Every famous picture you have seen of Mt Fuji, otherwise known as Fuji San, must have been taken, drawn, or painted from in and around this lovely resort area. As we were approaching, Fuji San played with us showing the snow covered lower slopes, then revealing the peak and finally for a brief glimpse a clear view of the entire mountain with power lines in the foreground. Most of the day we could see much of the mountain with the top wreathed in clouds. It was glorious. I will append photos soon.
I have waited too long to write this and memory fails washed away by many trips to the mineral hot springs in the hotel. We were in a wonderful ryokan, a traditional Japanese Inn, Gora Asahi Hotel, with Japanese rooms. That means the floors are tatami mats and no footwear is permitted. There is a single low table in the middle. We had a separate area near the windows that was carpeted and we could close that off with shoji screens. We never used the shower room and deep tub as we found the hot springs more to our liking. The men’s side had a locker room where we left our kimono and towels as we entered the bath. There is a line up of faucets with hand showers and a low stool and bucket to sit on while thoroughly cleaning before entering the bath, really a pool about one meter deep of hot mineral water that is constantly being refreshed as excess water sluices over the top and down the drains. After soaking for as long as one dares, there is a cold bath followed by a return to the shower. Before breakfast and upon return to the hotel before dinner I reveled in this luxury each day.
In true OAT mode we traveled by all available means of transportation. We had a bus for the day and took a large luxurious cable car up to the active volcanic area where the ground is covered with yellow traces of Sulphur. We climbed up to the high point where baskets of fresh eggs are lowered into a hot spring for 12 minutes until they are hard boiled and the shells turn black from the Sulphur and iron compounds in the water. They sell them 5 for 500 yen (about $5). They are very tasty, if you like your eggs slightly sulphorous. The bus then took us down to the lake where we enjoyed a ride on a large catamaran tour boat to a shrine, followed by lunch. After some more touring we returned to the hotel in time for a trip to the mineral hot springs before dinner.
The next day we boarded a medium speed bullet train for a one hour, one stop ride to connect to a super express, slower than any bullet train, for a 2 hour ride to Kanazawa. This trip was from the Pacfic Coast to the Sea of Japan coastal area. We have visited markets, an ancient samurai house, various crafts people and had several meals including dinner today on our own with another couple. The trains are impressive. They are very timely and spend very little time stopped. One had best be prepared to disembark or board when the train stops. In many cases the stop was only 3 or 4 minutes. Everything is clean and seems very well maintained. Everyone on staff is uniformed with hats and white gloves.
We are at the New Grand Annex Hotel located in the middle of town, walkable to most of the sites in town.