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Fan of Fuji

I had been warned that Fuji can be hard to see in the spring time, so my expectations were low. In fact, I'd try to visit Hakone some years back and spent the entire day looking at wet cloud cover where the mountain was supposed to be.

So when I was invited to Shizuoka Prefecture, the home of Mt. Fuji, in March, I didn't really expect much. But oh wow, how beautiful this mountain is when you can see it. There are so many places you can see Mt. Fuji from within the Shizuoka Prefecture. (A prefecture is sort of the equivalent of an American state.) It would be hard for me to decide where exactly I enjoyed the view most. Driving on the racetrack from the Fuji Speedway, a birds-eye view from the Ferris Wheel at Grinpa Amusement Park, as a sturdy sentinel standing watch over the Chichibu-no-Miya Memorial Park? Each had their own unique qualities, but probably I'd have to say that the most breathtaking for me was from the balcony of my room at the Awashima Hotel There was something magical about sitting on the balcony of this island-based property, listening to the waves lapping on the beach and watching the city lights twinkle at the base of one of the world's most famous mountains.

After a hard day of walking, I admit that I did make use of the hotel's foot massager, while I sat drinking my tea and find my own level of Zen meditation. Despite the fact that I'm not at all a morning owl, I was up bright and early, ugh 5:30 am, so I could also catch the sunrise over the mountain.

After snapping a few hundred pictures of Mt. Fuji, I headed down to the hotel's outdoor onsen hot spring, where I continued to watch the changing morning light cast its effects on Mt. Fuji. It's hard, really, to write a blog about just how impactful this view is. It could easily have come out sounding cliched, or worse, like bad poetry. However, suffice it to say, this was truly one of the most remarkable sights I've seen in my lifetime.

by Monica Poling, TravelAge West



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