‘The Mountain Of Fuji’

No, that can’t be Mount Fuji

I dismissed my sisters query very authoritatively, as I snuggled back into my seat.

Where is the snow cap and cloud cover?

First sight of Fuji San (and the roller coaster from a theme park in the vicinity) from our bus.

My sister’s faith in my opinion was plain for all to see, when she turned to our guide for confirmation. “Nooooo! Where is the snow cap and cloud cover?” she replied, as I smirked at dear sis.

” Hehehe…..I was joking, that IS Fuji-san”

Even my sister didn’t think that was funny, as we grabbed our cameras and scrambled for decent shots from the moving vehicle.

We should be grateful, we were told, that the notoriusly ‘shy lady’ was brazenly ‘unveiled’ just for our benefit. That she only revealed herself some 100 days in an entire year.

“Do you have any idea how many people go back without getting a glimpse of her beauty? ”

But where is the snow cap?” I muttered under my breath.

We were to drive right up the mountain – on a musical road, no less – to the Kawaguchiko 5th station, that lies at approximately the halfway point of the Yoshida Trail. This is where hikers refuel on their ascent to the summit.

From that close, Fuji-san looked well….even less like Fuji-san! The consolation was a bit of the early autumn foliage, that us tropical creatures had been so eager to witness.

DSC_0007 copy

Cable car
Journey to Owakudani
Steam vents and bubbling pools in Owakudani – or great boiling valley – an area around a crater created during the last eruption of Mount Hakone some 3000 years ago.

Our next viewpoint was Owakudani, involving a scenic cable car ride up and a walk through sulphur vents and hot springs.  And a brief pit stop for the black eggs (eggs hard cooked in the sulfur springs) that are said to prolong one’s presence on earth by a minimum of seven years! They had run out sadly, and my hope of seven bonus years to complete my travel bucket list was dashed.

From up here, we could discern a faint resemblance to the Fuji etched into our brains. Very very faint mind you, and most likely the result of the veil of clouds that by now shrouded her summit.FujiI had little expectations gong into Japan on an impromptu escorted tour. But nothing prepared me for the disappointment of seeing Mount Fuji without her customary cap. It was somewhat like discovering that the Taj Mahal is actually painted red! (Okay, not quite that drastic, but you get the picture.)

Now let me ask you something:

What do you think are the chances of getting a fabulous shot of Fuji-san – snow cap and all – without ever stepping foot in Japan?

The answer is here!

Unfair really.