Obviously I knew I was in Japan, I’d done all the planning, booked the flights and I am already having a brilliant time exploring parts of this remarkably easy to enjoy country. In spite of feeling incredibly stupid with my utter lack of Japanese confounding me with every personal interaction I have, Japan has so far has been a hoot.
It wasn’t until the express bus pulled into Kawaguchiko that I really felt like I’d made it, that I was truly in Japan. It was the cloud shrouded peak of Mount Fuji that delivered that punch of reality, the slap of realisation. Mount Fuji, wow!
I first learnt about Fuji in primary school when we had a Japanese teacher for a term, although my Japanese language abilities have diminished since then, I still recall my childhood fascination with this exotic country far from home. It was been a dream of mine since I was young to one day come and stare at this magnificent mountain, this striking symbol of Japan.
The cloud obscured mountain offers glimpses of it’ snow peak through the day time, it’s white summit blending into the clouds that seem to grow out of the mountain itself, causing swathes of the mountain to disappear frustratingly from view for hours on end. The clouds don’t dissipate until the early evening, finally delivering to me the classic, majestic, Mount Fuji view I had dreamed of seeing, the snow covered peak sparkling brightly in the spring sun.
The lakeside town of Kawaguchiko isn’t too bad, it’s superbly placed as a location to view Mount Fuji, with views of the mountain from all over town, along with the stunning mountain views from the north shore of Lake Kawaguchi. Kawaguchiko is a place for peaceful acivities, fishermen balance on small boats and ply the lake, seating or standing from the waters edge. Pleasure boats cruise the tranquil waters, an experience on the itinerary of many visitors here.
Tourist busses roll slowly round the lake from the train station, stopping frequently, like the cyclists following the lakeside path, to enjoy the unobstructed views of Fuji from the lakes north shore. In spite of the number of tourists, Kawaguchiko is pretty quiet, especially at night, when all the day trippers have gone back to where they came from. Fuji-san and the mountains that surround the lake are pitch black against the midnight blue sky, the stars twinkling lightly.