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Spring in Fuji Five Lakes


Mount Fuji

The peak of Mount Fuji

is oblivious to time.

What season does it take this to be

that the falling snow

should dapple it like a fawn?


toki shiranu

yama wa Fuji no ne

itsu to te ka

ka no ko madara ni

yuki no fururamu



Cathy working at a window

In the springtime we took a road-trip, piling into a minivan, and heading out from bustling Shibuya, Tokyo, quickly hitting the expressway and making for Mount Fuji.


I had long wanted to see Yamanashi prefecture, as it features in my favourite Japanese drama, Why I Dress Up For Love, episode 3!












The Time Fuji house Kawaguchiko

We stayed in a very beautiful, architect-designed house called The Time Fuji in Kawaguchiko.


The house was amazing, with its living room overlooking the misty lake; the loft room reached by a submarine-style ladder; the gorgeous kitchen just right for playing card games; and the stepping stones which led to the firepit and the sauna in the woods outside!












We spent just one night here, and Fuji san was elusive, hiding her beauty in robes of cloud and rain. She made us wait, offering us tantalising glimpses.



misty showers

the day one cannot see Mount Fuji

it is more attractive

kiri shigure / Fuji o minu hi zo / omoshiroki


Mount Fuji

But then the rain cleared up the sky and swept it clean of dust, and Mount Fuji was there in all her powerful glory.


Mount Fuji

We loved the Fuji Five Lakes region, with its waterfalls, lakes, and mossy woods.


We visited Fujisan World Heritage Centre, and I was fascinated to discover this ancient sculpture of the Fuji goddess.

Asama no Kami

The description:

This is a replica of the earliest surviving statue of Asama no Kami, goddess of Mount Fuji. The original, carved from wood in the 11th-century, is enshrined at Ebara Sengen Jinja in Minami Alps City. Much remains unknown about this statue.

The sculptor carved three female figures, all manifestations of Asama no Kami, along with a Buddha which arises from their midst. The buddha may be Yakushi Nyorai, the Buddha of Medicine, but the depiction is ambiguous. The reason for the triple representation of the Asama deity is also unknown.





From Fuji Guide:

In ancient times, Mt. Fuji was worshipped as a mountain inhabited by Asama no Kami. From the tenth century onwards, there was the widespread idea of honji-suijaku, a belief that the Buddhas changed their true forms to appear as god. Thus, the belief that gods and Buddhas are one and the same became prevalent. As a result, Asama no Kami came to be called Sengen Daibosatsu, and Mt. Fuji was regarded as the dwelling place of Buddhas.


The statue of the Ebara Sengen Goddess reflects this idea :)


Chureito Pagoda, Mount Fuji

During a recent Christmas when Japan was closed to visitors, and we were all living together, we made a jigsaw puzzle of the Chureito Pagoda, and so it was very special when we walked together at this beautiful spot.


Pagoda in Japan

We clambered down the hill and drove back towards Tokyo, Mount Fuji looming behind us, shadows cast on three-quarters of her massive body, for a long way as we drove towards Tokyo.

 

Shinjuku Tower rose up before us, illuminated, as we approached the city.


And then, as we neared Shibuya, it dawned on us that we would be driving through the fantastic Shibuya Crossing! It was such a surprise, and it was the perfect end to a brilliant night away!


 

Mount Fuji is, of course, iconic in Japan. You might catch a majestic view of her as you fly into Tokyo, or you may see her as the shinkansen travels from Tokyo to Kyoto.


Maybe you have climbed Mount Fuji, sheltering on the very top under a canopy of brilliant stars, waiting for the first of the sun's rays at dawn.


Fuji naturally features on many of our Zusetsu products: we have wall-hanging furoshiki which feature Hokusai's famous image of Red Fuji. You will find Fuji face towels in our store, and several of our very popular tenugui wall-hangings show Fuji-san in all her beautiful glory! Come and see!


Mount Fuji tenugui

Just one of our gorgeous Mount Fuji tenugui


I hope you have enjoyed reading this short travel blog of our fun springtime road-trip!

See you next time!

Cathy xx



Japanese books


 


Sources

Opening poem: Haruo Shirane, Traditional Japanese Literature, An Anthology: Beginnings to 1600, (Tales of Ise), (Columbia University Press) p.189.


Poem 193, Basho: The Complete Haiku, translated by Jane Reichhold, (Kodansha).



תגובה אחת


Anne McKenzie
Anne McKenzie
21 ביוני

Breath taking! Wonderful evocative read, thank you!

לייק
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