Sweet old memories… exactly one year old..
Mount Fuji Part 1..
On a drenched morning, we began our trip to Mt. Fuji. My eyes fixatingly watched my steps, carefully choosing dry spaces, wading through puddles towards Tokyo Station.
It was supposed to be a clear sunny day.. meticulously chosen for a trip like this. It wasn’t. 😐 Just the night before a heavy storm burst above Tokyo city and made heavens pour cats and dogs. We stuck to the plan. It was still the better option than sitting in apartment and sulking away.
It was a long weekend. Train was crowded with little place to stand erect.. we scooched in. A long wait for a place to sit began. Thank God, it was rapid express. Rapid enough to reach Otsuki in ~1 hour. 😀 At Otsuki, the crowd dispersed in many directions.. we had another train to catch.
“To Mt. Fuji..?” we asked Station Master. He didn’t smile (at our ignorance), directed us to the special Fuji san limited express on Fujikyoko line that finally stops at Kawaguchiko Station. The train had caricutures of Mt. Fuji in different moods painted all over it (how creative!). It was less crowded and spacious like a French house. We settled in one of the best available seats. Through its windows, majestic Fuji-san, amidst the hovering clouds, said “hello..” and there was a first smile of the day spreading from ear to ear.. 😀
Clouds played hide and seek..
It was a well researched trip. Also budgeted and planned. We knew exactly what we wanted to see and do in just one day we had. First, visit Oishi Park to see Fuji-san rising from the sea of lavenders.. precious and most intriguing figment of my research. And then boating point at Lake Kawaguchi. And 5th station après. Too much to pack in a day but had no choice. There were far more alluring options we had hard time letting go. 😐
Station’s cafeteria played neoteric tunes of happy place. Touristy hustle bustle continued.. we grabbed a quick coffee and moved on.
Bus headed towards Oishi Park..on the road along beautiful lake Kawaguchi.. and made its final halt at the lakefront beset by mountains.. with Oishi Park in between..
The place reeked profusely with soothing aroma.. very powerful scent that could set everything right.. and laid before our eyes was a vivid violet tapestry. A sea of lavender surrounded by smokey mountains and virid green lake… Mt. Fuji in the backdrop..sleeping like a child, tucked in the bed of fluffy white clouds. I was in the most romantic ambiance ever. 🙂
Entire day, with improving weather conditions, I hoped against hope that clouds will drift away and I could catch the glimpse of Fuji-san rising from the sea of lavender but it didnt happen… alas! that fantasy remained un-fulfilled.
Nevertheless I had better takeaways – some great pictures to adorn my facebook wall, soothing aroma of the lavenders as a souvenir and a promise of return!
Mount Fuji Part 2..
Another day.. another journey.. to meet this great guardian of Japan before I leave for homeland. Our second trip to Mt. Fuji.
Weather was sunny and getting muggier as the day progressed.. From the train window (yes! I got the window seat this time.. yay!) I could see people, half-nude, lying on the grass having emptied bottle of sunscreen on their body.. basking in the sun. It was a good sign..
Buses to 5th Station starts from outside Kawaguchiko Stn, just a block away from cafeteria. For Kanto Pass holders they give ~50% discount(more on this later!). Yay! We bought our tickets.
It was lunchtime already.
At Kawaguchiko station’s cafe, tourists feasted on Japanese delicacies and cold beer.. happy songs continued in the background. We had a brunch and headed to 5th station. After one hour uphill climb, we reached there.. feeling giddy!
5th station is the busiest place.. half way up the mountain.. the base station from where hiking starts.. flurried with geared-up hikers, amused onlookers.. and endless lanes of shops selling/renting hiking gears.
At one corner, a Japanese hiker in his late sixties may be.. was helping his grandson of age 5-6 approximately to put on his cool little hiking backpack (surprised!? me too!!). Their paradoxical ages hardly impinged their determination.. as if true adventure spirit begun and ended there.
From here crown seemed closer. Clouds made petty efforts to hold vast of the mountain underneath them. Soothing breeze relieved from torrid afternoon heat.
And there I had the best view of Mt. Fuji at last. Up-close. Personal. Unhindered.
Mount Fuji.. the revered “Fuji-san” by locals and foreigners alike. One glimpse and respect came naturally.
We both rushed back to Oishi park.. to savor the unseen views from the past – Fuji-san rising from the sea of lavenders.
But, lavenders were gone.. with the beginning of summer… but then I got this picture.
Someone rightly said “Not every day is good but there is always something good in every day”. So true.