Mount Fuji – Sunrise Tours- bus tour

I went to Japan last week.  For the most part, I stayed in Tokyo.  I did so much on this trip which was essentially only 3.5 days.  I came back to the hotel pretty tired in the evenings so I am very behind on my blog.  I still plan to give a run-down on all my travels, probably ad nauseam.  Up first–the majestic Mount Fuji.  I did a day trip with Sunrise Tours.  It was a bus tour where we visited several sights (I’ll cover them later!) but our first stop was Mount Fuji– it truly deserves its own post.  It’s the highest mountain in Japan and an active volcano that hasn’t erupted since 1707.  The first snowfall this year was October 23, 2017.

We met at a local hotel in Tokyo and then drove about 2.5hrs.  Our tour guide, Katie, was very interactive with us during the bus ride.  She was a wealth of knowledge (she is a tour guide so this might be obvious, however, there are some duds) and I took advantage of that since I was assigned to the seat directly behind her.  She didn’t seem to mind my incessant questions–not that it would’ve stopped me!

I had only been in Tokyo 1 day at this point and most of it had been navigating the subway, subway rechargeable card, getting my bearings and very relaxed sightseeing.  I went to Tokyo Tower and a beautiful shrine….more to come on that shortly.

DSC_0041- inside view of the bus to Mt. Fuji
inside our bus
DSC_0039 inside but to Mount Fuji
back of Katie’s head

I must’ve shut my alarm off in my sleep but luckily I still woke up 15 minutes later so I had a feeling that it might be a good day!  I’d been looking at the weather forecast since I booked the excursion and it looked dismal.  I was so worried but wasn’t certain what to expect.  The tour specifically stated that there were no refunds if Mount Fuji wasn’t visible.  I guess even Katie was concerned because she was in the midst of singing the Mt. Fuji song and then she saw a glimpse of Mount Fuji.  She exclaimed “Oh good, it’s visible!  It was supposed to be cloudy and I didn’t think we’d see anything!  Get pictures now as this is the best time and best vantage point!”

Here are pictures from the bus (about an hour from 5th Station):

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breathtaking view—even with the reflection off the window!! How lucky am I that I was assigned a window seat on the correct side of the bus??  It felt like I could touch it!  Amazing!!!

After another 1h in the bus, we arrived at 5th Station.  There was a souvenir shop, washrooms, observation decks, coffee, snacks, etc.  Trees weren’t as prevalent here and it had started to flurry.  We had only 30 minutes to spend as we were on a tight schedule.  It was just enough time for me to get pictures, use the washroom and collect my bell (for good luck-it was part of the tour package) but I didn’t have time to shop or get coffee and melon pan.

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selfie- yes! I was there!

Right after we left the 5th station, they shut it down due to snow.  So the next group of bus tours could go no higher than the 4th station and at this point, there were no longer views of Mount Fuji.  I’m so unbelievably blessed that we had clear skies for our trip to Mount Fuji and were able to go to 5th station.

The rest of the day was rainy and cloudy….yet still fruitful, I promise.  I really only wanted to see Mount Fuji so everything afterwards was a bonus!

Just in case you didn’t see it the first time, here’s a view of Mount Fuji:

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unbelievable!!! and look at that sky!!!

 

Dana Sanza Chen
Senior Flavorist

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