Adventures in Fuji

As I write this with sore feet I am able to reflect back upon today and the many things I saw while walking from Fuji to Fujinomia, via the Fuja river. It is not the most direct route, but certainly one filled with much natural beauty. There were also one or two little surprise stops along the way, starting with a ferris wheel. From the top you could see the many bridges between us and the Pacific ocean a couple of miles away.

From below you can only see the wheel itself, but it turns out there is a reasonably sized shopping precinct with a variety of food options from Fujinomia yakisoba to pizza.

After staring at things from high up and listening to a rather confused audio guide (apparently we were on a sky walk and had reached the peak mere meters away from our starting point) we continued our adventure along the Fuji river, heading deeper into the area called Fujikawa (which means Fuji river). 

Our next point of interest was found inside a mountain, in the form of a message left by, I assume, aliens.

Since aside from a lone cyclist we were the only ones walking this way it is safe to assume not many, if anyone has studied this message. Let me know what you think on the back of a postcard / comment. Upon returning into the sunlight and following the river some more we came upon some delightful cherry blossoms, and a little more surprisingly we were invited to join four random people for a drink.

As it would have been rude to refuse we did enjoy a couple of vodka shots and conversation about football and work, as well of course interest in where we were from and why we were walking so far like a couple of crazy people.

After parting company we continued further along the river until we came across a small shrine hidden up a hill in a bamboo forest. This is after we tried to stop at a shrine which turned out to be a school because sometimes I can’t read maps apparently.

Although quite a small place, it was a very peaceful one with a few old graves. We even found what appeared to be someone’s garden, meters away from the edge of the hill.

Our final pit stop was a shrine at Fujinomia itself. Another beautiful spot, covered in cherry blossoms and serene water features. 

You can also see mount Fuji in the background, because today all things had to have the word Fuji in them. Fuji Fuji Fuji.


Things that I have been doing, and the longest title for a blog post that may or may not also be about Japan (it totally is)

Hello once again you strange, wonderful and perhaps terrifying people. I trust that you are all well and enjoying the current disaster that is the state of our world. (except Japan which I love like a tiny animated ball of fluff that’s always smiling and telling excellent jokes and can do no wrong).

As this is kind of a Japan / travel blog I’ll talk a little about some travel and Japan things too. So Shizuoka, or Silent Hill if you go by the kanji, is the prefecture I currently call home. While I have explored to a reasonable extent all the cities within this prefecture there is one thing about Japan which makes it rather hard to grow tired of, and that is that they seem to hide everything up in the sky. Well, obviously not the literal sky but in tall buildings that in the UK would be nothing more than office blocks. This means that for a dirty immigrant like me (correction, expat) it’s very easy to forget to look up and find these hidden gems. I should add here that this goes double for big cities like Tokyo and it wasn’t until my recent return that I realized just how many shops I had missed when I first arrived. And it’s not just shops, but bars and restaurants lurk in nearly every possible space within these cities. You can even find super rare places to eat where you can dine with a native Japanese family, as long as you don’t mind them shouting at you in Japanese while you eat and generally having to help yourself to food. Two thumbs up though, would recommend.

Recently, tucked away in a reasonably public corner of Shizuoka city (okay so in this case I just walked past it a few times and didn’t really pay any attention to what it was) we discovered a honest real ale bar. Even better, it’s only 1200 yen for a pint which is like ¬£8.50… Yea, maybe don’t convert the prices. Compared to regular beer at 800 yen a pint, the extra 400 is completely worth it because the beer is great and they have ten on tap, including an 8% one called Jubilation. It’s also the first place I’ve found cider in Japan, again good cider, which also makes me very happy. If you happen to be in the area you can find more about them here

In addition to all this beer drinking we had a day jaunt back to Tokyo, this time to enjoy the trains. Not in a strange nerd kind of way though (because we all know that having unusual hobbies makes you strange and an easy target for people to gauge their visualized self worth, but I digress) but because there is a yearly event called Tokyo Metro Mysteries . As the name kind of suggests you get to solve mysteries around the different train stations and nearby areas in Tokyo. The puzzles are fun, and solvable for both Japanese and English speakers and require a nice range of puzzle solving skills and processes. You also get to see some interesting places in Tokyo that you might not have gone to on a normal tour of the city, which is a nice plus.

That’s all from me this time, hopefully see you all again soon assuming a certain orange racist hasn’t blown up the world by then.