Now that Alisha had joined me and we had toured Tokyo for a Day, we had decided that we would head to the Mount Fuji area, which is just south of Tokyo and has five lakes at its base. I had off loaded all the kit I had bought out for Alisha to her (Tent, Roll Mat & doss bag), and was enjoying a bergan which was particularly light…pretty much how I used to like it in the Military.
So we grabbed a bus from the Shijuku bus station for the 2 and a bit hour drive down to the lakes area. We chatted all the way down, still catching up after our 2 yers apart. It’s lovely to hear about all the adventures Alisha has had since we last met, with her living in Thailand, Australia & New Zealand as well as doing the Everest base camp trek in between. The trip down flew by and I was a very proud dad by the end of it, not just because of what Alisha has achieved since we last met but also at the person she has become because of it.
We had decided o head to Lake Yamanakako initially and on arrival headed towards a campsite we could see on ‘Google Maps’. We hadn’t seen ‘Mount Fuji” at this stage as it was hidden above low cloud, then all of a sudden....’Oi Oi’...there it was, massive and imposing, filling the whole sky just to our south. The campsite was just coming out of season so we had the pick of spots to pitch our tents and also the guy who ran it let us have anything we needed at half price. I decided to get the BBQ going and went into ‘Man makes fire’ mode, with the only downside being man didn’t make fire and it was eventually Alisha who rescued the effort, thus ensuring we could eat that night.
After a decent sleep, and brekkie (once again thanks to Alisha resurrecting the BBQ from its previous embers), we headed up one of the local ‘small’ hills which gives a great view of the lake and Mount Fuji. It was during this small jaunt that I re-learnt the art of breathing through my backside and ears; Whilst this supposedly impossible feat was going on, I was listening to Lish tell me about Her trip to Everest Base Camp. All the way to the top she was talking and recounting her trip (apart from when a massive grass snake slithered over her foot), whilst I was trying hard not to pass out! Fuji summit was behind some cloud...... again (see pic).
After the walk we had access to the ‘Onsen’ baths at the campsite, which are beautiful and hot and relaxed all my weary muscles. The only reason I was allowed into the Males bath was because I was the only one there....normally I wouldn’t be allowed in as I have tattoos. This is a remnant from when the only people who had Tattoos in japan were CriminalGang members (Triads), and is something which can cause a fair bit of offence in the country still.
After a more successful fire-lighting episode by myself that night we had another BBQ and also conducted a raid of the campsites wood pile, allowing us to sit and chill and just catch up more about the last 2 years worth of adventures
We moved to Lake Kawaguchiko the following morning and went out for a walk around the local area. We found a beautiful Shinto Temple complex, had some outstanding food and the got lost in the backstreets.....however we knew if we kept the imposing Mount Fuji on our right we would end up roughly were we wanted to be eventually, and this proved to be the case. Whilst in Kawaguchiko we have ate some really REALLY nice food, the different things available are fantastic. The following day was taken up by another walk to the top of one of ridge lines that climb up and dominate around the lake. It was a good and testing walk (for me at least), and just a lovely day out. Fuji again was popping its summit in and out of the clouds but overall a really good and enjoyable day. The night finished sat in the company of some guys from South Africa, who are out following the ‘Boks’. Great people, who really knew how to tell a story...a fun night was had.
The next day we caught the bus back from the lakes to Tokyo, ready to follow England in their march towards being RWC Champions.. TBC