Monday, May 29, 2017

Flower Festival at Fujisan

It was below freezing in the ice cave. Blocks of ice lined the path as we ducked under and crawled through narrow passages. Stalagmites and stalactites of ice loomed ahead of us. This was a welcomed change from the blistering heat outside the ice caves.


We started off the day riding a train an hour outside Tokyo city center to rent a car. Along the way we met up with a couple friends from Russia and Canada. Together, the six of us, pilled into a small Japanese style mini-van, which was no bigger than a small car. With my knees hitting the seat in front of us we took off to the flower festival at Mount Fuji.


I was impressed by the green rolling hills covered by thick forest as we traversed the highway getting closer to our destination. It was almost suddenly that Mount Fuji appeared from behind these rolling hills. I was impressed by its size. Towering over all of the hills around it, covered with snow at its peak.

We arrived at the flower (Shiba-sakura) Festival after an hour and a half of driving. The entrance was 600 Yen for both locals and tourists. From pictures I had seen prior to going I thought it was going to be thick sheets of vibrant flowers. The flowers were more sparse and not as bright but the view was still amazing with Mount Fuji looming in the background. 


We spend an hour and a half walking the walkways taking many pictures and eating baked sweet potato. We then pilled back in the car and drove to the ice caves. These were only 20 minutes away. Here we paid 200 Yen each for an entrance ticket and received a helmet. As we descended into the cave it grew cold and wet. The tunnel began to narrow to the point we were crawling on hands and knees. Multiple times our head smacked against the rock ceiling, but we were protected by the helmets. 


After going through the cave twice we returned to the compact mini-van and took of to Lake Kawaguchi. This was our last stop on our Mount Fuji day trip. At the lake we took a long walk across the bridge and watched as the sun set behind the hills. It was a perfect ending to our magical day at Mount Fuji. I would definitely recommend seeing the mountain and visiting some of the sights in the area. 




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