Awoke on time, breakfasted in the apartment, then raced to the subway, to food store and onto the train, a fast one, but not a bullet train to Mt. Fuji. On the train met Ippei, Reiko and Isao’s son, a great friend of my daughters, and his girl friend Haruka. She was very nice, very pretty with a good sense of humor. She’s from Hokkaido, a north island just across the straights from the cherry festival we had attended.
Rented a car and drove first to the road up to stage 5 of Mt. Fuji. I had been photographing it from the train as it was a super clear day. We parked near a large gift shop complex but there was also a shrine where many people were praying, horse rentals, coffee shop and museum.
Fabulous mountain and so clear today. MUCH bigger than it looks in photos. You can climb it in good weather but there is still a possibility of avalanche so the trail remains closed until warmer temperatures. Can see part of the trail. Nothing but Chinese tourists, Isao reported that he heard no Japanese at all.
On to hotel called Mt. Fuji on a hill overlooking both the mountain and a beautiful cauldera lake under massive volcano. Lots of cherry blossoms still flowering even here.
Nice hotel with lovely gardens and real beds, sauna, communal baths. Wonderful traditional Japanese dinner, again with grill for our own steaks on personal grills topped with pieces of lava from Mt. Fuji. Again we dressed in the yakata provided and this time I got photographs.