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Cherry blossom viewings at the foot of Mt. Fuji

With the increasing number of opportunities to withdraw due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I took a day trip in early April because it was the cherry blossom season.

I got up quite early and took a highway bus from the bus terminal at Shinjuku station, Tokyo, for about 2 hours to the northern foot of Mt. Fuji, a symbol of Japan. I stayed at 4 sightseeing spots in Yamanashi Prefecture, central Japan, in about 12 hours, so I would like to introduce them in chronological order.

3 of the 4 tourist destinations were designated as parts of the constituent assets of Mt. Fuji, a World Cultural Heritage site.

  • Oshino Hakkai
    The natural monument is a spring pond that originates from the underground water of Mt. Fuji.
    Oshino Hakkai possesses the historic site of the Fuji worship, the history and legends of a purifying place for Fuji pilgrims, and the scenic waterscape against the backdrop of the Mt. Fuji area.
  • Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine
    The shrine is the starting point of the Yoshidaguchi mountain trail. In ancient times, it was contraindicated for people to enter high mountains such as Mt. Fuji because beautiful mountains were thought to be places where gods live.
    Therefore, the shrine was a place to worship Mt. Fuji, a deity, far and to perform rituals.
    The giant tree that currently surrounds the hall of worship suggests the sanctuary.
    The shrine is known for “Yoshida Fire Festival”, and especially on the night of August 26, big pine trees are burned up in the town, commemorating the last day of the year when you can set foot on Mt. Fuji.
  • Arakurayama Sengen Park
    The parks isn’t registered as a part of the constituent assets of Mt. Fuji, a World Heritage site, but is a highly acclaimed spot from overseas. The magnificent “Mt. Fuji” and the five-storied pagoda can be seen at a glance, and you can experience stereotypical “NIPPON”.
    Located on the hillside of Mt. Arakura, the scenery you see after climbing approximately 400 steps is worth a visit.
    About 650 cherry trees are planted in the park, and the Sakura (cherry blossom) Festival is held in the spring.
  • Lake Kawaguchi
    The lake is counted as one of the Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji. Of the Fuji Five Lakes, it was the earliest tourism development. A hot spring town has been formed on the east coast.
    Known nationwide as a mecca for bass fishing, the lake is visited by many anglers every day.

I enjoyed hoto pot for dinner at a restaurant on the shore of Lake Kawaguchi. Hoto is a local dish made in the area centered on Yamanashi prefecture.
Basically, it is a kind of dish that is served while hot, by boiling thick and short noodles made by kneading wheat flour with vegetables such as pumpkin in miso based soup.
In Yamanashi, it was once said that you can’t become a bride without making hoto.

One of the few benefits of the Corona wreck is that less people visit popular tourist destinations, so you can relax and enjoy your trip.
Of course, as an interpreter guide, I should hope for the bustle of tourist destinations.

Yuki Takano, a member of iTWS japan LLP
e-mail: yuki.takano@i3ws.co.jp

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