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The Real Treasure Of Japan

Posted: February 3, 2020

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Fuji San was covered with clouds. We didn’t see the majestic view with our naked eyes from Kawaguchiko but we felt it, we saw it from our heart’s eye through the glittering eyes of local people. We experienced love and kindness ­and that was more precious to us than the view.

My son and I took a short 2 day trip to Tokyo and Kawaguchiko town from Kobe. Early morning bullet train to Tokyo from Shin Kobe takes 2 hours 44 minutes. The speed fascinated us.

My very close friend received us in Tokyo. On my son’s request, we instantly decided to visit Akihabara (8 minutes by taxi) for one hour. Tokyo’s Akihabara street, an anime maniac’s world, made my son go crazy. Gacha gacha (toys in a capsule), video games and larger than life statues of his most favourite character, Son Goku, mesmerized him. He completely soaked himself in that world. After having delicious Japanese lunch with my friend in Daimaru, it was time to take the 1:30 pm bus to our next destination- Kawaguchiko.

We enjoyed the natural beauty of Japan in a two hour of the smooth bus’ ride from Tokyo St. to Kawaguchiko. It rained heavily on the day we arrived. For the very first time, without an itinerary, and all by ourselves in this new town, we were nervous. With the help of the lady behind the tourist information desk, we made the best plan possible, bearing the wet weather in mind.

FUJISAN WORLD HERITAGE CENTER

My son and I quickly checked into our (roughly 5 minutes away from the station) guest-house – Fuji Guest House AO at 4:00 pm. We immediately rushed back to the station to board the free shuttle bus to FUJISAN WORLD HERITAGE CENTER. We were determined to explore the museum, despite being drenched from head to toe from the rain. The museum showcases active volcano – Fuji San’s rich history, facts and pictures of its diverse natural beauty. Before we realized, it was 6:00 pm, time for the last free shuttle bus. Sadly, we missed our bus. So, we decided to take a taxi (booked by the receptionist) to Fujiyama Onsen (a Japanese hotspring). My son and I enjoyed the facilities to our hearts’ content. There were limited vegetarian options at the in-house restaurant.  My son loved Kanto region’s Kake Udon and we landed up having – edamame, gohan (rice), and kimchi.

The next day, we woke up early to a cloudy sky hoping to view Fuji San from our guest house. With lady luck not favoring us, we decided to bike in our free bikes available in our guest house around scenic Fujigoko (Fuji Five lakes). We took a brief stop at Family Mart to eat a quick breakfast and to check if we are on the right track. At the convenience store, an aged local Japanese man gifted my son a Fujisan post card and he kept admiring my son from a distance. We were surprised to notice that his car’s number plate had Fuji San’s picture in the background. He silently welcomed us into his famous town.

Again, due to the clouds we couldn’t view Fuji San, so we decided to take a bus to the Fifth Station. Our excitement and happiness had no end when we reached the mysterious mountain. To our surprise, at the Fifth Station the sky was clear and blue. We couldn’t stop taking pictures of white cottony clouds passing slowly on the top of dark brown Fuji San. We accomplished our goal, we were admiring the icon of Japan. We saw the mighty standing tall with all its glory and pride.

After checking-out, on our way to the station, we stopped to admire a beautiful private garden named – My Biscuit Garden. The owner was watering her garden under the foot of the sacred mountain and spotted us gazing at her. In our short five-minutes talk she told us that she greets Fuji San every morning and how grateful she is for the million-dollar view. She described pure white scenery Fuji San in winters and we saw its reflection in her eyes.

On our way back, from Kawaguchiko to Mishima (bullet train station), our bus’s air-condition stopped working. Our bus driver decided to change the bus but the whole process delayed us by 45 minutes. I was scared that we might miss our bullet train to Kobe. Luckily, a local Japanese lady with a child was also taking the same train. She helped me find an alternate train time just in case we missed our train. Fortunately, we managed to make it on time, but before bidding good bye, she gifted me Origami sheets and two made-to-perfection cranes. Her gesture had touched my heart and will always remind me of her kindness.

Now, in the bullet train, I reflect on my journey. I have collected memorable moments that will stay with my son and me forever. Fuji San might be the icon and pride of Japan, but in my eyes, the people of Japan, their love, kindness and their helpful attitude towards foreigners, is Japan’s real treasure.

Image via Pixabay

Meenu believes in enjoying little things in life. Very social but at the same time

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