May 10, 2015

Mount Fuji (or Fuji-san), the tallest mountain in Japan. Reaching heights of 3776 metres, you sure can't miss it! Well that's what you may think at least... It is very rare that you can the summit of the mountain as it is usually covered in fog. People have come back to Japan multiple times to get lucky enough to catch the mountain on a clear day. Luckily for us, we happened to have booked a day trip with Viator on one of those said days. Wow was it an amazing view!

This blog post will cover all activities we got to experience on our Viator tour ( Including hotel transfer, visiting the Mount Fuji visitor centre, taking a coach to the 4th station on the mountain, before then heading to Hakone where we got to sail across Lake Ashi to Mt Komagatake Ropeway to see the amazing views from the top of the mountain!

We were picked up from our hotel by coach and taken to a nearby bus terminal where a second bus was eagerly waiting for us. Our lovely (but somewhat clumsy) tour guide greeted us, showed us to our allocated seats and we were off! The bus ride gave us a great view of areas of Tokyo we had not yet explored, as well as let us experience what a normal day in Tokyo's traffic was like. Surprisingly, no delays!

Oh, we also sat around a couple of American tourists who had spotted Japan's very own "Empire State Building". We haven't been to America, but it does look familiar, so we had to snap it =)

First stop was the Mount Fuji Visitor Centre. We were advised by our guide that this was the best spot to take pictures of Mount Fuji. While it was a nice view, I wouldn't say it was the best. Later in the post we show you pictures taken from Mt. Komagatake.
This was by far the greatest view of Mount Fuji!

Unfortunately we only got 20 minutes to stop and take pictures here, which 10 minutes was wasted while Christine waiting in line to use the toilet (Rookie mistake). However, when we got to the top of the visitor centre, we were able to get a few quick snaps that turned out amazing!

We now make our way to the mountain. It looks so daunting when you approach! We had an amazing view from the bus and as we got closer, the more beautiful it looked...and then we saw it.

Luckily we had layered ourselves up, but surprisingly it was still really warm!

We reached the 4th station which sits at 2020m above sea level. I think at this point we were too amazed by the view, as well as the thick layer of powdery snow to even be amazed how high up we actually were. We were just happy to be playing with snow. Shows our age right? =P

Mount Fuji's Summit!

Descending down Mount Fuji, our guide tells us all to remain quiet and listen to the "Song of the mountain". It was eerie, but there was actually an enchanting song being played. So it turns out that near Kawiguchiko, there is a stretch of "magical road" where the ribs in the road sends vibrations to the tires causing them to play the Mount Fuji song. Simple tricks like this caused the whole bus to stop and wonder how it was done. Followed by a rejoice of smiles. Japan 1, the rest of the world... well we are still trying to break even at 0.

Lunch time!
We opted out of the "Lunch Option" as we thought there would be many restaurants to select from. Unfortunately we were wrong. We stopped at the Highland Resort Hotel and Spa for lunch, and the only two options were the Hotel restaurant, or Gaspard et Lisa's Restaurante. Given how cute it looked, I don't think I could have tempted Christine with anything else at that point.
Her mind was set.

The restaurant had a whole selection of baked goods and sweets which you could order to go.
They were so beautifully decorated it was hard to choose one!

It was really weird dining in a "French Style" restaurant while in Japan. Everything, down to the ornaments on the tables, to the menus were inspired by the French.
Even the napkins were bleu, blanc and rouge ;)
Reminded us of home at the Bleu Blanc Rouge festival. 

French Fries
The French Fries may look like McDonald's french fries, but they were no where near as oily.

Pizza of the day - Margarita
After all the Japanese food we have been eating, we were excited to eat some Pizza! Unfortunately, the Margarita was more of a "Simply Cheese" with basil as there was very little tomato sauce on the base. The cheese however did not disappoint (as you can see below) and the crust was surprisingly crispy and light. If there was more sauce, then this would have been a top pizza.

Views from the restaurant of Mount Fuji and the theme park situated next door. The roller coaster looked CRAZY!!!! We would not dare to step foot on it.

Shhhh. We snuck a Mango Sago Pudding back on the bus to eat.
Next stop, Hakone!

The cruise across Lake Ashi was very relaxing. It was also very short and it left most of us feel a little disappointed, the whole cruise only took roughly 10 minutes to get to the rope way. 
Tip: Don't bother sitting down, head straight for the top deck and take snaps of the beautiful lake!

Departing from the boat, the tour guide takes you on a short 5 minute to the entrance of the cable cart. Here, everyone rushes to get a good position (ourselves included) to take pictures whilst in the cart. However, it was pretty silly of us, because the views from the top were one of a kind. Much better than you can take in the cable cart. So just enjoy the views as you are squished in!

The next couple of pictures are the views from the top. One side lets you take in the breathtaking views of Hakone National Park, while the other gives you a distant view of Mt. Fuji. As mentioned earlier, this was by far the best view of Mt. Fuji all day. It is a shame that the sun was setting because the temperature gets colder, and mist starts clouding your view. It didn't stop us from taking some of these beautiful pictures though!

Lastly, we get dropped off at the closest Shinkansen rail station and get given a non-reserved seating ticket to Tokyo. Just be mindful to lineup at the designated areas so you can get a seat, otherwise it will be an uncomfortable 40 minute train ride back to Tokyo!

We really do recommend visiting Mt Fuji. The easiest way is by tour, so unless you are planning to hike then it is a perfect way to experience everything there is to the mountain. 

Stay glued to our blog for Day 5 in Tokyo! 

There is a bit of everything on our next post for everyone. 
For the nature lovers, we visit the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. 
There is Sunshine City for all the shopaholics out there.
J-World and the Pokemon Centre for Anime lovers (or little kids like Matt)
Omoide Yokocho (or Piss Alley) for lovers of food and beer!

We can't wait to share it all with you! =) 

Want to read more about our Japan trip? 

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