Saturday, 9 April 2016

Japan Diary | Day Two

One of the things on our to-do list was to see Mt Fuji. It's probably the most iconic place in Japan and I didn't want to miss out on an opportunity to lay my eyes on this natural wonder of a mountain for myself. After doing some research I was pretty confident that the season we were going was one of the best times of the year to see it. It's always a bit of a gamble with the weather though...and it was just our luck that the day we decided to go was a rainy day. I was still pretty hopeful that it might clear up later in the day and we would still be able to catch a glimpse of Mt Fuji. But alas, I think I was being too optimistic about the weather being on our side because in the end, we weren't able to see a thing through the fog. But nonetheless, we were still able to make a day out of it because the whole area of Kawaguchiko was covered with snow and it was one of the most beautiful and magical thing I have ever seen. Seeing a whole field of snow that was untouched and only a few metres in front of you naturally draws you to run across it. And that was exactly what I did. Who needs to see Mt Fuji when you can stomp around a field of snow instead, right? 

Mr Fuji is a bit of a way out from Tokyo and we knew we would have to make it a day trip. There are several ways to get there - either by bus or train and both of these require you change stations/stop at least once. We decided on the train because we thought it would be more of a comfortable ride and it was slightly cheaper/faster. So from Shinjuku station, we caught the train to Kawaguchiko station with one transfer at Otsuki station. The whole journey took just over 2 hours, but you're so distracted by the views outside the window that you hardly notice the time passing. 

There isn't much to do around Kawaguchiko, besides loiter around the lake for a while to admire the serenity of it all and maybe visit an onsen. There are tourist loop buses that can take you around to different pitstops (e.g. museums) around the lake but most of these places were closed/deserted due to the cold weather (I'm sure you could make it a pretty eventful day if the weather was less wet and cold). There is also a ropeway that you can jump on to go up to a lookout which was apparently quite a good vantage point to see Mt Fuji. But of course, we weren't even able to see very far because it was so gloomy.. 

We arrived back in Tokyo in the evening and decided to head over to Ginza for dinner. That was where I did some damage to my wallet and bought a few items for myself from GU (a shop quite similar to Uniqlo but more hip). And I also had a pretty satisfying bowl of udon at a random shop along the streets.

So all in all, it was a pretty top day despite not being able to tick seeing Mt Fuji off the list. But I guess it gives me an excuse to visit Japan again :) 

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