Tag: Fuji

A week of Typhoons, Fun Runs, and finally Fuji.

This week started off exciting. A Typhoon was scheduled to make landfall on Monday. Everyone panicked, trains stopped running, work was canceled, and I brought all my outdoor stuff inside. I was excited. My first typhoon in Japan.

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Honestly I didn’t even know what a typhoon was so I had to look it up on Wikipedia. It’s a synonym for Hurricane.  Hurricane is a Caribbean name for a cyclone while typhoon is the North Eastern Pacific name.

So I battened down the hatches and prepared for our first typhoon. Best of all it coincided with my wives birthday so getting to stay home from work was a good bonus. We eagerly waited for the storm. Anxious that it would blow away our windows or knock out power.

Finally around 3 pm the storm, called Mindulle, made landfall in the Tokyo area. A little bit of rain, a little bit of wind, and done. We were fortunate to have it downgrade and be nowhere as bad as the meteorologists predicted.

Massive storms are terrifying and destructive, I am glad we didn’t experience anything like past Hurricanes. Yet, a part of me was disappointed. I wanted wind, water, lightning, and thunder. Something to spark the imagination. Instead we got a bit of a drizzle.

Fun Run

The next day the weather went back to normal, exceptionally hot and humid. We celebrated our end of week with a night time Fun 5k run. Glow sticks, weird stuff, people with wigs, and that color powder that burns my face when it mixes with sweat. The wife and I had a great time. I always forget how much I enjoy running. Starting next week I’m going to dig up my GPS tracker and start running again.

But the highlight of the week is tomorrow. We will be climbing Mt. Fuji. We packed our daypacks, prepped the camelbacks, and readied the chafe cream. Fuji will be climbed!

 

Mount Fuji Winter Tour

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Mt. Fuji from Oshino Eight Ponds

 

 

My adventures through Japan continued last Sunday when I decided to take one of the tours offered on base by the MWR. I went on the Mount Fuji Winter tour that took everybody to several temples and shrines at the base of Mt. Fuji.

Mt. Fuji is one of Japans most visited place and really fantastic. It’s a free standing volcanic mountain not part of any mountain range. So it’s basically this giant majestic mountain that has  no neighbors. It dominates the landscape and looks amazing on a clear day.

Our first stop on the trip was at the Fuji Peace Park, a Buddhist temple dedicated to world peace and built in Nepalese style. It was beautiful, laid out in a forest covered with  statues of goddesses. At the main pagoda I took off my shoes and walked its path counterclockwise. The Buddhists believe doing so while praying will give you a year of health.

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After that stop we went to one of the Oshino Eight Ponds. At the base of Mt. Fuji lie eight freshwater ponds filled by constant flowing springs. The water comes from the snow melt on the mountain that seeps through the volcanic rock. After many years it comes out at the springs forming eight distinct ponds that are considered sacred sites. The area around the spring we visited was a kind of village and tourist shopping area. You can go up to the spring and ladle some of the fresh water and even fill water bottles with hit. It’s also one of the best views of Mt. Fuji and often used for postcards and art.

Next we drove to Lake Kawaguchi, a lake at the base of the mountain, for lunch. Lake Kawaguchi is a popular tourist resort area and the has a lot of hotels and restaurants around it. I had a pretty interesting looking lunch that included some fresh fish from the lake itself.

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Finally for the highlight of the trip we went to the Sengen Fuji Shrine. The shrine where all of the Fuji climbing ceremonies take place and the shrine dedicated to the Kami of Mt. Fuji. It was a beautiful place and I loved getting to see the Japanese walk to the shrine and pray. It looked and felt like something out of a Japanese story taking place in the Japanese middle ages.

I can’t wait to go back to some of these places when my wife catches up to me. I really want to see everything in the spring when the Sakura trees blossom.

Now climbing Mt. Fuji is my ultimate goal for this summer. The climbing season opens in July and lasts until the end of August. By then I should be able to drive and the wife will be here. I plan on getting to the top of that mountain first chance I get.

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Japan is a beautiful place and every time I go out on my little trips I feel so thankful that I get to be out here to explore and enjoy this place.

Here’s a link to my google pictures album that includes a few more pictures.

https://goo.gl/photos/nXx2ZeZvxgkUeMBk6