Shinfuji to Fujikawaguchiko
Cycling around Mt Fuji to the Five Lakes
Thursday 16 April 2015
An early checkout from K's was required to make the 6:42 Shinkansen out of Kyoto. I caught a few glimpses of Mt Fuji from the train but nothing prepared me for the scale of the volcano as I got off at Shinfuji station. Still over 15 miles away, I was surprised how intimidating the mountain is and how much in it's shadow the people of Fuji city live. Fuji is still an active volcano that last erupted in 1707 and many believe is long overdue.

My plan for the day was to cycle clockwise around to Fujikawaguchiko. This looked a fairly flat ride as I never planned on turning in towards the mountain itself but I should have studied the map contours more closely! After clearing Fuji city late morning the road started to climb.
Seeing Fuji was a big reason for coming to Japan and with only 1 day in the area, I was taking pot luck with the weather. Fortunately there were blue skies with only light cloud, too high to spoil my views.

After slogging it out for a few miles on a busier road, I joined the quieter route 71, which continued to climb as it wound north east with Fuji to the right. As the day went on the views got more spectacular, culminating in my lunch stop near Fujigane, at which point I'd climbed well over 1,000m.
It took many attempts with the camera self-timer not to mention strange looks from motorists to get a half decent selfie with Fuji in the background!

By the time I arrived at K's house, Fujikawaguchiko it was late afternoon and getting hazy but I felt I'd been lucky enough with the weather. I had a private Ryokan style room with tatami-mats and a futon, only this time I had to settle for a local curry instead of being treated to a Kaiseki dinner.