Mt. Fuji – Day 8, April 1

If you notice the pictures below of the swanky-looking train to Mt. Fuji, you’ll be impressed, as I was with the ride I had to Mt. Fuji. Or so I thought. That comfort and style only lasted 45 minutes. Then there was an uncharacteristically messy transfer to a hot, slow, local train where I stood with my backpack and suitcase for a further hour. Alas, the trip finally ended and I arrived at Mt. Fuji station to see most of Mt. Fuji on display.

I was stunned at how big the mountain is. Any pictures I had seen prior did not do it justice. Not only is it Japan’s tallest mountain, but it’s just massive in size. It’s an active volcano, last erupting 300 years ago, which is nothing in geologic time. Everything seems quiet now,

After a wait at the kitschy station to get my hotel shuttle bus, I arrived at my lovely hotel, facing Mt. Fuji, but behind an amusement park. My room wasn’t ready so I had some lunch in one of their three restaurants. I had not had too much to eat today so I was happy to see a salad, spaghetti carbonara, and a cup of coffee.

My room was next level. Spotlessly clean, and full of amenities like plush robes, slippers, crisp PJs, free toothbrushes, and a hairbrush. And the bed and pillows were a huge step up from the Hotel Gracery in Tokyo. I’m writing in bed now and if there weren’t an entire beautiful national park, five lakes, and an iconic mountain to explore, I could stay here all day.

So, after some hotel time arranging my direct, motorcoach ride back to Tokyo for Monday since I had no intention of repeating that uncomfortable train ride back, I explored the hotel vicinity, which is sort of a commercial area. I was looking for a grocery store. All I could find was a big 7-Eleven. It did have some veggies for sale, but I just grabbed some fruit and wine. I included a screenshot of my Deepl translation app which read the label on the wine bottle and said the wine was made from 100% chicken. Hilarious! It’s not made of chicken but it is from New Zealand and for that I was grateful.

So then I was ready for the onsen at my hotel. I had read how to manage it and I loved it. Basically, you scrub yourself down at a semi-private, seated shower stall, and then naked with all the other ladies you enjoy Mt Fuji-heated baths. You have a little towel for modesty, but I pretty much just went for it. It was amazing. Then there was a final shower. Let me tell you, these people are clean.

Last, I did my best to dress up and went for dinner at the hotel’s upscale restaurant. I’ll let the pictures do the talking, but it was amazing. Perfectly served and absolutely delicious. With sake and all the courses, it was $51, which was a splurge, but so worth it.