Welcome to readers from Taiwan, South Korea, China and Peru
Mount Fuji from my window in Narusawa.
Narusawa really was such a small village. It sad astride the equivalent of a B road.
Like most villages in England you could walk around it and barely see anyone. On one side was an escarpment with pine trees on its upper reaches. On the other side of the village woods that gave out to the rising landmass of Fuji itself. You needed some kind of permit to climb Fuji and well I've more or less stopped climbing now unless it is on a bicycle.
Fuji from space
The tallest mountain in Japan Fuji stands at 3776 metres. Each year around 250, 000 climbers scale Fuji. In the non-climbing season another estimated 150, 000 manage it. It is the most visited peak in the world.
The View from the summit, c 1910
Being near Fuji draws out the impulse to be blase. From its base Fuji looks like a stroll with some slippery stuff halfway up. The Eiger, Mont Blanc, Popocatepetl, Kanchenjunga (double the height), the Jungfrau are all mountains I've visited. And they look terrifying. Surely you can walk up the gentle slopes of Fuji?
Here is what it is really like if you climb Fuji and slip.
Ice-fall on Mt. Fuji
The mountain really is beautiful and it's difficult to take your eyes off it. Even when it wasn't visible I found myself looking for it. After seeing those images I remember why I love flowers, drinking tea, reading and meditating.
This was more like it. A stroll around the lake with the mountain appearing occasionally.
Super neat ploughed arable land
Okay so I'd been in Japan for a month and was getting to end of my budget. A month cost somewhere in the region of $3000. And that was super budget accommodation (except for 2 nights in Bessho), budget food, snacks more like, from the local store. An apple was $2. Ok, it was quite a large apple.
The village where I stayed
Happy Travelling this year! Year of the Monkey