Dina and I rented a car and drove to see the Fuji Flower Carpet on Thursday. Although I had already been a few days earlier, I was happy to visit again and hopefully sneak another peak at Mt. Fuji. We left at 5:30 am. It was about a 2.5-hour drive and we arrived right when the park opened at 8:00 am. Here was our route.
I must also briefly tell you about the drive. As we drove towards Mt. Fuji we started with a great view and then clouds slowly started to settle. Dina put it nicely, “I’m observing a changing weather pattern.” However, we drove through a REALLY long tunnel and on the other side, we drove out into the sunshine and cloudless skies! It was a Fuji miracle! We were SO happy!!
Our luck continued at the flower carpet because we definitely beat the crowds and traffic! It was worth going early. I won’t overload you with pictures- I’ll just share a few of the beauty. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to see Fuji twice!
Without the crowds, we were able to have a break time. Ahhhh, beautiful view, good coffee, and cream cheese filling. (I was expecting red bean paste!)
After we snapped a plethora of pictures, we decided to head out to Mount Minobu. Dina picked up a brochure showing Mt. Fuji, a Ropeway, and a pagoda. She quickly did a Google Map search and realized we were an hour away. So, off we went! Maybe my favorite part of the drive was seeing Lake Motosu. It was breathtaking. We pulled over to take a few pictures.
Later during the trip, Dina used Google Translate to attempt to find the name of the lake. Google Translate told her it was the lake on the back of the ¥1000 bill! Sure enough!
Dina’s excellent navigation skills, she will laugh at that statement, enabled us to easily find Minobusan with ease.
We enjoyed the Minobusan Ropeway ride and the view of Mt. Fuji from the top even though the clouds were starting to set in on it.
At the top were lots of trails and a temple. I look forward to returning in the fall with Dave and possibly catching a sunrise over Mt. Fuji!
By the time we came down the Ropeway, we were ready for lunch. We were fortunate to find a noodle restaurant around the corner.
As we were eating, I noticed a sign – fitting right into today’s theme!
The hearty lunch proved to be essential for the rest of the afternoon. According to the brochure, the pagoda was part of a Monastery.
Next to the pagoda were a lot of stairs. Going down. So down we went.
Once we reached the bottom, we read this sign.
As I mentioned, a lot of stairs. 287 in fact. We just walked down them. We would obviously need to go back up. “The Stairs provide you attaining joy of enlightenment.” Hmmm… I’m enlightened about the soreness in my quads today!
The monastery was very unique. It was hard to capture the magnitude and beauty of the buildings and grounds. I took a few pictures and hope they provide you with good highlights. I will definitely suggest we take a drive to Mt. Fuji and see Lake Motosu. If the fall foliage is peaking, we should also make a trip to Mt. Minobusan.
We arrived shortly after 6:00 pm. A glass of wine and rehashing the journey with Dave over pizza was a nice way to wrap up an adventurous day!