Mt Fuji is probably, the most popular tourist destination in Japan and since moving to Japan in 2015, Arpita (my wife) and I were trying to go there. We went to Tokyo in February, 2016, but due to lack of time, we could not visit Mt. Fuji then. So, when we found out that we will be going for a conference to Tsukuba to attend the annual meeting of Biophysical Society of Japan, we thought of going a day before and make a trip to Mt. Fuji. With great help from our friend Nagai-san we planned our trip to Mt. Fuji. Nagai-san booked one day tour to Mt. Fuji and Hakone from Hato tours. I did not know about this tour operator at the time. It turns out that they run several one day tours from Tokyo with english speaking guide and an option of vegetarian meal for lunch which was a great relief for us. Our trip was scheduled to start at 9.20 from Hamamatsucho bus terminus in Tokyo.
We live in Nagoya and we had to reach Hamamatsucho by 9 so we took the first Shinkansen from Nagoya bound to Tokyo at 6.41 AM. Thanks to punctuality of trains in Japan we reached the Hamamatsucho bus terminus well before time.
Our bus started at exact 9.20 AM.There were 40 people in total in our trip group. The weather was cloudy and we were quite sceptical if we will be able to see Mt. Fuji.
Our tour guide Masayo- San was an excellent guide and quite a manager. Our bus took the Chuo express way to Mt Fuji fifth station. The entire way was quite beautiful and we could still see autumn colors.
On our way to Mt. Fuji, we passed through something called “Melody road” . Driving on these roads produces a distinct melodious sound. The music created by this particular road was from some Japanese song that our guide taught us and we sang it together while driving over that stretch of road. We reached Mt Fuji fifth station at about 11.40. Fortunately as soon as we reached there, the weather cleared and we got a nice view of snow covered Mt Fuji. The weather there is really unpredictable and it changed again after few minutes with fog and mist all around but by then we had already enjoyed the view and taken plenty of pictures.
We started for Hakone from Mt Fuji at around 12.20. Our driver was kind enough to stop at several places on our way back to help us take pictures of Mt Fuji.
On our way to Hakone we stopped for lunch at Fuji premium resort. The lunch turned out be surprisingly good. My wife being a vegetarian often faces problems in eating out but to her delight they served salad, Veg spaghetti, bread and some kind of matcha flavoured mousse.
We reached Hakone at about 3 and from there took a cruise on Lake Ashi. Its a beautiful lake surrounded by several hills.
The cruise boat took us to the starting point of the Komagatake Ropeway that took us to the summit of Mt. Komagatake. The view from the summit was breathtaking.
We started our return to Tokyo from Hakone at around 5 PM and reached Tokyo station at around 8 PM. We thanked our guide Masayo-san and headed to our hotel.
Overall the trip was excellent, however I would like to visit Mt. Fuji at least once more during hiking season ( July-August) and try the hike to the summit. But, that’s in future…