In September we booked a day trip for while we were in Tokyo. I had done the same trip to Mt Fuji, Hakone and Mt Komagatake on my first trip to Japan back in 2008. That time it was early spring and our coach was only able to make it to the second station. This time we woke to an autumn day withsparkling blue skies and a probability of cloud in the afternoon.
Ok, so I woke really early and was able to see a spectacular sunrise as we forgot to close the blinds.
We booked a transfer to the bus depot and waited patiently for our coach and guide, Marie.
Marie was a fun guide giving us lots of interesting facts about where we were going, Japanese customs, history, and funny anecdotes. Once we were out of the city we got our first glimpses of Majestic Mt Fuji, which the night before had been dusted by the first snowfalls of the season. Given that the sky was so clear, the snow gleamed on the peak.
Some facts on Mt Fuji, height is 3,776.24 m (12,389 ft), known for its perfectly symmetrical cone, it is100km(60miles) from Tokyo. It is classified as an active low risk volcano with the last eruption in December 1707 and ending in January 1708. Mt Fuji lies within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park Famed Ukiyo-e artists Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige, among others have featured Mt Fuji in their works.
As we got closer and the altitude got higher we were able to see more of the autumn colour changes in the trees. This was especially delightful when we got to Mt Fuji 5th station(2,300m/7,550ft above sea level) and could look out over the vista.
Of course we had to get a selfie. Excuse the sunglasses but it was very bright.
The fifth station has restaurants, souvenir shops and the highest post office in Japan, where you can buy stamps made especially for Mt Fuji.
Some clouds soon turned up to provide some interest to photos.
Then it was back on the coach to head down to Kawaguchiko for lunch. Nestled on the shore of Lake Kawaguchi this town is popular with people on weekend trips to the Fuji Five Lakes region.
Lunch was at a tourist restaurant overlooking the lake and featured a noodle dish that is native to the Yamanashi region, Hoto noodles. They are like an udon noodle but made using a dumpling style dough, and served in a miso soup, very delicious and warming on a cool day. Lunch also included crumbed fish, sashimi, a mussel dish, braised lotus root, pickles and rice.
After lunch we headed on to Hakone for our cruise on Lake Ashi. A picturesque drive that gives you many glimpses of Mt Fuji, before you dip in to the ancient caldera that provides the setting for Lake Ashi.
Hakone is famous for hot springs and has many resorts for weekenders from Tokyo. By the time we reached Lake Ashi the weather had changed. The temperature had dropped and the clouds really rolled in.
We arrived at the base of Mt Komagatake where we were to take a ropeway gondola up to the top. The dock is quite pretty and there is an aquarium and swan boats to hire.
Spectacular scenery from the gondola.
When we arrived at the top the spectacular view was lost in the clouds. Normally you can see Mt Fuji and out to the Pacific Ocean but not this day. So Mum and I hopped on the next gondola down and went shopping in the souvenir shops.
Then it was back to Odawara for our return to Tokyo via Shinkansen. A great way to end our day trip to Mt Fuji, Hakone and Mt Komagatake.
Thanks for dropping by! Next post our train trip to Kamakura.
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