Mt. Fuji is the iconic image of Japan presented on numerous pictures and prints, so it is a place I consider a “mandatory” visit. On my first visit to Japan, I bought a 1-day bus pass to visit Mt. Fuji for ¥10,000. It promised, "Proceed on by an air-conditioned bus for a 2.5-hour ride to Mt. Fuji, heading up to a height of 7,607 feet (2,305m) above sea level on the mountain. Your first stop is the Mt. Fuji Visitor Center, offering astounding views of the entire region and an informative museum” That sounded tempting!
The bus ride was really good and the guide did her best to amuse the tourists from different countries. The bus climbed to Mt. Fuji by a mountain road and we could see nothing but white mist around! I hoped that we’d pass the cloud and see the top of Mt. Fuji, but I was much mistaken. We left Tokyo on a fine and warm day and most of the tourists were in t-shirts. But, when we left the bus at the Mt. Fuji Visitor Center, it was freezing cold there! In addition to the mist, it rained there! Near the Visitor Center I noticed a frog and was very interested, but the frog was just a small sculpture! We couldn’t see Mt. Fuji at all and our only consolation was buying t-shirts with the picture of Mt. Fuji at the gift shop! That trip was quite disappointing for me, but I hoped to come back.
On my second visit, I went to Mt. Fuji with a friend. We bought a “round trip ticket” for ¥5,600, which included trips by train, a cable car, a ship and a bus. Again, we left Tokyo on a bright warm day in the beginning of April, and I dressed lightly for the weather. When we arrived at Owakudani station, it was rather cold there and Mt. Fuji was hidden in the clouds. We decided to wait and my friend suggested to eat soba. After that we just sat outside and waited, looking in Mt. Fuji's direction.
After some time, clouds slowly moved away and we could see the top of Mt. Fuji, finally! Then clouds hid Mt. Fuji once again, so we couldn’t watch its beautiful view from the lake. But, we were already satisfied with the views we were able to see in a brief moment. After that visit I got bad cold, so my advice is to dress warmly heading to Mt. Fuji!
I heard one omen – if you see Mt. Fuji from a Shinkansen, you’ll come to Japan again. Coming back to Tokyo from Hiroshima by Shinkansen, I saw the top of Mt. Fuji towering above the clouds. It was really exciting as its top showed just for few minutes before disappearing! But, the most grand view I captured was from the Shinkansen’s window once more – somewhere in Shizuoka. It was the closest view and it showed Mt. Fuji's Majesty. I believe it was meant to not be my last visit to Japan!