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Tag Archives: Mount Fuji

Today’s excursion is to Mount Fuji. We took a couple of trains to Shinjuku station to pick up the JR Limited Express train from Shinjuku Station to Mount Fuji. Our rail pass covered the cost from Shinjuku Station to Otsuki. We  then transfer to the Fujikyu Railway. It was the same train but we had to pay for the reminder of the trip to Kawaguchiko Station.

When we arrived we went to the train station ticket office to purchase our ticket on the Fujikyu Railway from Kawaguchiko Station to Otsuki where our JR pass would kick in.

We then went to the Omni Bus ticket office to purchase a ticket on the red line. From Kawaguchiko Station there are  Omni buses which are hop on an hop off buses and are generally the easiest way for tourists to get around. There are three lines starting from Kawaguchiko Station, We took the red Kawaguchiko Line (buses every 15 minutes) runs along the eastern and northern shores of Lake Kawaguchiko. There were long lines to get on the red bus and the area was a zoo with all kinds of buses and lots of people.

We made sure we were standing within the lines.

Once we got on the bus we decided to ride the bus to the end of the line which was the Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center. Along the way we noted other places we wanted to visit on our way back. It looked like they were in the process of planting flowers around the Living Center.

Not sure what these bushes were but in the fall they really beautiful.

I noticed these buildings up on the hill away from the lake. I think they were small places to stay.

We hopped on the bus and rode back towards town. We managed to get off one stop before we wanted to. There was construction taking place and we couldn’t figure out how get past the construction on the trail along Lake Kawaguchiko. Some other folks cam along from the opposite direction so we watched how they managed to get through the construction. It was a beautiful day to walk along the lake. There were some beautiful views of the lake and Mount Fuji.

There were beautiful flowers along the trail.

We were heading into an area with beautiful fall colors.

One of the few examples of graffiti that we saw on our visit to Tokyo and environs.

As we walked along we came to a craft fair that was taking place. Lots of beautiful things but no way to get them home.


As we were walking through the fair we ran across a both that had a display of Rose Mauling. When we arrived the individual staffing the stand was in the back having lunch. When she heard us talking about Rose Mauling she came out. Since my wife is Norwegian she was really interested. Turns out the Japanese woman had lived in Chicago for about 10 years and she took it up as a hobby which she continued when she returned to Japan. She had some sayings on some of her work that didn’t make and sense in Norwegian. We went off to have lunch and after lunch my wife decided to write some Norwegian sayings down on paper for the lady. We when back and gave them to the lady and had her picture taken.

There was a food court setup at the fair so we stopped and had some chicken on a stick.

In back of the art fair there were some gardens with beautiful fall colors.

We continued our walk along the lake and the colors were spectacular.

We came to another are with many food trucks. In the first photo the vendor was twirling a stick into the ice cream and when he had the equivalent of a scoop he would plop it on to a cone then had it to the person on the end of the stick. In this case he was teasing the girls by handing it to them and then pulling it away.

What a backdrop for a vendor with Mount Fuji in the background.

We continued walking but hadn’t gone far when we found another ice cream stand and couldn’t resist buying some.

The required smoking area.

We found another bus stop but had to wait far more that the 15 minutes that was noted on the brochure.

We rode the bus back toward town and then got off at a stop that would allow us to walk along a section of the lake that was very beautiful in the late afternoon light.

At this point we were back in town and decided to catch the bus back to the train station. We saw it coming so we raced to the place that it was supposed to stop. The bus kept on going and didn’t stop. Only then did we realize that we on the wrong side of the road and were an outgoing bus stop. We forgot the Japanese drive on the left rather than the right. At this point we figured out that we could take a shortcut through town to get to the station. On the way we found this beautiful little cemetery.

We figured it would be late when we arrived back in Tokyo so we decided to look for a place to eat. Unfortunately most restaurants don’t open until late in the afternoon which means after dark this time of year. We wandered through town looking for a place that was open. on the way we found this statue which my wife thought was from some fairytale. She was right it is from the  Grim fairytale “The Bremen Town Musicians.

We finally found a place to eat and had traditional noodles since we were really not all that hungry having had chicken on a stick and ice cream earlier in the day.

We caught the train back to Tokyo and arrived back in our hotel after a long day.



We caught an early train to Mount Takao. It was nice to ride a train that wasn’t all that crowded since we were going out almost everyone else was coming into to Tokyo. It was a beautiful day and on the hike to the top we had some spectacular views of Tokyo and the surrounding area.

More photos from the day can can be found on my website.

On the way up we passed a number of small shrines.

Carla had mentioned that the trail was flat. We took that to mean that there was not much of an elevation gain. What she meant was that the trail was level. I was recovering from an Achilles tendon injury and when I saw that the trail was very steep I was wondering if I could make it up. As it turned out we were walking on a road that employees and deliver people used to reach the top on the mountain. It consisted on many switchbacks and some of the turns were so sharp that trucks needed a pull out so they could back around to make the turn. The road was cement with rocks embedded to provide traction on the steep grade.

The large exposed tree roots made a nice place to sit and rest during the long slog to the top. These cedars are several hundred years old and can be seen all along the trail. I should mention that there is a cable car and chair lift that goes part way up the mountain but we decided to walk the entire way.

Just past the cable car platform we found a few shops offering food. We had seen Dangos a few days earlier but didn’t know what they were. This shop had a good explanation so we stopped to give them a try. On the way down we stopped for some ice cream.

The trail to Yakuoin Temple was crowded from the cable car dock on to the top of the mountain. Even though it was a weekday there were a lot of people out hiking.

There were a number of small shrines and an observation deck before reaching Yakuoin Temple.

There was the main Temple and a number of smaller shrines.

The Temple was adorned with beautiful artwork and carvings.

There was artwork and statutes along the trail.

As we continued to the top of Mount Takao we could see a few fall colors and had a nice view of Tokyo.

It only took us a couple of hours to reach the top. This included many stops for photos and a bite to eat. From the top we had a spectacular view of Mount Fuji.

While we were at the top several groups of school children appeared from one of the trails. I was interesting that each group had on different colored hats.

The trip down didn’t take long although it is tough constantly walking down hill. We noticed several places where workers were repairing damages from from the October typhoon. The other thing we noticed was how clean the trail and the grounds were. We only spotted one small piece of paper on the ground. This was amazing given the number of people walking on the mountain. There were many vending machines providing food and drinks along the way. Not a single plastic bottle could be found along the trail. You purchase it you carry it out and there are no recycling bins or garbage bins to be found. If only the people in the U.S. weren’t such slobs and disrespectful of nature.

We were back in Tokyo by early afternoon a decided to see if we could find National Stadium which will be the main venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It took a while but we finally found it. It was so large that it was difficult to get a photo of it.

From the stadium we took the train back Harajuku Station and took a walk down Takeshita Street.  Tekeshita Street is a pedestrian shopping street lined with fashion boutiques, cafes and restaurants and is very popular with the young people. We had been there a couple of days before but it was a weekend and was very crowded. We encountered a McDonalds so we stopped for some coffee and ice cream. As you can see it was still crowded but at least we could walk down it. The light was fading so we worked our way back to our hotel and called it a day.