The further the train went towards Kawaguchiko the worse the weather became. By the time we arrived to rain and low lying cloud it was impossible to even see in which direction Mt Fuji was located. Anyway maps in hand we dragged our cases and ourselves onto a red line bus with clear instructions to get off at stop 19 from the very helpful lady at the information stand. By the time we reached stop 19 the rain had stopped fortunately. Another couple left the bus with us. They were from Shanghai and amazingly were staying at the same small guesthouse, Crescendo. Even better they had wifi on their phone and google maps so we just tagged along and up to our accommodation.
We were met by our lovely host Yoshi. He welcomed us with a warm honey and lemon tea drink, an explanation about himself and his ‘gasthof’ and proceeded to sing us a welcome song! Next we were shown over the property and finally to our very spacious room. The rain continued so we rested for a while. Yoshi had explained the restaurant wasn’t open that night but he could arrange ‘take in’ from one of the local Japanese restaurants which seemed a no brainer compared to going out in the rain. There was even a private Japanese style dining area for us to sit in with our food when it arrived. After a quiet night in we headed to bed early, although Yoshi had told us he played guitar and sang in the bar from 22:00 – about midnight. There was always another night as we were staying for three nights.
The next morning we awoke to a sunny day and a pre-breakfast view of Mt Fuji! (Photo above) So now we knew where Mt Fuji was. We had a similar view through the window as we ate breakfast too. After breakfast we accepted an offer of a lift downtown with Yoshi’s wife. From there we walked down to Lake Kawaguchiko. It was just so scenic.
We walked around the lake but couldn’t see Mt Fuji anymore. Obviously the hills of the town were shielding it. Within 15 minutes this proved correct as Mt Fuji came into view gradually.
We continued walking around the lake and managed to find a few trees showing off their Autumn colours so they offered us the chance to be artistic.
Soon after a bus stop came up so we decided to short circuit the walk around the lake and take a bus for the next section. A good move as it ended up being further than we had thought. The downside was that there hundreds of tourists coming off tour buses to enjoy the lakeside garden.
We took the red line bus back to a stop near the ropeway(cable car). After looking at the map we decided to take the ropeway up and walk back down.
At at the top we had outstanding views of the lake below and the nearby mountains.
The view towards Mt Fuji from the top was difficult as by now we were looking into the sun.
As the cablecar station area was very busy we were happy to start our descent. It was contrastingly very peaceful with only the odd other walker. Sadly we only had the odd glimpse towards Mt Fuji.
Along the way we passed a few other walkers going in both directions but more like us heading down. We stopped at a small shrine for a drink break.
At the bottom we came to an area with lots of souvenir shops, cafes etc We went into a convenience store and purchased some food. From there we made our way to a green line bus stop and took a bus right around Lake Kawaguchiko and out to the next lake, Lake Saiko. After a couple of stops we left the bus and ate our picnic lunch by the lake. There was only one other couple to be seen. It was certainly a lot more peaceful than Lake Kawaguchiko.
After eating lunch we walked back to where the green line bus would return after doing a circuit of the forest and Lake Saiko. Near the bus stop we found this family of scarecrows.
Back in Kawaguchiko we left the green line bus at a stop near these thatch roofed houses before boarding a red line bus to take us back near to our hotel.
That night we headed out to a nearby local Japanese restaurant for a some ramen noodles and gyoza dumplings. On our return we went to Yoshi’s lounge and bar, purchased a drink
and waited for Yoshi to play.
He played a mixture of Japanese and English songs. It was an enjoyable way to finish a wonderful day. Hopefully you are like me and think you can never have enough photos of something as wonderful as Mt Fuji. How lucky we had been to see it so often when just a day before we had asked, “Where is Mt Fuji?”