I've reserved perhaps the last post of my recent Japan trip for the elusive Mount Fuji.
I almost thought I would not be able to see Mount Fuji this trip.. It was a gloomy and rainy day when we went to Lake Kawaguchi, of Fujigoko.
Fujigoko (Fuji Five Lakes) is located at the foot of Mount Fuji at an altitude of roughly 1000 meters above sea level in mountainous Yamanashi Prefecture. It is one of the best places to view Mount Fuji from a close distance and a convenient base for climbing the mountain. Lake Kawaguchi is the largest and most easily accessible of the five lakes.
Lake Kawaguchi is a touristy hot spring resort town.. with a lake and a great view. A retro bus brings you around most of the cute little tourist attractions in the area - herb gardens, music forest, jewellery museum etc. The southeastern shores of Lake Kawaguchi are littered with big and small ryokans.
At Lake Kawaguchi, we stayed at a very good but somewhat overpriced ryokan, Shuhoukaku Kogetsu. It was supposed to have a fantastic view of the lake and Mount Fuji. When we got there, we couldn't see either. And I was bitterly disappointed. But the food and the onsen was pretty good.. and the room we had was fantastic - it had a private foot soak in the balcony. But still... after all that journey and no Mount Fuji?
The weather cleared up the next morning.. but still no Mount Fuji. We planned to leave the region at around 10am. But the sky started clearing up.. and we changed our plans.. and after noon... Mount Fuji was there.. smiling at us.
That's the good thing about vacations where everything is at your own time and schedule.
It was a rainy and cloudy day at Lake Kawaguchi
Ukai Music Forest - a pretty little place with some very interesting music boxes
Shuhoukaku Kogetsu, the ryokan hotel we stayed at
Our ryokan room
The balcony with the foot soak
Dinner - part 1
Dinner - Part 2
Breakfast - my favourite part actually
Mount Fuji... just before we left Lake Kawaguchi