The first thing about this place is learning how the hell to pronounce it. When Japanese people asked where we were going and we replied Fujikahubleurghko we got some blank looks. It is much easier to say Mount Fuji! Although it would have been fantastic to climb Mount Fuji, it was off season and only recommended for experienced climbers and we were in no way fit enough to tackle it!
We arrived on a lovely clear day and got to our hostel which had an amazing view of the mountain. Also the hostel deserves a mention here – If you do find yourself in this area this hostel was the best we have stayed in so far. I’m writing this in New Zealand and this still holds true. We stayed at K’s House Fuji View (http://kshouse.jp/fuji-view-e/index.html) and it was so well equipped. The kitchen was miles better than what we have at home! The only thing that was confusing about it was the sign for the women’s toilets. Looks kind of…male… to me!
The first day we arrived, we walked round the lakes and got some lovely views of the mountain. I have seen some things on this trip that were meant to move me. People said that when I saw the Taj Mahal I would be moved by it. Meh. But I could have looked at this mountain all day. I actually stopped for about half an hour just to gaze at it! I’m glad I filled my eyeballs with as much of it as I could because the next day the clouds descended and it was like it never was!
We went on a hike to a viewpoint which would have been amazing but alas there was nothing there. We had to improvise.
There were still lots of lovely things to see on the walk including a stunning little temple half way up with some interesting statues. Andrew did the Shinto Buddhism cleansing hand-washing thing. There was a point on the walk in the woods where we stopped to listen and could hear nothing. I mean actually nothing, no birds, no cars, no wind. Nothing. I could hear the blood in my ears pumping which was so weird!
We walked 18km in total and were knackered when we got back! We treated ourselves to two helpings of the japanese curry! I had just ditched a lot of my clothes in Bangkok as they were too big and bought smaller ones. As I shovelled in my curry I could feel my waistband tightening – I hoped I wasn’t going to have to upsize again! I buried the thought with some Meji chocolate and 7/11 cookies.
We were really lucky that we arrived on the day we did as the next day (the day we were leaving) was also cloudy. We met a guy from the states who had only come for two days and hadn’t managed to see it at all which must have been gutting for him.
Grateful for our experience we got back on the bus to Tokyo. We were headed to a hotel in Narita before flying out the next day. As we were on the bus Andrew decided to check the flight. As it turned out I had made the most delightful mistake ever! I had thought we were leaving a day earlier than we were. We had a whole extra day in Japan! Luckily the hotel let me move the booking til the next day and we quickly found a hostel in Tokyo and set to making the most of our last 24 hours.