Sunday, June 30, 2019

The elusive Mt. Fuji

Mt. Fuji to me is like the Statue of Liberty of New York or the Eiffel Tower of Paris. It's the quintessential symbol of  Japan in general and Tokyo in particular. Though its 2+ hours of a bus ride away from Tokyo, it's something that I take special effort visiting, cause, well that's the symbol of Japan for me.

Mt. Fuji from Lake Kawaguchiko

As I write this blog post from a Ryokan facing the Mt. Fuji, I can't feel any more sad. This is the 4th time I have made a long trip out here to see the mountain and all I see is the base of the mountain covered by crazy amounts of clouds at the top. I haven't ever yearned to see anything else in my life, as much as I have for this now elusive mountain.

The first time ever I made the trip, it was a very sweet colleague of mine who drove me all the way from Tokyo to a spot where he said I would see Mt. Fuji for sure, when we couldn't see anything from there, he took me around the mountain to a few other places so that I could see "something". Unfortunately, all we saw really were clouds covering a mountain. To his credit, he showed me Odawara castle and Hakone in the process!

The second time, I did a day trip on a bus to see Mt. Fuji. While we made it to the 5th station, we couldn't really see the mountain. After that, the next time I made the effort was on our way to Kyoto. Everyone told me that we should sit on the "E" seats on the Shinkansen (bullet train) headed towards Kyoto and we will see the mountain after Hamamatsu station. Again, all we saw was a mountain base whose top was covered by clouds.

Then someone advised us that if you go to the top of Mt. Mitsutoge, then you can see Mt. Fuji for sure. So we did a 3.5 hour crazy hike up, to see clouds. All in all, I have seen clearer views of Mt. Fuji on the internet than in real life.

Panoramic view of Mt. Fuji from Mt Mitsutoge

Anyway, I do understand that the best time to see Mt. Fuji is in winter, and I have never been to Tokyo in winter. So there, I have a valid reason. Anyway, today I also found out that there is a company that provides you pictures with Mt. Fuji in your background if you are unlucky and you happen to be on a day when it is cloudy at the top.

Souvenir photo of Mt. Fuji in your background

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