Friday, 9 December 2016

Japan II: Fujisan at Lake Kawaguchi

Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration.

I've popped that quote up there from the UNESCO World Heritage site listing because it simply captures exactly why this place is so special.

This was my first view of the mountain from the train. I never would have thought that two gently sloping lines meeting in the middle could be such an iconic image. Apparently, however, I chose the foggiest day in memory to visit.

My first point of wall was a trip on the cable car to the viewing platform. This was the view on the way up... I swear there's a mountain in there somewhere.

The weather was awful, so there was only a handful of people at the viewing level, which meant I could linger at the top taking photographs, & awkward selfies.

Despite the initial wave of feeling slightly ridiculous, I maintain that selfie sticks are a wonderful invention that should be embraced. Of course they're great for group shots, but as a person that does most of their travelling alone (& a person with a penchant for photography), it's so nice to be able to take images of yourself without requiring other people around. Selfie sticks are a blessing, especially if you're travelling alone, & don't let any cynical snark tell you otherwise!

I took a whole bunch of selfies at the look-out point. With & without glasses, with & without hood, because I knew that this would be one I'd want to come back to. I'm so glad that my bright orange raincoat got it's first wet-weather outing at this incredible place.

I must admit that I was slightly disappointed by the weather & timing of my experience of the mountain, but really, it was so atmospheric and picturesque that I couldn't help but be overwhelmed.

After the cable car, I took a boat tour on Lake Kawaguchiko. Boat tours are my new favourite thing, and the view of the mountain from the water was even more captivating (especially as the fog was beginning to lift by this point). Being on the water conjured the iconic image of the mighty mountain and its reflection in the still, cool water.

I also spent much of this boat ride thinking of my friend Paul. A few years earlier I had helped Paul edit his photographs of his own trip to Japan, but his expedition to Mt Fuji included a stroll up it. His photographs were beautiful, & being so close to the mountain made me a tad jealous that I couldn't get as close as he did. But I suppose that seeing this sight is now another thing that we have in common.

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