Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mom's Visit: Mt. Fuji

I was so glad to hear that my mom slept well her first night in Japan. It doesn’t feel right making your mom sleep on a futon on the floor, but that’s what we had in Japan so we had to make due. We had a leisurely morning, and around 11:00 am we headed out.

We got in my tiny car, and headed to Mt. Fuji. I really tried hard not to show how stressed out I was about driving all the way out to Mt. Fuji without a navigator. Usually I drive, and Ben tells me where to go. This is an ideal system because I don’t read much Japanese, and Japanese don’t label streets, so Ben usually stares at his phone and gives me directions like, “turn left at the light, but the middle left one not the left, left one.” I miss the grid system from back home.

The fall foliage is still spectacular, and the drive was just as beautiful as the first time Ben and I did it a few weeks ago. When we first saw Mt. Fuji, there were little clouds, like a belt around her middle. It must have snowed a few times in the last month, because the snowcap now went two thirds down the mountain. Mt. Fuji was once again stunning, the snow shimmered in the sunlight, and clouds danced around her like little birds.

My plan was to go to one of the less urbanized lakes with a view of Mt. Fuji, but I got lost. We found ourselves on the southwest shore of lake Kawaguchiko, which is beautiful, but Mt. Fuji is not visible. We drove around the south side of the lake until we reached the east shore, this is the tourist trap zone, but there were beautiful views of Mt. Fuji, as well as beautiful trees.

We made our way to the Ropeway that goes up from lake Kawaguchiko to the top of Mt. Kachi Kachi. The view from the top of Mt. Kachi Kachi was spectacular, it offered an unobstructed view of the mountain, which was breathtaking. It was my favorite view of Mt. Fuji.

We ate hoto noodles at a small restaurant with a beautiful view of the mountain across the lake. After lunch we drove around in the forests at the foot of Mt. Fuji. It was fun to watch the mountain peak in out behind thick trees. The fall foliage was amazing, but there was still green everywhere. The rocks were covered in moss, the evergreens were lush, and the grounds were alive with grass and mushrooms. I forget how alive places get when there is abundant rain. We kept driving until it started to get dark, and then we headed to our hotel.

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