Don’t wanna spoil the show for you guys so go watch it soon! I even changed my banner with a transformers theme… =) Do be patient and give it some time to load. Let me know if you like it!