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Day 11 Japan - Matsumoto to Fuji

JAPAN | Thursday, 14 November 2019 | Views [22]

Matsumoto to Fuji

 

The Japan Jaunt continued today with the main target the mountain – Fuji San. Negotiating mountain highways through beautiful autumn coloured forests and wide valleys on motorways, Hiro drove us onward. As we drew closer to Fuji, we knew we would be assured of clear skies – not always the case, as with many high mountains having their own weather patterns. The morning was spectacular and we were excited at our first glimpses of Japan’s highest peak. Leaving the motorway, we wound our way upwards to the 5th station at a height of 2300 metres above sea level. Small pockets of snow started to appear at the side of the road as we neared our stop; an indicator of just how fresh the air might be when we disembarked the bus; and it was, with sharp and very chilly wind gusts; but we’d made it. With the necessary photo opps taken, we moved inside for something warming to eat and some souvenir shopping. We really were very lucky with the weather, and part way back down the mountain Hiro chose to stop at one of his favourite lookouts, and there were very few other people there; and great views down and across the valley below.

 

Arriving back on flat ground we visited Oshino Hakkai; known as the Springs of Mt Fuji. There are eight ponds which are fed by melting snow that filters from the slopes of Mount Fuji through porous layers of lava. The clear spring water in the ponds is revered by the locals and is home to freshwater plants and large fish. Around the ponds, visited by a prolific number of tourists, are the usual souvenir shops and market stalls selling some tasty local treats, like giant freshly cooked, warm, heart shaped rice crackers, or mugwort mochi filled with sweet red beans. Tasty…

 

As the sun started to drop towards the hills and before we found our hotel for the night, we made our last stop for the day. Oishi Park is on the far side of Lake Kawaguchi and is the perfect spot to see Mt Fuji in the setting sun…spectacular!

 

Our hotel was in a busy spot, but when we opened the curtains in our room Mt Fuji was so close it felt like you could almost reach out and touch it. (Even though there was an amusement park in between 😊). We quickly freshened up and joined our fellow travellers for our farewell dinner – a Japanese style buffet, and delicious. Following dinner Sara and I ventured upstairs to the onsen, the ladies’ public bath, no clothes allowed. An interesting but very relaxing experience as we soaked our travel weary bodies in the warm healing waters

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