First glimpse of Fuji-san…sorta.

To add to the random adventures collection, today’s random adventure involved a lovely Japanese road trip.  Today’s team included hubby, me, Lindsay and Ed, and we traveled to Fuji in hopes of finding the mountain, and then finding our way home again.

Our expedition turned out to be highly successful!  We ate lunch in an Italian restaurant shaped like a meatball, felt an earthquake, indeed found the mountain and went on a short jaunt, played snack lottery, and all in all had a lovely day.  Lastly and most importantly, we did manage to find our way home again, hence I present you with this highly interesting blog entry.

Our adventure started off a little rocky with our attempts to find the interstate.  Japanese interstates are highly elusive, but we managed to catch two – the first we had to throw back because it went the wrong direction, along with the 1200 yen ($12) it took to catch it in the first place.  But the second one we caught was the right one, and we were on our way!

We travelers concluded that while Japan is a beautiful country, only Americans make roadtripping a national pastime.    Driving in America can be a beautiful thing.  Open air, homes and neighborhoods, cities and farmland scenes rush by, giving one the feeling that there is so much to see and no limit on your time to see them.  Japanese roadtripping involves a lot of staring at sound walls shaped like various things – we listed water slides, the bowels of Japan and other random comparisons.  Not quite the same feeling of freedom, but we did have some lovely vistas.  Japanese rice fields, traditional Japanese houses, and glimpses of mountains did peek through the kilometers of walls that enclosed us.

The Japanese countryside is beautiful.  Things space out a bit outside of the city, and plants and gardens and homes have more of a peaceful, orderly, pictoral feeling about them.  In Gotemba, which is a town at the foot of Mt. Fuji, we had lunch and sought out the mountain, driving toward an entity we could not really see.  Alas, our iconic mountain was obscured by cloud.  Yes, cloud.  We saw lots of cloud.

This lack of sight did not dampen our spirits.  We went on a short walk through the woods on the mountain.  This merely involved setting foot inside a forest across from the parking lot to see what we could see.  A short stop at the Mt. Fuji combination soba noodle stand/gift shop was enough to whet our appetite for the further exploration that is to come.

Why not climb the mountain?  Well, its not for lack of trying.  But a climbing expedition to Fuji takes planning, preparation, and most of all time.  Time that has not yet come for Jose and I.  But this was our practice run, and a lovely one it was.  Today was all about the journey, and all good journeys eventually lead to other ones.