The chance of seeing the beautiful and sacred Mount Fuji is one that can’t really be turned down so when my father-in-law suggested going there on a family trip I was delighted as it is quite far from our It0 base despite still being in Shizuoka prefecture.
It took just over two hours to drive there and Fuji-San was very clear and visible from the outset so we knew it was gonna be a fine day. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen Japan’s tallest mountain a fair few times with the best time being the very picturesque one when we went to Fujishibazakura but that was reward for all those times when I saw only the faintest of outlines from Hakone or Fuji Q Highland amusement park.
There were a few viewing areas alongside the road and we stopped at one which (I think) was part of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and 707 metres above sea level offering fine views of the skyline.
There was another short stop not so long after that as we continued to ascend the mountain. This time the views were pretty spectacular in all directions.
It has to be said that Mount Fuji 5th station was completely unrecognisable to me from the time when I climbed it in July a decade ago but it later dawned on me that that was because I must’ve arrived late at night when it was obviously very dark and all the shops had closed for the day.
This area supposedly serves as a place for climbers to get some supplies in before climbing the 3776 metre high mountain. It seemed more like a tourist trap to me though with loads of souvenir shops, a few restaurants, toilets, tourist information, snack stalls and even horse rides. It was the first time for Momiji to see a horse not that she seemed to bothered by it at all but who ever knows what dogs are thinking!!
There was also the ubiquitous torii gates leading to Komitake Shrine and just behind that was an observation deck offering some wonderful unobstructed views of the lakes, mountains and greenery in the distance.
We were a little bit early to see the beautiful Autumn leaves in their full splendid state but the area did offer glimpses of what is to come.
The next time I arrive at Mount Fuji 5th station will hopefully be on foot and the halfway point as I have long wanted to climb it from the very bottom to the top rather than having a 2300 metre head start! It is often said that a wise man climbs Fuji once and only a fool climbs it twice or more but I still think that’s complete nonsense. Time will tell I guess!
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