Mt. Fuji

mt fuji snowcapped

Mt Fuji as I naively expected it to look

Japan’s highest mountain, at 12,388 feet, is an exceptionally symmetrical cone. At its base lies a wondrous land filled with lakes, forests and waterfalls making it an ideal year-round recreation area. Visitors enjoy camping, hiking, and fishing in the summer; in the winter they can ice skate, ski and snowboard.

When we visited in the summer we arrived, as most do, at Kawaguchiko station. We stayed across the street from the station at a hostel called the Kawaguchiko-station Inn. Most of the guests at the hostel were foreigners and planning to climb Fujisan I just wanted to see it. Apparently you can consider yourself lucky if you get a clear view of the mountain. Visibility tends to be better during the colder seasons than in the summer, and in the early morning or late evening hours. We did catch some glimpses and a clear view for about 10 minutes the morning we left—I was thrilled to see it at all.

If you are not that in to outdoor sports, there are a couple of other things to do here besides the ever-popular eat, drink, and shop. There is a world-class amusement park here—as seen on The Amazing Race—called

Fuji Q Highland

Another fun option if you love dogs or just want to experience something uniquely Japanese is the

Doggy Park