Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Everything but Mt. Fuiji

I have lived in Japan for over a year now and despite multiple trips to Tokyo and everyone telling me that on a clear day you can see it from one of the higher spots in Tahara I still have not seen Mt. Fuji, not more than a hazy outline of what might be the largest mountain and active volcano if I squint and use my imagination.

So I convinced my friend Marie (pronounced Ma-ree-ay) to take a trip to see it. My exact request was "I want to sit naked in an onsen and look at Mt. Fuji." Soon the trip grew from the two of us to include our friends Sue, Vanessa, and a new friend Danielle.

Early Saturday morning we set out in the hopes that we would see the famous mountain. Our hopes would soon be dashed because according to Marie I am a 雨女 (or rain woman.) It didn't rain but she amended her statement to declare me a 雲女 (cloud woman.) But it wasn't just cloudy as in "oh no maybe we won't see the top of Mt. Fuji" or "Oh there it is but those clouds are ruining my picture" kind of day. No it was a "Oh my god how can the bus driver see in this thick pea soup-y fog. I hope we don't drive over this mountain road or hit another car" kind of day. When I say I didn't see Mt. Fuji, I mean if someone hadn't told me it was there I would have had no idea. I had to ask a few times which way I was meant to be looking.


Mt. Fuji

At least the food was good.


And we did have the onsen.


And good times with friends.


Which you know is good, BUT...I really wanted to Mt. Fuji!

Oh well, I can now say though that I have been on a real Japanese tour, which was all inclusive. We had the obligatory drunk party at the back of the bus. Hello! They started at 8:00 in the morning! One of them stole Vanessa's shoes while we were eating lunch and they chatted us all up at dinner (including insulting several of us.) We had the sponsored visits to places like a "winery" and a "cheesecake factory" that looked less like those descriptors and more like just a place to buy wine and cheesecake. And we had the lady tour guide in her smart uniform with her nasally voice telling us about the mountain we couldn't see and also warning us to be careful we didn't break a nail when we moved our tray tables. She also occasionally served us tea and made us sit through a horrible Japanese movie from the early nineties about a ragtag volleyball team. It was great!

But next time I think I will book my own trip. And maybe next time I might actually get to see something!


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