Mt.Fuji @ Lake Kawaguchiko


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Every year on our anniversary we try to visit some new place.This year we couldn’t plan a proper trip because of the earthquake and the consequent trip made home.By the time we were back in Tokyo,we had almost missed the cherry blossom season.But some quick research on the net told us that these lovely flowers are still in bloom around the Fuji Five Lakes.

The Fuji Five Lake (Fujigoko) region lies at the northern base of Mount Fuji about 1000 meters above sea level around the lakes Kawaguchiko, Saiko, Yamanakako, Shojiko and Motosuko. It is one of the best places to view Mount Fuji from a close distance and also a good base for climbing the mountain( july-august).”Among the lakes, Lake Kawaguchiko is the easiest to access and offers the most things to see and do for the average foreign traveler ” remarked a popular travel site.Also, the most recommended views of Mount Fuji are those from the lake’s northern shores during the cherry blossom season around mid April and the autumn colors around the first half of November.So,as we were yet to be up,close and personal with Mt.Fujiyama and didn’t want to miss this year’s cherry blooms we decided to make a one day trip last sunday.By saturday evening,we had made reservations on the Fujikyu highway bus  leaving for Kawaguchiko from Shinjuku at 7.40am..as the earlier bus at 7.10am was already fully booked.Next day,we set out early morning and reached the Shinjuku highway bus station at around 7.00am and tried our luck if we could get seats on the immediate 7.10 bus and there just in those hurried 5 mins,with some shuffling,the computer popped up two vacant seats for us !! and then we zooooooomed into the bus doubly charged 🙂 🙂

It was lovely weather and it took a comfortable 2 hrs to reach Kawaguchiko.There we took the local Retro bus 2 day pass for unlimited use along the shoreline of  Lake Kawaguchiko.We straight away went to the last stop Shizen Seikatsukan and started walking backwards along the shoreline.And the rest is simply too breathtaking to pen down..so have a look !!

Walking on along the curved shoreline we reached the Kawaguchiko Museum of Art which seemed less of a museum and more of a shop from inside. 🙂 But the adjoining trail offered nice views..

After having some snacks,we referred to the map in hand and found that we had missed the Kubota Itchiku museum on way.Its the museum built by the artist Kubota Itchiku (1917-2003) himself, who dedicated his whole  life to reviving and mastering the lost art of Tsujigahana(tsu-jee-ga-ha-na) silk dying, a traditional dye technique, used to decorate elaborate kimono during 1333-1573.The very entrance of the museum stands out…

On entering we went through beautiful landscaping complete with serene waterfalls..As we reached the main building of the museum, we were instantly awestruck by the unique architecture made of Okinawan corals and limestone.

After we went inside we were guided through several art exhibits from asia and africa to the main gallery upstairs where we were first shown an exclusive video of the artist’s creative life highlighting his fascination at his first encounter with  an old silk textile remnant of tsujigahana at the Tokyo National Museum and thereafter his dedication to this art form.After the video,we were led into the main gallery of  his kimono creations.And it was just magic ! Huge fabrics of multiple colours perfectly blended to depict a scenery…may it be seasons…lush landscapes..or even many kimonos aligned to form a greater theme altogether !! The vibrant colours and the silken texture mesmerised us.[Since photography was not allowed,I have tried to offer a fair idea through the links above]From there on,we took the Retro bus for the Kawaguchiko Music Forest, a small theme park and museum devoted to automatic musical instruments. Its main hall displays antique music boxes, mechanical organs and other automatic musical instruments mostly from European countries.The largest of them is a French fairground organ from 1905 which takes up an entire hall and plays every 30 minutes.All the miniature figurines start playing various musical  instruments like trumpets,drums etc in perfect harmony !

The main building also houses a concert hall where classical musicians from around the world perform.

At the time of our visit there was no live concert,but only narrative descriptions of the showcased organs.We moved out after a while.We again boarded the retro bus for Fujinoyado Ohashi stop from where we walked across this famous bridge with more views of Mt.Fuji.Once across the bridge,we visited the nearby Yamanashi Gem Museum which displays gems,precious stones,and large quartz crystals from Japan and around the world.Half of the museum is a store for purchase of precious jewellery and trinkets.Then we went to the adjoining Herb Hall and bought us some lovely aromatic potpourri !From thereon we took the bus back to the Kawaguchiko station and wound up the trip with an early dinner of fried chicken and pasta whilst we waited for the highway bus for Shinjuku.

 

 

 

This post is part of   July 2011 J-Festa “Places in Japan” at Japingu.

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39 thoughts on “Mt.Fuji @ Lake Kawaguchiko

  1. Too good photos of Mt. Fuji with Cherry blossom 🙂
    I wish I get the chance to visit Mt.Fuji(on a trek) and view Mt.Fuji during Chery Blossom(Both not together :P)

    1. Sure maybe this time u come,we can go for the trek !! Thanks so much for commenting.Hope u keep coming back for more posts 🙂 🙂 Have a Great Day !

