We got off at the Fujiyoshida train station. We got off the funny “Thomas” train.
It was raining. No, it was pouring. The fog was so thick we couldn’t even see what was on the other side of the street. It was getting dark and the streets were empty. But I had a map!
This is going to take us to the ryokan!
Yeah, sure! We were lost. We found out that Japanese maps (or at least, all the maps we came across with) are not in scale. Plus, not all the streets are shown, therefore what seemed to be the first street on the left was actually the fourth or fifth one. We were SO lost!
We found a man who was closing down his futon shop and asked him for directions. No way, he spoke only Japanese. By that time we were soaking and tired, walking down the streets of Fujiyoshida, dragging our suitcases up the hilly roads of the centre.
Mount Fuji was supposed to be very close, but we couldn’t see it. We felt ripped off. I felt bad coz it was my friend’s birthday and it hadn’t been a great day so far. And I had the idea of going to Fujiyoshida.
After 2 hours of wondering in the rain, we finally found our ryokan, that turned out to be well outside the centre. But at least it was really nice. This was the first “luxury” accommodation we were going to stay in Japan. We had an ensuite room for the 2 of us, and that night we couldn’t expect anything better!
We were given two typical nice robes and slippers. Believe me, I’m not an egocentric person, it’s just that my friend doesn’t want to appear on photos, so all I can show you are pictures of me!
My friend had a bath in the onsen, while I fell asleep right away. We spent the whole day traveling, first to Tokyo by shinkansen, then to Fujiyoshida by local trains, then the rain, the walk… I was too tired.
Futons are so comfortable. We slept tight.
The morning after, I woke up and got up before my friend. Lazily I approached the window.
Please, please try to imagine my feeling when I opened the rice paper shade and saw this, right in front of me!
I let out a yell, my friend got up, she looked outside the window, we yelled together, laughed hysterically, hugged each other, danced, looked outside again, clapped our hands, jumped around, high-fived, took a million pictures.
Fuji-san! He was right there, in front of us. He’s so beautiful and so perfect. And everytime I tell this story, I say I fell in love with him. I’ll never forget the emotion he gave when I first saw him! I couldn’t expect that spectacular sight and this made it even more special.
It was a beautiful sunny day. We went out for a walk in the city of Fujiyoshida, well-known as the base camp for Mount Fuji climbers. I took this photo in one of the central streets, where we walked the previous night in the rain, and we couldn’t see the mountain!
I loved the manhole covers, too beautiful to step on them!
It was november and climbing Mount Fuji is allowed only on july and august. So we had to go for something else.
Around the mountain are 5 lakes: Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Yamanaka, Lake Sai, Lake Motosu and Lake Shoji. We got a bus and had a tour around them. It’s the best way to see the Fuji San. I took this photo from the bus, so it’s not a great one, but you can imagine how beautiful the landscape was!
We got off the bus in Asahigaoka and spent some time there, had breakfast, filled our eyes with beautiful sights.
No, I’m not talking about this sight:
Here we were more like: WTF? But it was too funny. Even if it’s not really embellishing the landscape!
Later on, in Kyoto, I met a French couple. They told me they spent a week in Fujiyoshida and never saw Mount Fuji because of the fog. All said, we were not so unlucky!