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Japan – Mt Fuji 24th October

Early morning rise at 5.45am saw us take photos of the pink sunrise on Mt Fuji, the best light of the day. Dave went back for more zzz’s and Helen did some yoga.

Our western style breakfast echoed some likeness to what we would have in England; fried egg, hash brown and coffee, add to this a twist of Japanese with soup, salad, vegetables, fruit and yoghurt and it was enough to keep us going until 4pm! Never have we been faced by such well presented food cooked with care and imagination.

On our way into Kawaguchiko they told us they were going to watch their sons fight in a Kendo tournament. We asked if we could go to watch thinking it would be really cool for us to see and document. They didn’t mind taking us and thought it was funny that we wanted to go. It was well worth it though as we saw something that not many other tourists would be able to witness. A sports hall full of children fighting as a team but each time it is one vs one that takes the stage to fight. They are dressed traditionally in Kendo costume and fight with a wooden sword. Hiromi explained the technique and how to win points whilst her youngest daughter Coco-lo posed for photos for us. Their friends were there too with their children so we sat with them and joined in the local support for their team. It really was a fantastic experience and again demonstrated the kindness of our hosts. Taking a break from their sons first fight who demolished his opposition in less than one minute they drove us into Kawaguchiko and left us to explore the area.

It all seems a little dated to us, something that looks like it’s hey day was 20 years ago and nothing has really changed since. We found some good backstreets to explore, the lake had great views of the mountainous region and there was some filming going on – it happens quite a lot here, so we sat and guessed at what may be the point of their project, we decided on a soap opera!

Whilst walking we found a cafe that sold chai based on the outskirts of the village in a large greenhouse. By day a funky cafe and by night a pool-bar/club a really bizarre little find and we wished we could have been there at night. The main reason we stopped was that we couldn’t locate the path to the Fuji shrine, the maps tend not to mark all of the roads and if a path is marked on a map its not always marked on the street! This has at times caused us great confusion and frustration, but we always find a way around it. This time we called for a taxi and got a lift to the shrine…naughty but with limited time until dusk and after last night’s rushed walk in the dark sometimes you have to do these things. Taxi’s are not cheap here though and a 10 minute journey cost us around £15. Still we got to the shrine and it provided us with enough worth to validate the cost of the taxi. Set at the foot of Mount Fuji from the Fuji-Yoshida side you have a large temple with lot’s of other smaller shrines surrounding as well as statues, preserved trees, fresh water fountains, sculptures, flags you name it this temple had it. It really felt like a very spiritual place though and had a real historic feel to it. We found one of the paths to start the trek to station 5 but after a few km decided to go back and make use of the hot baths at the Ryokan.

A short bus ride back and we returned to Inn Fujitomita, we enjoyed the healing properties of the spring, managed to rest our feet and sat for our 2nd evening meal here. This was even better than the first night, again the photos prove our point. Seriously the best variety and flavour of food so far in Japan, and with such a beautiful setting it really was idealic. We were set up for a good night’s sleep after a long day of walking and decided on our route to Takayama for the following day.

We loved our stay at Inn Fujitomita and most definitely recommend it if you ever get the chance to come to the area.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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  1. miss claudia Germany
    Posted 2 Nov ’10 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    seems to be you guys have a lot of fun – Please look after you shape with all this amazing food ( i’m just a bit jealous:-)) German food is boring



  2. Andy Moore
    Posted 8 Nov ’10 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Loving the Mt Fuji pics, one day !

    Nice Volvo Amazon, they rock !

    Get in touch when you get to HK, will give you the heads up.

    The family Moo xxxx

  3. Sara Talia
    Posted 16 Nov ’10 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Hey guys! Your trip look amazing so far and I can see how the great pictures are really giving us a flavor of what you are experiencing!
    Christmas is slowly but surely taking over our world over here.

    Thinking of you

    X x x x Sara

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