Monday, April 15, 2024

Konnichiwa Mount Fuji


Mount Fuji

Seldom does it happen you dream the impossible and it comes true. A long cherished dream to visit the perfect 'la la land' came true. The experiences of this lovely country need to be shared with all the personal experiences that have now been added to the treasure trove. The first and the most obvious experience worth sharing is seeing Mt Fuji in all its grandeur.

Early in the morning, we left our Airbnb accommodation to head for the Star City Highway Bus stop located in one of the most happening Shibuya districts of Tokyo. The Kosokubus was to leave at 7AM for which I had booked my seats much in advance. After disembarking the Fukutoshin line train I stepped out in front of one of the biggest road crossings called the ' Scramble Square' where at any time on average 3000 people cross the road simultaneously at a busy hour. I could not locate the bus stop despite having located the Mark Star City Hotel. Soon I realized that the bus stop was on the fifth floor of the terrace of the hotel! Sounds unbelievable, but true.

Lake Kawaguchiko overlooking Mt Fuji

The efficient staff ushered us onto the bus that left the bus stop sharp at 7 AM. The journey of two hours was a breeze as the bus glided on the smooth roads. The jaw-dropping skyscraper scenery soon changed to the scores of cherry blossom trees we encountered on either side of the road every few kilometres.   There were two stops en route to pick up other passengers. Just before our stop, the bus stopped at Fuji Q highland stop where a gargantuan edifice of a roller coaster loomed large. It is a huge amusement park where the activity was visible even at this early hour. At 1020 AM we were at the Kawaguchiko bus stop at the foothill of Mt Fuji.  The crowds were already swelling as people could be seen heading for Lake Kawaguchiko behind which the towering Mt Fuji stands in all its splendor.  It was a surreal moment, to witness this beauty which I had read only in Geography texts. It was an emotional moment to assimilate the beauty and serenity all around. My wife and I picniced by the side of the lake admiring the beauty while sipping Matcha latte! A heavenly experience indeed. 

(Layout of Mt Fuji region- Courtesy

At the Kawaguchiko Bius Stop

As we were to return only by 5.20 PM bus we decided to make the best use of the time by buying a 'Day Pass' for unlimited travel on the Red Blue and Green lines buses that operate during the day to almost the entire length and breadth of Mt Fuji region. There is a galore of museums, flora and fauna, bamboo groves, rare trees, and many hues of cherry blossoms in full bloom to see

There are options like a Ropeway that takes you to the summit, trails to explore the region, and even climbing the peak during the season(July to Sep), besides visiting shrines like Gokuku and many more. There are lovely markets that sell all kinds of food, beverages, and the best of wines. 

An old rail coach at Kawaguchiko station

The time just flew and soon the sky was overcast and it was dark.  There is an old train parked next to the Kawaguchiko station that takes you back in time.  There are several options to come to Mt Fuji including viewing it on the Bullet train, Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka. We boarded our bus which left sharp at 5.20 pm for Shibuya and were greeted by scores of twinkling lights. 

Mount Fuji and the Tokyo harbour as seen from a flight

Little did I realize that I would be blessed twice more to admire the beauty of  Fuji on the return flight from Osaka to Tokyo and soon after from the runway at Haneda airport on the way back to Delhi for a full 20 minutes while the plane gained height from Haneda airport.  I was filled with gratitude to the almighty for bestowing his blessings in the form of the splendid views of the sacred Mt Fuji

PS- All pics are mine

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