Up around 7:30, to get our stuff together and repack the van after 2 nights in Tokyo. At first, we do well heading out of Tokyo but, after entering a long underground section of highway, the navi stops working. It takes a little while for this to become apparent by which time, although still underground, we now have absolutely no idea where we are. We have to surface to establish our whereabouts. It turns out we are around Aoyama and we join the Tomei highway. This was not the one we planned to use but, it is not so congested and soon we can see a snow capped Mt. Fuji in front of us.
Near Mt. Fuji we picnic at michi-no-eki Subashiri with a clear view of the mountain before driving down to the Lake Yamanaka. Here, D. does some research to decide what to do next, while I wander along the shingle lake shore out onto a little peninsular. Unexpectedly, from this vantage point, I can see beyond the buildings and trees skirting the lake and am rewarded with a superb view of Mt. Fuji, caught in the early afternoon sun with no buildings, trees or power lines in the way.
Fujisan Hongu Sengentaisha 富士山本宮浅間大社
Returning to the car, I find D. has abandoned her plan of exploring the lakes – too many glassware galleries have put her off – so now we are to go back to the other side of the mountain to visit the head shrine ‘Fujisan Hongu Sengentaisha‘ of all the Fuji shrines. This proves problematic as many shrines share the same name but, after much driving and many U-turns, we reach the place about 4pm. or a little after.
It is a fine shrine but, I find I have seen so many that it’s a bit more of the same.
It is getting dark, and seeing the lights of Aeon we shop for dinner in this huge store with a wide array of foods to choose from. Supplied, we drive about 40 minutes up into the highlands of Fujisan and pull into the very large car park of michi-no-eki Asagiri kogen but it has at least 2 toilets so it is functional.
The author is a long term resident of Japan who has and continues to travel the country extensively. Avoiding highways where possible, the author has driven from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Wakanai in Hokkaido covering 20,000 plus kilometres and counting.