Mt. Fuji is one of places in Japan revere to have mystical energy and consider a sacred mountain.
The signboard tells you where to look for the 8 ponds around this rustic village.
Oshino Hakkai was one of the Natural Monument of Japan and is a World Heritage of UNESCO. It is located between Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Yamanakako (the five lakes district)
The waters here are snowmelts from Mt. Fuji and filtered by porous layers of the volcano over the years and people used this water to purify themselves as part of Mt. Fuji pilgrimage and are consider safe for drinking.
The 8 ponds ("ike") are named according to their character/folklore:-
Deguchi-ike (outlet): the waters here are sacred water that washes away the dirt and grime of the secular world. In olden days, pilgrims could safely ascend Mt. Fuji after purifying themselves here. This pond is further away from the village.
Okama-ike: the smallest pond in Oshino Hakkai and only 4 meters in depth. In an old folklore a girl was dragged into the pond by a big frog living in this pond. It is said that things which are lost float to the surface of the pond.
Sokonashi-ike (bottomless): this is found behind the Hannoki Musueum and entrance fees is applicable. If you drop anything in the pond, it will not be found again.... its bottomless!
Choshi-ike (pond of love knots): these love knots are paper which are tied with a coin inside. The paper knots are then float in the water. If the paper sinks quickly, you will find your soulmate very soon and versa vice. This pond is found beside the Sokonashi-ike.
Kagami-ike (mirror): the water in this pond stays still most of the time. On a clear day, you will be able to see the reflection of Mt. Fuji inverted on the surface of the pond.
Shobu-ike (pond of sweet flags (Japanese aquatic plant) is located near the Kagamiike.
Waku-ike (frame): the pond right in the center of the village as you entered. This pond is given by the female deity when Mt. Fuji erupted in the past. This pond is 12 meters in diameter and the bottom of the pond is in the shape of reversed conical shape. As you walk around the pond, you can see the view different scenery on the surface of the water.
There is another artificial pond which is very popular here..
You have to pass through this souvenir shop to enter which is a very good marketing strategy. You can buy all sorts of Japanese snacks, dried foodstuff and souvenirs. We bought the satsuma-age- the popular fried fish cake here.. yummy indeed.
Even though this is an artificial pond, the water is so clear that you are able to see the bottom and the beautiful fishes.
After walking around, we decided to take our lunch here at the recommendation of our guide.
As we were seated in this shop facing the Wakuike, a group of school children walked by and their colourful raincoats made such a bright splash!
Yes, just what we need... hot green tea.
Grilled Japanese Yamame - a river fish found in the high mountain. It was perfectly grilled with salt and served with lemon slice.
handmade soba- served cold
the Ikemoto restaurant.
The distinct manhole cover here..
Even though we did not get to see Mt. Fuji, it has been a wonderful day so far, to be near it, to see the surrounding sights and to hear its many stories is to experience a bit of splendour of this mountain. Hopefully, we shall be back one day to see you, Mt. Fuji in your full majesty.
another beautiful wall mural at the subway station.
and you will never know that you can find the London Pub inside the train station.
Coffee time after shopping at Uni-qlo back in Tokyo.
Baked in wood-oven at the front of the shop.
We were talking to the chef and he and his female staff have been to Malaysia before ...in Kota Kinabalu. What a small world!