I do believe in paradise, but I am convinced that paradise is not some place you can look for because for sure it is not where you go, it is how you feel for a moment in your life when you are part of something or when you share it with someone. So if you find that moment, then it will last forever.
Since I moved to Japan almost two years ago, I have been enjoying, through the wide window of my 25th floor apartment, the beautiful, well-shaped and impressive Mount Fuji raising among the skyscrapers and getting bigger and brighter during the clear cooler days. And since then, I have been dreaming about the idea of getting closer and climbing it, but for one reason or another I haven´t been able to do so yet.
Last year I travelled to Hakone with big expectations, but Mr. Fuji was not in his mood and the hazy lazy weather did not help. So finally, I did not see it. Once again, I decided to give him and me, another opportunity to meet each other in person. And what better moment than the autumn season when leaves change colors?
Last weekend, I grabbed my backpack and my camera and I took a train to Kawaguchiko Station. I had on mind the famous picture of the Mount Fuji with the lake as a witness and I wanted to take the exact picture myself, and probably hundreds more…
Before going deeper let me start telling you that once again the weather was not on my side. And that picture was not possible. I could not see the Mount Fuji but maybe because of that, I learned that you can still find paradise even when you are not expecting it, even when a few things go wrong, and even when you loose the last bus to return home safe.
If you are ready, I will tell you all about this amazing trip to the woods and to the nature.
Perhaps you, as many more, have heard all those important tips to consider when you are planning a trip to Kawaguchiko or to any of the Fuji Five Lakes:
- Arrive as early as possible so the chances of seeing the Mount Fuji increases considerably
- Stay for the sunset
- Choose a sunny clear day
- Go with extra time to change plans if necessary
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Bring your camera
As I mentioned the sunshine was missing and I did not leave home early enough so the hours were counted and I knew I would not have any minute left for the unexpected. However I found paradise while walking along the side street in front of the lake, full of trees in uncountable tones of reds and yellows. I have also learned that nature whispers and we just need to pay attention and listen closely. Mother nature is infinitely complex and equally beautiful. Don´t you agree?
The diversity of flowers and type of trees all around the lake are the perfect setting for a perfect walk whichever the weather is, so do not be afraid of visiting the area on a rainy or cold day.
Once you arrive at Kawaguchiko Station, I will recommend you to take a map from the Information and Concierge desk. The staff has great english skills and everyone is willing to help and give you the best suggestions (I might not be telling you anything new because that happens almost everywhere in Japan). Take the Sightseeing Bus that goes along the lake and stops in the main areas, museums and onsens.
If you want, you can go non-stop until the last stop (only 30 or 40 minutes from the station) and then, return walking. There are cafes and souvenir shops all over and if you go during the weekend, you might have the chance to be part of one of the many festivals and open markets happening almost all year long. If you like sports, you can also do some fishing, water skiing, trekking and climbing the mountains around.
Please note that this is the most easily accessible of the Fuji Five Lakes from Tokyo, however you might consider sleeping over to enjoy the sunrise and the sunset without worrying about your return. The trip from Shinjuku takes a total of two hours and 30 minutes and requires changing trains.
As far as myself, paradise was real and lasted for a few hours while admiring the beauty of nature and listening to the sound of the colorful leaves rustling under my boots. Anything luxurious or exotic, just pure relax and joy that you can find here or somewhere else.
For more information → Hakone Freepass