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Happy New Year

Happy New Year

I can’t believe that another year has come and gone… Another! It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!

We went on a day trip to Shizuoka prefecture. It is a place famous for some of the purest spring water and green tea in Japan, not to mention having the finest view Mt. Fuji.

The journey to Shizuoka started early, with a Yamanote line train to Ueno. From there, we started the longest leg of our journey, a 2 hour bus ride across Tokyo and west to Shizuoka.

I’d expected a Japanese bus tour to be like I’d seen at the pictures: Hundreds of camera wielding granddads and bag-toting wives on a whistle stop tour of fifty temples, six galeries and four expensive restaurants.

But luckily, it was nothing like that: The bus took us at a leisurely pace, with enough time to relax and enjoy the refreshing scenery

Until the previous day, the forcast had threatened snow, but today the weather was perfect. Indeed, it was warm enough to take my jacket off once I’d walked a little, as the sun was shining and there was hardly a gust of wind to mention.

The highlight of the day was our stop at a beach in the bay. It was late afternoon and the sun was beginning to set, casting a red hue across the heavens. The sky was immaculate, apart from around the foothills of Mt. Fuji, where a mass of fine clouds had appeared.

No matter how many times one sees Mt. Fuji, one can never take the beauty of its otherworldly shape and its awesome presence for granted. It dominates the skyline of Shizuoka, and is visible from virtually everywhere in the area (including my last apartment in Tokyo, for that matter) except from the centre of the city. The morning had started off clear with a magnificient view of the peak.

Now however, bathed in the rays of the setting sun, the mountain appeared to be floating on a misty sea, like a fairytale magic kingdom.

It takes little imagination, seeing this, to understend the influence Mt. Fuji has had over the last millenium on the art, literature, culture and even the hearts of the Japanese.

Categories: Family, Japan
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