Before moving to Japan, my brother gave me the Eyewitness Travel guide for Japan.

It was a very thoughtful gift. The guide has been a valuable resource and accompanied us on many adventures. The picture on the cover has always intrigued me. I wasn’t sure if it was an actual location. I mean, Mt. Fuji and a pagoda sounds pretty amazing. Well, it is a real place and somewhat easily accessible. Dina told me about visiting it in 2016 during Sakura season. I purchased this wall hanging recently of the Chureito Pagoda, Mt. Fuji, and Sakura. All I needed was a picture I took to hang with it!

I knew I needed to place this trip high on my list this spring. Katie and I decided the weather would be optimal on Tuesday and rented a car for the adventurous road trip. We had a few setbacks this morning before finally departing around 8:30. We hit a little traffic once we were off the expressway causing our trip to take about 2.5 hours.

We parked in somewhat of a random location near a hospital and Shrine.

From the parking lot, it was about a 15 minute walk to the base of the pagoda.

To reach the pagoda, we first had to tackle 400 stairs. Of course there are stairs…

Up, up, up, we climbed. We reached the pagoda and Katie stopped to take out her phone for a picture.

It was at this point she realized she must have set down her her phone when she bought a bottle of water and left it on the counter. Down, down, down, she went. Her phone was exactly where she had left it. Because, Japan. The Japanese are so honest and helpful. One of the many things we all love about this country.

Katie deserves serious respect for climbing the stairs twice. Meanwhile, I was snapping pictures.

I took a lot of pictures.

Here is one I took and cropped to look like the one on the book cover.

At first, I was disappointed there were so many clouds around Mt. Fuji. I took a deep breath and reminded myself of wabi-sabi and my favorite quote. “You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing.” The view with Sakura, my exploring friend, and the opportunity to see and take this photo were all pretty amazing.

We walked around the pagoda twice. On our second lap, we saw a wedding couple. I couldn’t resist snapping a photo. They were stunning.

We walked back down the steps and stopped for a quick lunch of gyozas and spring rolls. We were back in the car and heading home around 1:30. Traffic was super light and we were on base within two hours.

Experiences like today leave me feeling grateful for the opportunity to live in Japan. I miss you all and appreciate the fact I have my blog to share it with you. It is definitely an opportunity of a lifetime. Thank you for reading!