Travel: Japan (Mt.Fuji Day Three)

Now that the Lunar New Year rush is halfway through, I’ve got some time on my hands for Day Three of Japan. Happy Lunar New Year by the way!

So Day Three of Japan, we made our way to Lake Kawaguchiko. Prior to the trip to Japan, I already knew I wanted to see Mt Fuji. We didn’t know if we could spot it because it was fall time and the mist and clouds may cover the beautiful sight but we decided to head there anyway. I did my research and found that there was something called the Fuji Five Lake Region (Fujigoko) which were actually five spots where you could view Mt Fuji from a close distance. They are Kawaguchiko, Saiko, Yamanakako, Shojiko and Motosuko. Lake Kawaguchiko was listed as the most accessible for tourist because it was more developed and easier to access by public transportation so of course, this would be our top choice of place to visit.

We got up pretty early on a Sunday morning around 6 plus to head to Tokyo Station from Shijuku via the JR Chuo Line. Once there we waited for the train that says Kawaguchiko.

IMG_1433Here’s the train.

It’s the “Holiday Rapid Kawaguchiko” that travels directly to Kawaguchiko Station from Tokyo Station on the weekends and public holidays so there wasn’t any need to hop off the train to switch lines at Otsuki. Big time saver there! Somewhere along the ride the conductor comes by to collect a fee of 1100Yen when you’re at the Fujikyu Railway Line. Our trip to Lake Kawaguchiko was a cold and rainy trip; more luck to us on spotting Mt Fuji. Sigh.. 😦

IMG_0174Raindrops…

The ride took about an hour and a half and I was dozing off in between. The sightings were pretty beautiful along the way. You could see the quieter side of Japan and people undergoing their daily lives.

IMG_0189Lovely field of crops.

IMG_0202I even saw a stream

It was a pretty peaceful ride there. After almost two hours, we’re here!

IMG_0218There’s Thomas Train, literally!

We walked out of the station and immediately spotted the Tourist Information Centre where you could grab a map and also ask how to get to the lake. There was a shuttle that went around the lake but we opted to walk. FYI, it was freezing! Lucky for me, that day I decided to wear another layer. So I was on three layers while I was there. It was really cold because of the morning rain. Grab yourself a map like this.

IMG_3386This is the map that is ready available at the Information Center.

Follow the map and you’ll reach the lake.

IMG_0219Photo time!

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IMG_0235 Sorry for the photo spam. The lake was THAT pretty!

We wanted to ride the cable car so we went searching for it. Initially we thought we were lost but we saw a group of tourist, assumed that they were searching for the cable car as well and just followed them. Lucky us, they were!

IMG_0236Here is Mt Kachi Kachi Ropeway

IMG_0244View from the cable car

The sightings from the cable car was so pretty. We could see the township as well as the roller coaster that we saw on the way to Kawaguchiko. The Kachi Kachi Ropeway goes up 400 meters onto an observation deck near Mt Tenjo.

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Got off the cable car and hung out on the observation deck for a little bit. It was really misty and we didn’t even know which direction Mt Fuji was so we just snapped pictures with all corners. It was really pretty.

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Word is that Mt Tenjo is a setting of a folk story called the “Kachi Kachi Yama” where a rabbit gets revenge on a thieving Japanese racoon by setting it on fire and drowning it in the river. Really gruesome story for such cute characters. (I forgot to take a picture of the rabbit but you can view it online.)

It began to drizzle for a bit again. We went to the only stall at the observation deck to get some souvenirs and some food. I tried Dango for the first time. It’s actually glutinous rice balls grilled over charcoal and topped with a sweet and savory sauce. It tasted pretty good, maybe because I was hungry. (again I forgot a picture)

We descended the ropeway after a little disappointment not being able to see Mt Fuji but no worries! We’ll be back!

Coming down the ropeway we could smell something like cookies baking so we followed our noses to a little cookie bakery that sold Mt Fuji cookies. And being the tourist that I am, I bought all flavours to try.

IMG_1437The array of colours and flavours from green tea, earl grey, strawberry and vanilla.

IMG_0306Here’s the green tea one. They were pretty delicious.

We got back to the Kawaguchiko Station and grabbed something quick to eat before hopping onto the train to get us back to Tokyo. And that was about it for that day. An unforgettable trip to Mt Fuji. Honestly one of the best spots during the entire trip. Lake Kawaguchiko is a definitely a must visit.

Till Day 4!

XO,
Joanna

P.s. Happy Lunar New Year to all who celebrate it! Wishing you good health, prosperity and abundant wealth!

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