Mount Fuji, the tallest peak in Japan at 3776 meters (12,388 ft.) is still classified an active volcano although it has remained dormant since its last eruption in 1707. Located 100 km (62 miles) southwest of Tokyo, it is the most popular tourist attraction in Japan, attracting over 200,000 visitors each year to climb its slopes. Mount Fuji or Fujisan was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013 for its universal sacred and artistic value. (According to the World Heritage website (https://whc.unesco.org/en/faq/19) “World Heritage is the designation for places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.”) In my opinion, Fujisan is certainly worthy of protection for future generations.
We began seeing views of the mountain soon after departing from Tokyo although there are views of the mountain from within the city as well. (You’ll see one later in this post.)
Our friend, Tomo, took us first to a restaurant at Lake Yamanakako, the largest and closest of the Fuji Five Lakes at the base of Mount Fuji. The #1 ranked restaurant on TripAdvisor in Yamanakako-mura, Koshu Hoto Kosaku, serves delicious hoto, a regional dish made with flat noodles and vegetables in a miso soup. Patrons remove their shoes inside the door of this traditional style restaurant before sitting on tatami cushions. (Click on the photos below to see a larger version.)
Following a delicious lunch, we drove around stopping at numerous viewing spots to take in the captivating beauty of Fujisan and to capture some of it in photos.
As we walked the trail along Lake Yamanakako, Lori even made friends with an especially engaging beagle.
Upon our return to Tokyo, the timing was perfect for a visit to the Tokyo Tower. Modeled after the Eiffel Tower and built in 1958, the Tokyo Tower is 13 meters taller than the Paris version and an outstanding way to enjoy views of the largest city in the world.
After purchasing tickets for around $10 each and a quick elevator ride to the main deck, we arrived in time to enjoy Tokyo at sunset from high above the city.
Jim chose to go to the top deck where he captured Mount Fuji in the distance at sunset, definitely my favorite photo of all we took from Tokyo Tower.
He also took photos of each direction from the top deck which gives you an even better impression of the vastness of Tokyo.
We left the tower just after sunset but I’m sure the views of the lights of Tokyo after dark would have been amazing as well.
Tomo delivered us safely back to our hotel where Lori and I visited the women’s bath before calling it a night. The next day we would see a few final sights including a walk through Old Tokyo before Tomo delivered us to the airport for our flight back to the U.S.
Based on events from March 2019.