日曜日, 6月 13th, 2010...2:14 pm

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji (Part1)

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Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji (Part1)
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The harsh coldness that lasted from morning to evening in Tokyo has started to soften, and signs of summer have finally appeared. For people all over, the place which can be enjoyed all year round, winter spring summer fall, is the foot of Mount Fuji. With the changing of seasons and the angle at which you gaze at it, the ambience of Mount Fuji alters accordingly. I would like to introduce the spot where it is possible, during this season, to make a day-trip to Mt. Fuji from Tokyo, to relax and enjoy.

From the Tokyo area it takes roughly two hours by car, depending on traffic. First thing to see is the Fuji Shibazakura (mountain phlox) Festival. There are approximately 700,000 of these flowers ornamentally planted for viewing. This year marks the festival’s third year, and has become a symbol of the mountain itself. Because it is only in its third year, there are no guide books for this festival yet.

Within the overflowing nature of Mt. Fuji lies 2.4ha of land where roughly 700,000 shibazakura are planted. With each year, the number of these flowers has grown even further. The temperature at Mt. Fuji has not risen that much the past few days, and though I was expecting the flowers to be in full bloom, when I went today only about 70 percent were blooming. As they say, only God knows the weather, but I was still fully satisfied with the vivid colours of the shibazakura, the new greenery, and the contrast of Mt. Fuji in the background.

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

Picture taken from viewing platform. Still much green remaining overall. (click to enlarge)

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

Mt. Fuji tends to blur in pictures taken in the morning due to the strong backlight, while afternoon shots turn out much better.

The following are some pictures of Mt. Fuji and shibazakura

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

Enthusiastic photographers from all over the country gather to take pictures

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

These flowers are nearly all in bloom

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

Shibazakura zoom up

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

Notice the contrast of pink, white, and green

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

※ Last year’s full bloom

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

Time flies quickly when watching the flowers. After going once around the park, it’s time to return to the parking lot to resume the trip.

After leaving Motosu Lake, on approaching highway number 139, you will come to the lushly green Asagiri Plateau. For a rest stop, I recommend Asagiri Plateau, the “roadside station.”

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji peeks out from behind the buildings

Along with dairy products like milk and ice cream, fresh vegetables are also sold here. I bought some spring cabbage and some other veggies to have for dinner, and to my surprise they were half the price as they would be in Tokyo, but just as fresh if not fresher.

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji (Part1)

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

Fresh vegetables harvested locally

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

These are the larva of the rhinoceros beetle. They still live in the area.

After taking a break at the roadside station, it’s a straight course to Asagiri Plateau. In summer it is common to see calm, peaceful pastures along the way. As you can see, there are cattle grazing in some places.

Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji

The elevation here is 700 to 1000 meters above sea level.

Related posts:
Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji (Part2)
Driving around the foot of Mount Fuji (Part3)
*Driving around the lake shores of Mount Fuji Part1
Driving around the lake shores of Mount Fuji Part2
Sakura tour in Yamanashi

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