Enjoying our warm miso soup and Onigiri breakfast in the hotel ......
while Tokyo is raining ......what a welcome.
I really enjoyed the breakfast every morning, simple yet tasty and fresh.
Arrangements have been made to visit Mt. Fuji today and there is no way to cancel the trip, what a dismay.
Anyway the coach is provided today and we were snug and warm inside the coach as it made its 2 hours drive to Mt. Fuji.
as the coach was going uphill, there is a short stretch of road where recorded music was being played, certainly a warm welcome.
Mt. Fuji was officially closed to visitors today because of the rain.
the eerrie forest known as "suicide forest" (Aokigahara).
This is the first station where everybody get down to get a feel of the place even though we were not allow go further than here. A number of people got lost in this forest and according to the guide maybe its suicides and believe this place to be haunted! There is a signboard advising people not to take their own lives and to seek help before doing anything!.
Pretty disappointing ... really no choice but to continue on after taking a few photos around......
the walk towards the Fujisan HeritageMuseum. See those cute road blocks..
We can Mt Fuji here in different colours, beautiful art.
Mt. Fuji is an active volcano about 100km from Tokyo and it is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776 meters. Mt Fuji is also a sacred mountain, many people make pilgrimage to the summit every year. The official climbing season starts from early July to September. Its crate is 820 feet deep and the surface diameter is 1,600 feet. As the rain stopped to a drizzle, we make our way to the Kachi-Kachi Ropeway.
Fujiyama cookies shaped like Mt. Fuji
the climb up to the Kohan Station, well worth the climb because
when we turned back at the top we can see this lovely view of Lake Kawaguchiko which is one of the fives lakes around Mt. Fuji.
The Kachi-kachi Ropeway take you up to the observation deck near the summit of Mt. Tenjo and you can get to see the views of Mt. Fuji from here. We were definitely not lucky as Mt. Fuji was hidden behind the rain clouds. Besides the cablecar, there are also hiking trails to reach the summit which will take around 40 minutes.
It was a quiet day and we have the whole cable car to ourselves.
Great surroundings... can still see one or two cherry blossom trees outside.
What is this "kachi-kachi". It is supposed to be the sound of fire wood crackling as it burns.
These cute cartoon statues of the raccoon and rabbit around the ropeway.
So let me tell you the story of the Tanuki (raccoon) and the rabbit.
Once upon a time, there was an old man and his wife living together in the mountain. One day they caught the raccoon eating the seeds they have sown. The raccoon begged the wife to set it free. However it killed the wife when it was freed. The rabbit who was a good friend of the couple promised to avenge for the wife. So the rabbit befriend the raccoon one day they to the mountains to collect firewood and the rabbit secretly set fire to the firewood (the kachi-kachi sound) on the raccoon's back and raccoon escaped with burns on its back.
The raccoon challenged the rabbit to a race across the lake in a boat that they were to make themselves. The raccoon's boat was made of mud while the rabbit made its boat from a tree trunk. The tanuki's boat began to dissolve in the lake and began to sink taking the tanuki down into the waters in the end.
Mytical view ...this is part of the walking trails to the top of Mitsutoge, one of the top 100 mountains in Japan.
According to the brochure, you can experience the 4 seasons in Mt. Tenjo, the Cherry Blossom in Spring, and in summer there are hundred thousands of hydrangeas along the hiking trail and of course the golden autumn and the clear view of Mt Fuji in winter.
the place was quiet and we enjoyed having this place to ourselves despite the drizzle and cold.
The Usagi Shrine.
A rabbit was enshrined here for the safety and strength of the visitors to the Mitsutoge. The 2 stone guardians in front are the "dreaming rabbit" (with the head down to give wisdom) and "Fuji rabbit" (blocked by the torii gate) (standing on its hind legs to give strength). To "sanpai": 1. rub the head of dreaming rabbit to receive wisdom (2) rub the legs of Fuji rabbit to gain strong legs and (3) say "hello" to the rabbit of the Shrine.
Next we busied ourselves with kawarake throwing.
Only Y100 for 2 small clay plates.
"Kawarake-nage" is the action of throwing a small clay plate through the lope to make your wishes come true.
On Mt Tenjo, the goddess of marriage and her sister the goddess of beauty are enshrined. So kawarake throwing here for wishes of good relationship and beauty.
The Bell of Tenjo
This bell faces Mt. Fuji and ringing the bell for your wishes to come true.
For fulfilling love, first ring: boy looks into girl's eye and rings the bell, Second ring: girl looks into boy's eyes and rings the bell, Third ring: both ring the bell and pledge love.
For sound Health: First ring: all members of family cleanse themselves. Second ring: wish for the sound health of family while looking up at Mt Fuji and ring bell. (how come she did not call us together? Hahaha)
one is not enough,
and one more and
another awesome views of the lake..
After enjoying ourselves at the observation deck, we took the cable car down to the lakeside.
Even though I cannot see Mt Fuji personally, I felt happy with this place.
Next to the Oshino Hakkai, the 8 ponds
the waters here are pure and drinkable as they are snow melt from Mt. Fuji.
very popular snack... hot or cold silky soft tofu served with different miso