Mt. Fuji, the sacred symbol of Japan, the volcano standing tall and gracefully amid a region of forests and lakes. Despite all that, even in a clear summer day, it takes quite an amount of luck to see Mt. Fuji.
So I got there, all filled with excitement and hope, to finally materialized my dream of being there, in the peaceful, romantic area of mountains, lakes, cherry flowers. In the increasing cold, under that black gloomy cloud, I found my childish side again, the side that sobbed uncontrollably when something I dreamed about for so long came so close just to flip out of my hand, the side that looked desperately at the cloud wishing if I looked long enough, the sun would eventually tear them out and shine, the side that secretly cursed the tour guide for not stopping at Shibazakura Festival earlier but waited until it rained to go there, the side that promised myself one day I would go back.
But things were not all a regret. The traditional dinner in Atami, the place I heard about so often before in my favorite Japanese comics. The onsen (hot spring bath tub) at the hotel. The yukata that made me look like a little doll. The cruise on Lake Ashi where I froze off because of the cold, the wind, and the speechless beauty. The stay at Owakudani Valley and ate the eggs boiled from sulfuric water. The happiness standing on Mt. Fuji, at 2300m, “enjoying” the cold, watching the foot of snow still covering parts of the ground, to relive my life back in Pennsylvania.
I realized, I travel, not only to find the new, but to reconnect with the old, and to draw closer to everyone else in this world, no matter how they look or what language they speak.
And lake Ashi, on a breezy spring morning. The peace, the blue, the fact that I’m in Japan… What can I say?
Owakudani Valley, famous for its pond of sulfuric water from the volcano, where the residents boil eggs that are rumored to grant you 7 years more to live if you eat just 1 egg.
And Mt. Fuji, stop 5, at 2300m, in the cold and the snow. I can say that I have pictures of Mt. Fuji, can’t I?
Mt. Fuji seen from Shibazakura, with all the fog and cloud:
But on the ground, it’s still quite colorful, even though traces of winter still lingered on the brown, dry trees.