  2. Thank you for sharing your very nice pictures and information on Mt. Fuji. I always wanted to go there but never had a chance to go yet. I am glad you caught the cherry blossoms in bloom when you went there!

    1. Thank u so much for stopping by and ur nice comments 🙂 Yes it was quite thrilling to be able to catch this perfect view of Mt.Fuji with cherry blossoms !!

    1. Thank u so much 🙂 Yea it is an absolutely awesome place ! I just kept gazing at the snow-capped Fujiyama ! Glad that u liked it 🙂
      Have a great day !

    1. Thank u so much 🙂
      Actually for people here this spring brought along ‘Hope’ in its message that Life continues to bloom even in such distressing situations.It was heartening and overwhelming to see people gathering for “Cherry Blossom Viewing” despite their sufferings.I guess Mother Nature kind of teaches us in various ways 🙂

      Hope to see u again ! Have a great Day !

  3. i have always been fascinated with mt.fuji and cherry trees!!!
    put m together and we have a winner!! 🙂
    beautiful photos especially the ones of mount fuji!

    1. Thank U Sheetal !! Since our ‘geography classes’ days I have always been amazed by Mt.Fuji ! Had never thought would someday actually be lucky enough to stand in front of it and have a perfect view with the fav cherry blossoms 🙂

      Great to hear from u.Thanks for visiting.Hope to see u more 🙂 Cheers !!

    1. Thank u very much Jake 🙂 It’s very inspiring to hear that. 😀 as we have just started taking photography seriously 🙂

      Thanks a lot for dropping by and ur lovely comment ! Have a great day !

  4. Sugoi! These photos and the story — and the cherry blossoms — make me “homesick” for Japan. Natsukashii —
    My experiences were totally in the Kansai district, and the only time I saw mt. fuji was from the airplane flying home, so I am really grateful to you for this wonderful visit, including the museum building.

    1. Arigatou Gozaimasu 😀 I’m glad i could rejuvenate ur fond memories 🙂 Hope i would see u more often and maybe u could suggest some more places to visit in this beautiful country ! Nice to meet u !
      Cheers !

    1. Thank u so much Ben for stopping by and ur nice thoughts ! This helped me explore ur lovely blog too 🙂 I’m adding u to my blogroll 🙂
      It’s quite true that this year’s spring actually helped people here see a beam of hope and life in the blooming cherry blossoms ! And we didn’t want to miss that either and luckily could catch up with the picture perfect !
      Hope to see u often..Have a great day ! Cheers !

  5. hi, i am planning to visit Japan (first timer) on July 2012. I am wondering is it possible to have only half day trip to Kawaguchiko from Tokyo. Taking early morning bus 8 am from shinjuku to kawaguchiko. Then spend around 2 hours there then catch the bus back to Tokyo again around 1 pm ?

    Since we allocated sunday for the trip, I am thinking to stroll along harajuku in the afternoon to see teenagers in their costume play thing. Do you think the plan is realistic enough ??

    Thanks so much !!

    1. Hello Candy..thanks for visiting my blog and considering me for ur query 🙂 I think a visit to Kawaguchiko should be atleast of 3-4 hours for you to enjoy the various places.You can take the earliest bus at 7.10am,reach by around 9.30am..and take the 12.10pm bus back and reach Shinjuku by 2pm.It just might feel a bit hectic and rushed.You can check the timetable here Kawaguchiko is a nice place to stroll around at ease 🙂

      I would also suggest you to go for Mt.Fuji climbing (also from Kawaguchiko 5th station;climbing season:July-August) or visiting Fuji Q highland nearby Kawaguchiko.

      Also at Harajuku you can visit the Meiji shrine and Takeshita Dori too..and yes Sunday (though a bit more crowded)is the best to visit Harajuku.

      Please let me know if you need any further information 🙂 Hope u have a great trip to Japan !
      Thanks ! Cheers !

  6. I’ve been having fun looking around your blog… more beautiful photos (those cherry blossoms are amazing!) I’m learning a lot about Japan and there’s so much MORE than the stereotype places that you only see in travel books / articles, I’m liking Japan more and more, Thanks!

    1. OMG do you see me on cloud 9 or 11 ?? You made my day !!! Thank you so much !! I started this blog just to record the places we have been traveling to here in Japan so that we can cherish them forever and i can’t begin to express how much it thrills me to know that you are enjoying it as much as we do !!! And that herein you find so much More than the stereotype places in travel books is something i will remember for life! To know that feels really so special..it’s like the best thing that ever happened at TokyoTravels ! Really touched ! Thanks so much !!! And if you like the photos then maybe you would love our photoblog too SanVar FotoFun.Looking forward to hearing from you there too 🙂 You already got a follower in me and and am soon gonna leave my mark all over your place !!! Would love to keep hearing from you and looking forward to joining in your travels too ! Have a great day ! Cheers !

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