With the sun beating through the windows of the cold and rickety train, I couldn’t belive I was on my way to Yamanashi. An extension of our Tokyo trip last summer, me, Chad and his parents made our way to Yamanashi, the home of Japans heart and soul; Mt.Fuji. The closest I had ever gotten to seeing the magnificent mountain was a faint shadow vision during my business trip to Tokyo the previous summer. It was a beautiful day, as per usual during Japanese summer and I sat relaxed as the mountains and trees rolled by. Staying at a hotel with it’s own onsen was one of the nicest experiences, since in the evening me and Chads mother decided to have a nice bath outside and were given the chance to chat in the now cool night air.
The first day was spent walking around parks and marvelling at the wonder that was Mount Fuji. Up close it was breathtaking. Standing tall against the blue sky, the mountain loomed over us like an ancient sentinel guarding his castle. In the evening we met up with some of Chads old friends and they graciously took us to a very delicious tempura place not far from the station. They were even so kind as to drive us around the next day, taking us to places only accessible by car. Before heading back to the station to make our journey back down to Osaka, we stopped by the old shrine at the foot of mount fuji. I have been to many a shrine during my time in Japan, but this one is one of my favourites. Old and steeped in history, the entire area took on a magical feeling, as if any second forest spirits were about to appear from amongst the trees. Formally known as Kitaguchi Hongū Fuji Sengen Jinja (北口本宮冨士浅間神社, “North Entrance Fuji Sengen Shrine”), Fujiyoshida Sengen shrine is a beautiful shrine dedicated to Princess Konohanasakuya, the Shinto deity associated with Mount Fuji. A must for anyone in the Mt.Fuji area.
All in all it was a wonderful two days and well the worth the detour.