The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was reach over and push the button that opened my drapes! Nice! I laid in bed and enjoyed the view of the harbor from my 30th floor vantage point! Ahhh. A girl could get used to this!
Stan and I had a nice (but quick) breakfast in the dining room and then we hopped on a tour bus for a guided tour to Mount Fuji.
I love guided tours because you learn so much about the area that you may have otherwise missed. As we drove through the city on our way out of town, our guide pointed out local landmarks, gave brief history lessons, and shared humorous and interesting facts about the local customs, culture, dietary habits, and persons of interest.
Once outside the city we got to see the beautiful countryside which is densely wooded and mountainous. There are little towns and farming communities tucked up against the mountains and fall colors are beginning to pepper the landscape.
Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan at 12,389 ft. It is classified as an active volcano but it hasn’t erupted since 1707-08. Mount Fuji’s exceptionally symmetrical cone is a well known symbol of Japan and Mount Fuji is one of Japan’s three “Holy Mountains”.
This photo of Mount Fuji is beautiful and I wish I had taken it today. Unfortunately, the weather was cloudy and rainy and we couldn’t see the summit . . . or anything else for that matter. Instead, this is what we saw:
Oh well. The drive to the 5th station was lovely and I did get to hold a piece of lava rock from Mount Fuji in my hand.
Our tour also included a short ferry ride on Lake Ashinoko followed by a tram ride to the summit of Mount Hakone.
Apparently summits were not in the plan for me today because the tram ride was a NO GO. When Stan and I arrived at the loading area for the stand-and-ride tram, it was absolutely packed full of people standing earlobe-to-earlobe! I couldn’t believe how tight they were all shoved inside that tram. The ride was 7 minutes to the top and I didn’t think I would be able to handle being sandwiched in there with all those people so I refused to board. We wanted to wait for the next tram, but the operator said the next one would be just as full. We decided to sit it out. It was overcast and rainy and visibility was low anyway so I didn’t push the issue.
Our last adventure for the day was riding back to Tokyo on the Bullet Train. Wow! That thing is fast. I think it travels 200+ miles per hour. You get where you’re going in a hurry! While we were waiting for our train, another Bullet Train came through the station. I’m sure the conductor slowed down a bit so the air blast wouldn’t blow everyone off the platform, but still, look how fast this thing travels:
Tomorrow we leave Tokyo and travel to Hiroshima. I better get to bed! It’s late!