I have no idea how we ever managed to get on our way to Fuji. It had been a dream since we left from home, but we hadn’t really made any specific plans to visit the area near Fuji. However, after a few days in Tokyo and with the blasting heat from Kyoto fresh in mind, we really needed to get away from the hustle and bustle of Japanese city-life.
Thus, we bought two return day trip tickets to Fuji, which probably would have been much easier if I hadn’t stressed about it so much. there really is a reason that I plan everything in advance. If not, I go into complete panic mode.
Looking back, I am so absolutely thrilled that we went. Not only because we were fortunate enough to get a glimpse of the top of Mount Fuji which is pretty difficult in the summer, but also because we ran into a group of wild monkeys, which might be one of the absolute high points of this trip and something I seriously did not expect to happen.
After a long haul with train and bus, we started off enjoying the energetic and cool atmosphere of Mount Fuji Fifth Station.
Not only was the temperature close to cold, but we also got to enjoy large groups of Japanese preparing for their climb up the mountain.
The top was mainly covered in clouds, but for a few minutes they parted and we were left with that iconic tip of Mount Fuji stretching out into a clear blue summer sky.
After visiting a few souvenir shops we took the Retro bus line to Lake Kawaguchiko and around the Northern shore, getting off to enjoy the magnificent view of Mount Fuji as it rises behind the lake.
Public transport however is not very extensive in these parts and it proved difficult to get a bus back to our point of origin. After a long walk at the shore we finally caught a bus which drove us to Kachi Kachi Ropeway on the Eastern Shore of the lake.
The ropeway ascends 400 meters and at the top you are greeted with a beautiful view of Lake Kawaguchiko as well as a view of Mount Fuji. The place also offers the “best” in Japanese snacks which to a Westerner is a cultural experience, to say it mildly.
Japanese snacks and candy are in no way similar to the Haribo mix and Snickers bars that we in Western Europe consume in great numbers. In Japan a lot of the snacks are based on soy paste and have that specific umami taste, which all the trendy Westerners talk about, but no one really can describe.
The view of Mount Fuji was definitely worth our trip up the mountain side, but the most charming surprise of the day happened when we decided to go for a short walk around the trails of the mountain not far from the viewpoint.
Suddenly in front of us a family of wild monkeys were crossing the path and by some immense luck my boyfriend happened to catch them on camera as they criss-crossed our path. The mountain side was full of monkeys and they were very visible in between the trees.
I’ve only ever seen monkeys in the zoo and I never really thought that I’d run in to any in Japan. But here they were and so close to a major tourist hotspot. We’d seen tame deer in Nara and now we got to see wild monkeys at the foot of Mount Fuji. As if Japan couldn’t get any more amazing.
It was a perfect ending to a day which to begin with I hadn’t even thought we could do. And it will be a day which I will remember for a long time to come.