As I write this, I’m on a bullet train to Kyoto – a 3hour ride which we almost missed.
Christina and I were too busy tasting sake (at an awesome brewery in Fujiyomina) and lost track of time (not an intended pun on trains).
It was a whole thing, running through stations, asking our Hostel manager (Kazu – he is amazing; his Hostel can be found here) to pick us up and drive us to another station – and making it with 2mins to spare.
And now there is time to reflect on what has been a huge day.
Before we made our way towards Fuji, a number of people told us that it was off-season, therefore climbing it (which was ambitious at best) would not be possible.
We arrived at our hostel a little dejected, and clueless at how to approach our coming day in Fuji.
Kazu (again, not a paid sponsorship – just an absolutely amazing guy!) then recommended doing the path less travelled; visit Lake Tanuki and Shiraito Falls. He explained that instead of actually climbing Fuji, these spots offered some of the best views of the mountain – which you wouldn’t get when just trekking the lower half of it.
As expected, Kazu’s recommendations did not disappoint at all. The falls and lake, were spectacular and stunning statements of nature – crystal clear water and fresh air.
However, it was the sight of Fuji, in all its greatness – that really struck me.
It is so much bigger in real life (that’s what she said), the pictures you see in books and on the Internet do it no justice.
Mt. Fuji dwarfs everything; the giant forest that surrounds it looks miniscule in comparison. It also seems to have its own gravitational pull, with clouds circling Mt. Fuji in a distinct manner. The snow, which softly caps the peak of the mountain, adds a stunning contrast with the summer green that surrounded us.
But surpassing all the aesthetics of being such a wonderful creation founded in nature – there was a peaceful serenity that moved through the air.
People barely spoke, simply sitting or fishing in comfortable silence.
The mountain seemed to have a calming effect, tapping into an individual’s spirituality and soul.
It was a beautiful dialogue between man and wild.
It’s easy to understand why.
Mt. Fuji holds an important place within Japanese folklore. In Shinto mythology, it is said that the God – Kuninotokotachi – resides at the top of the mountain.
Today, the mountain continues to inspire the arts and remains an ever-present symbol of Japan.
And while we were there, we definitely felt the historic and symbolic importance of Fujisan.
We felt it in the air.
We felt it when we engaged with others.
We felt it when we sat down, and took the sight in.
There are certain places in this world, which speak to the soul when you visit.
Mt. Fuji, without a doubt, is one of those places.
A beautiful dialogue between man and wild.
Ryan Cheng is the founder of The 88, and is passionate about telling stories surrounding travel, culture and identity.
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