Mount Fuji and all its gloryDecember 2, 2016 in Japan ⋅ 🌙 2 °C
Who would have thought, spending the morning on a bike ride would be so pleasant.
We took a 2 hour bus ride from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko, the most accessible of the 5 Fuji lakes, to take in a bit of nature with a great view. I booked a hostel called K's House, apparently famous in this region, knowing there were 2 different locations to book. One location, slightly more expensive, was right in the town center, within minutes of the lake. The other, less expensive, 20 minute walk from the lake, but that promised amazing Fuji views. I obviously booked the second. The walk over was a little lengthy, mostly because there really isn't much interesting things to look at in this town. Just a simple residential town. But sure enough, the views from their observatory deck were absolutely amazing. Clear blue skies all around. You had to walk up a ladder and crawl through a window to access the deck, but it was so well maintained with slippers waiting for us to put on once outside, that the window crawling just added an element to the experience.
The hostel was Japanese chic as per Jack; lots of natural elements like the wooden roof, unglazed ceramic sinks, low minimalistic furniture with our sleeping quarters being a double bed you crawl into from the feet with 4 walls around us, a light at our head and our personal outlet. It was like a mini 4 foot tall room. The sinks, the showers, the kitchen, all of it better then what I've ever lived in or dreamed of having. Honestly a gorgeous hostel.
The next morning, Jack and I put on every layer of clothing we had brought with us, I put on my new gloves (bought the night before), and we set out on a bicycle ride around Lake Kawaguchi. I only started complaining about the biking with about 20 minutes left on our return, my legs are not made for this kind of burning! For those who would like to laugh at my lack of stamina, it was a roughly 20km ride. I rarely admit biking is a good plan, but in this case, it allowed us to have certain views you can only see on postcards. We took a little 20 minute hike to a waterfall along the way, parking our bikes in front of some old little Japanese lady's garage who didn't speak English but seemed to point up the hill when we attempted to pronounce the name of the waterfall. The waterfall itself isn't a show stopper, but the nature around during the walk, the sounds of birds, the leafs changing colors (it's autumn here), all made this hike worth the furthering burn in my thighs.
Jack says "you should talk about Mount Fuji, she was beautiful, the snow cap, the trails leading up to the top, how she's all alone...". What she said. It's very true how it's isolation from other mountains allowed us to see its full glory. You could see zigzag lines covered in snow making their way to the top for those crazies who chose to hike this thing (allowed only in July and August). A beauty.
As beautiful and peaceful as this little stop was, there's always space for an anxious moment, which came when I tried to book our bus out of Kawaguchiko, to attempt to avoid them being full like we've just experienced in Tokyo. The website said next available to reserve was the day after tomorrow... " 'Bout what about tomorrow?!". So I thought about it all night, we're screwed there are no more busses. I asked Jack for us to make our first priority in the morning to stop at the station where I would hopefully beg my way into a ticket for that afternoon. Sure enough, I showed up, asked for two tickets, and was given seat 1a and 1b. Apparently I was the first to buy the ticket, online reservation just doesn't allow for booking within 24hours. My bad.Read more